Through film screenings, forums, masterclasses and special events, the Persian Film Festival highlights the richness of the contemporary films by Persian-speaking filmmakers around the globe.
It opens with Suddenly a Tree, a powerful Iran-Iraq war drama by the award-winning director Safi Yazdanian. The film pieces together Farhad’s journey as he gets arrested for illegal border-crossing and is the released and return to his old love, Mahtab. We follow Farhad’s life story since his childhood through his own narration as well as his conversations with a police officer and a psychoanalyst.
This year, the festival also includes two critically acclaimed films based on true stories. Finding Farideh, Iran’s entry for the Academy Awards 2020, is a moving exploration of identity that follows an Iranian girl who was adopted by a Dutch couple as a child and now returns to her motherland to meet with three families that claim to be her biological relatives.
Another film which is inspired by real events is Takhti, a captivating biopic about Iranian Olympic wrestling champion Gholam Reza Takhti. This Fajr Festival winner for the best cinematography follows Takhti’s life as he rose from humble beginnings to a national champion.
Additional program highlights include the graphically spellbinding animation The Swallows of Kabul, which was screened in Un Certain Rogard section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Adapted from the literary classic of the same name, the film chronicles the story of Zunaira and Mohsen who fall in love under the oppressiveness of Taliban rule.
And Leakage, a powerful debut feature by Suzan Iravanian, which was premièred in the Forum section at the 2019 Berlinale. This Iran/Czech Republic co-production, explores immigration, misogyny and the power of oil through the allegorical story of a woman who mysteriously bleeds crude oil.
The closing night film is African Violet; a Jury Prize winner at Tripoli Film Festival 2019, which explores the complex dynamic of the relationship between Shokkoo, her ex-husband who she takes in from a nursing home, and her disapproving second husband
WHERE & WHEN:
Date: Monday 4 December – Friday 8 December, 2019
Location: Palace Norton Street, 99 Norton Street, Leichardt, Sydney
Palace Central, 28 Broadway, Chippendale, Sydney
Palace Chauvel, 249 Oxford Street, Paddington, Sydney