Iranian Cinema at IDFA 2019

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    Our hearts and minds are with the people of Iran, who had all online communication cut off for five days. We are standing in solidarity with you here in Amsterdam. To our festival audiences, we invite you to watch, think, discuss, celebrate, and support Iranian cinema with us now more than ever. The following titles by Iranian filmmakers are screening for the next week and a half.

    Screening at IDFA 2019

    The Forbidden Strings

    • Hasan Noori
    • 2019

    Four young Afghan immigrants in Iran have formed a rock band which has never been allowed to perform. Now they’ve got the chance to play in their homeland, they’re not going to let anything stop them. Moments of joy compete with sobering reality.

    Love Child

    • Eva Mulvad
    • 2019

    A warmhearted portrait of an Iranian couple and their son who flee the country, filmed over a six-year period. As they struggle to build a new life, both their hardest and happiest moments are brought movingly close.

    Sunless Shadows

    • Mehrdad Oskouei
    • 2019

    A picture of life in an Iranian juvenile detention center, where a group of adolescent girls serve their sentence for murdering a male member of their family. Alone with the camera, they reveal their thoughts, feelings and doubts.


    • Jafar Najafi
    • 2019

    Asho is a young shepherd in the sun-drenched hills of Iran. When he grows up, he wants to be a movie star. His sister and the cousin he'll soon be marrying don’t think much of it. Meanwhile, the irresistible Asho is already the star of his own film.

    Born in Evin

    • Maryam Zaree
    • 2019

    The German actress Maryam Zaree fled the Iranian regime as a small child with her mother. She knows she was born in prison, but nobody ever talks about it. Now she wants to know why.


    • Jalal Vafaei
    • 2019

    A candid self-portrait of a politically engaged Iranian family, showing how drastically their world has changed. The father was once on the side of the Islamic revolution, but has since become a reformist.

    The Unseen

    • Behzad Nalbandi
    • 2019

    A harrowing account of the fate of homeless Iranian women who were plucked from the streets of Tehran and placed in detention facilities, with no trial or hope of release. Stop-motion animations form the visual accompaniment to their unvarnished stories.

    Forest on Location

    • Persijn Broersen, Margit Lukacs
    • 2018

    In a replica of the last remains of Europe’s last primeval forest Białowieża, the avatar Shahram Yazdani sings his Farsi version of the popular hit song “Nature Boy.” Nature is presented as a virtual construct, meandering between the mythical and the actual.

    To Those That Will, Ways Are Not Wanting

    • Paulien Oltheten
    • 2019

    Jacques Tati in Russia and Iran. Snow piles, posts, fences and much too narrow openings: the obstacles that people face on a daily basis are numerous. Wonderful observations of perseverance in two parallel worlds.