An intimate peek into Iran’s booming cinema scene

(From left) Sabeghi and Davoodi having a chat with Mohd Rashid at the Iranian Film Festival Malaysia at Golden Screen Cinemas in Gurney Plaza, Penang. (Right pic) Dignitaries and guests enjoying the screening of a movie at the launch.

THE Iranian Film Festival Malaysia 2018 at Golden Screen Cinemas in Gurney Plaza, Penang, gave audiences a peek into life in that country.

Six acclaimed flicks — examining human values and culture, among other things — were screened for free over three days recently.

It included ‘Under the Smoky Roof’, a drama directed by Pooran Derakhshandeh, which tells of a wife who has to resolve problems with her husband and child.

The comedy drama ‘Ceasefire 2’, helmed by Tahmineh Milani, highlights the marital problems of a couple.

Abolhassan Davoodi’s thriller ‘Crazy Castled’ follows a group of young online friends caught up in a sticky situation after pulling a prank in Tehran.

Also shown were Kamal Tabrizi’s romantic comedy ‘Sweet Taste of Imagination’ in which a university professor falls in love with a student, and Mohammad Ali Bashe Ahangar’s war drama ‘The Queen’, which examines the moral choices one has to make in times of conflict.

Dignitaries and guests enjoying the screening of a movie at the launch of the Iranian Film Festival Malaysia 2018 at GSC Gurney Plaza in Penang.
Dignitaries and guests enjoying the screening of a movie at the launch.

Completing the lineup was Keyiumar Pourahmad’s drama ‘Where are My Shoes’ that has a man losing his memory to Alzheimer’s disease.

Officiating the festival’s launch was A.M. Sabeghi, cultural counselor from the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

He hopes that the films would broaden inter-cultural understanding of moviegoers here while fostering closer ties between both countries.

“Iranian cinema emphasises family, social and cultural values. They are made not just for entertainment but also seek to solve issues in society.

“Nowadays, wherever there is a film festival in the world, you are likely to find prize-winning Iranian films,” Sabeghi highlighted.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng, festival director Mohammed Reza Shams, acclaimed Iranian actress Azia Ajian and the Iranian embassy’s public relations manager Dr Abdolreza Alami.

Besides Penang, the film festival also had runs at GSC Pavilion and GSC Midvalley in Kuala Lumpur as well as GSC Paradigm in Johor Baru.

It was organized by the Cultural Centre of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Golden Screen Cinemas and was supported by the Farabi Film Foundation, Hoze Honari Organization and National Film Development Corporation Malaysia.

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