Art and Experience: Fajr International Film Festival has announced the top movies playing in the 2017 Broken Olive Trees section.

The non-competitive section is intended to shed light on the ongoing war against terror in Iraq and Syria. It also seeks to ensure different voices and perspectives could be heard and seen as regards the ongoing war and ISIS in Syria.

At least 10 films of all genres will premiere in this year’s section. According to the Secretariat of the annual event, the lineup is as follows:

Kuweires, My Little Homeland (2016)

1h 18min | Documentary

Director: Saeed Sadeqi

Country: Iran | Syria

Language: Persian

Storyline: It is 2012 and Shalis has to make the most important decision in his life. He is 19 years old and wants to join the Air Force at the Kuweires Airport. His decision coincides with the war in Syria.

From Hasakah with Love (2016)

10min | Short Film

Section: Market Screening

Director: Mohammad Farahani

Writer: Farzad Fakhrizadeh

Editor: Shahab Bashiri

Cast: Sarva Aliveysi

Producer: Mohammad Farahani

Language:  English, Kurdish

Country: Iran

Storyline: A girl that her family had been murdered is all alone in the city. In order to show her protest, she has decided to burn herself in front of an internet connected camera.

About Director: Mohammad Farahani was born in 1985, Tehran. He has worked in more than 30 feature and short films as assistant director. His documentaries and shorts include Glass Eyes, Female Firefighter, Stunt Woman, and The Theft.

Alan (2016)

20min | Short Film

Director & Producer: Mostafa Gandomkar

Writer: Mostafa Gandomkar

Cinematography: Hashem Moradi

Editor: Sadegh Rezania

Sound: Arash Ghasemi

Cast: Jamal Hajizadeh, Paria Vaziri, Alan Samsam, NeginPashaei

Country: Iran

Language: Kurdish

Storyline: War has displaced many Kurdish, Syrian and Iraqi families. This film is the story of a day in the life of Abdullah, Reyhanand and their kid Alan before displacement.

About Director: Mustafa Gandomkar (born 1986, Hamedan, Iran) studied cinema at Tehran Art University. He is currently teaching cinema at the university and Iranian Youth Cinema Society in Tehran. The short film Alan was the only entry from Iran at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival that won an award.

August (2014)

1h 20min | Drama

Director & Writer: Ahmad Zaeri, Mohammad Esfandiari, Maria Moati

Producer: Mehdi Motahar

Editor: Hamid Najafi Rad

Music: Amir Bekan

Cast: Shiva Ebrahimi, Rena Shamis

Country: Iran

Language: Kurdish, Arabic, English

Storyline: This film is about an Iraqi father, a Syrian kid and a Kurdish Mother caught in the middle of the war. The film starts from 2015 and every episode is a prequel chronologically.

An Iranian Apostate (2015)


Writer & Director: Hamid Abdollahzadeh

Cinematography: Hamid Abdollahzadeh

Editor: Hamid Abdollahzadeh

Cast: Abouahmad Jenabi

Producer: Erfan Talebi

Country: Iran

Language:  Arabic

Storyline: The movie is about arresting an ISIS militant, who has killed 1700 people in one day.

About Director: Hamid Abdollahzadeh was born on August 9, 1985. He is a film producer and editor.

The Last Supper of the Levant (2016)

70 min | Documentary

Writer & Director: Mohammad Ghan’e Fard

Producer: Mohammad Ghan’e Fard

Cinematography: Mostafa Aghamohammadlou, Mohammad Mehdi Bahrami

Editor: Mohammad Nouri

Country: Iran, Syria

Language: English, Farsi, Armenian, Arabic

Storyline: Following the attack of al-Nusra front in an ancient Christian village around Damascus, 12 nuns are kidnapped from a monastery.

About Director: Mohammad Ghan’e Fard is a graduate of cinema from Tehran University. He is a producer of more than 20 films, from which documentaries like, Freedom and The Last Supper can be named.


15min | Short Film

Director & Producer: Mehrdad Hasani

Writer: Mehrdad Hassani

Cinematography: Hashem Moradi

Editor: Hamid Najafi Rad

Sound: Hamid Najafi Rad

Cast: Mohammad Reza Salahi, Paria Vaziri, MehrdadAbdollahi, Fateme Bagheri

Country: Iran

Language: Farsi

Storyline :In a war-torn region, a wounded nurse is trying to save a little girl from rebels.

About Director: Mehrdad Hasani was born in Rafsanjan. He is an art graduate. His short films are Perhaps I Know, Silence, and the Drill of the Maniac.

The Black Flag (2015)

1h 2min | Documentary

Director, Producer: Majed Neisi

Writer: Majed Neisi

Narrator: Majed Neisi

Cinematography: Majed Neisi

Editor: Mahvash Sheikholeslami

Sound: Majed Neisi

Country: Iran

Storyline: At the forefront of the war against ISIS; Syed Ahmad and Syed Jafar are fighting in Jurf Al Sakhar area in Iraq along with their troops.

About Director: Majed Neisi was born in 1981 in Ahvaz. Some of his films are Rusty People, My Messy Tresses, Portuguese Bombs, My friend Mr. Cow.

Babaei (2017)

1h | Documentary

Writer & Director: Mozaffar Hosseinkhani Hazvareh

Producer: Zahra Marjani

Cinematography: Mozaffar Hosseinkhani Hazvareh, HamidKzaemi

Editor: Nasrin Biglari, Zeinab Ahmadi

Music: Mohammadreza Aligholi

Country: Iran

Language: Farsi

Storyline: Alireza Babaei, a university staff who is studying for his degree, decides to go to Syria and fight ISIS in order to defend the Ahl al-Bayt….

About Director: Mozaffar Hosseinkhani Hazvareh was born in 1976 in Arak. His documentaries include Khak’o Tak, Palangab and A Childhood’s Dream.

The Dark Wind (2016(

1h 29min

Director: Hussein Hassan

Writer: Hussein Hassan, Mehmet Aktas

Producer: Mehmet Aktas

Country: Iraq, Germany, Qatar

Languages:  Kurdish

Storyline: The young Yezidi couple Reko and Pero gets separated when ISIS attacks their village in the Shingalregion of Iraqi Kurdistan. The terrorists murder many villagers and sell Pero in a slave market.

About Director: Hussein Hassan is a well-known director, writer and actor in Kurdistan. In 2006 he shot his first feature film Narcissus Blossom which was screened at the 56th Internationale FilmfestspieleBerlin (Berlinale) and at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was awarded with the Amnesty International Film Prize at the Berlinale. In 2009 Hassan finished his second feature film as writer and director called Herman which premiered at Pusan International Film Festival.

For all festivalgoers who are already planning their visit, check screening time and other information at or email the Secretariat at

Presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, the 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will take place from 21 to 28 April in Tehran.