San Francisco Iranian Film Festival unveils lineup
Art and Experience:
The 14th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco has announced its official lineup.
“African Violet” by Mona Zandi-Haqiqi is one of the narrative feature films to be screened at the festival, which will be held virtually on September 18 and 19 due to the pandemic.
This film is about middle-aged Shokuh who finds out that her ex-husband, Fereidun, has been placed in a nursing home by their children. She, and her second husband Reza, decide to take care of Fereidun themselves, but in their own home. In doing so, the relationship between Shokuh and Fereidun is significantly transformed. This new situation affects Reza and Shokuh’s daily life and unexpected changes take place in the lives of all three characters.
The film won the special jury award at the 6th Tripoli Film Festival in Lebanon in 2019.
The lineup also includes “The Slaughterhouse” by Abbas Amini.
It tells the story of Amir, who has recently been deported from France. Unemployed and idle, he is obliged to stay at his father’s house. For the sake of his father, he gets involved in a horrifying crime which consequently leads him towards the foreign currencies black market. But he knows that the mystery should be unfolded in the last act.
Amini’s drama “I Am Here” has also been selected to be showcased at the festival.
At the height of the demonstrations during the Abadan shipyard workers’ strike, Amir’s body is found in a canal under circumstances that leave much open to doubt. Ebrahim, Amir’s brother must now not only look after his ageing mother, but also Salva, his brother’s young and beautiful widow, for whom he has unexpressed feelings. The employer’s lawyer offers the family cash if they agree not to sue the shipyard, but Ebrahim’s mother and the striking workers are against any deal. Ebrahim, not wanting to be trapped between the two contending parties, cannot decide, but Salva has other ideas.
Director Kazem Mollai acclaimed drama “The Badger” is also competing in the festival. Right before Sudeh’s second marriage, her 11-year-old son, Matiar, is kidnapped. After considerable effort, Sudeh is forced to ask for the ransom money from her ex-husband. After Matiar’s release, Sudeh comes to a sudden realization about who was behind the kidnapping plot.
The film was crowned best feature at the Swindon Independent International Film Festival in England in July.
Mohammad Kart will also attend the festival with his directorial debut “Drown”. After a video of Parvaneh’s class in a women-only swimming pool is leaked, she is brutally murdered by her husband, Hashem, who then seeks a way to redeem his reputation and dignity as the godfather in the neighborhood. Hashem’s brother, Hojjat, embarks on a journey into the labyrinths of the underworld in Tehran to find out who is responsible for this dirty game.
The San Francisco festival will also screen a number of narrative shorts and documentary films.