After Nuclear Deal With Iran, Zurich Fest to Focus on New Iranian Filmmakers

Mahi Va Gorbeh Fish and Cat

In the aftermath of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, the Zurich Film Festival will make Iran the guest country of its New World View section, which will spotlight the latest generation of Iranian filmmakers.

The nuclear deal was hammered out in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The Swiss fest will showcase a dozen new features and docus by young Iranian filmmakers, who “despite strict state controls and censorship” have taken it upon themselvs “to tackle and question in an intelligent and entertaining manner the burning topics and taboos occupying Iranian society today,” it said in a statement.

While Iranian cinema draws international attention largely due to established names like Abbas Kiarostami (“Taste of Cherry”), Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”) and Jafar Panahi, who won this year’s Berlin fest top prize for “Taxi,” Zurich aims to provide a platform for emerging Iranian helmers.

This younger generation includes hot young auteur Shahram Mokri, whose “Fish & Cat” (pictured), a surreal single-take slasher of sorts, made an international splash; Hooman Seyedi, whose striking debut “13,” about an adolescent’s loneliness and rebellious rage, scored a nod in Pusan; Ida Panahandeh, who directed “Nahid,” on the legal complications and social stigmas concerning divorce and remarriage in Iran; and Nima Javidi, director of the well-received “Melbourne,” about a middle class Tehran couple and their dreams of a new life.

“Iran is home to an extraordinarily multifaceted and innovative body of films that addresses such current social issues as family affairs, drug abuse and the clash of generations, while simultaneously exploring the filmic narrative of a variety of genres,” the event noted.

Section will also include a selection of Iranian shorts.

The 11th Zurich International Film Festival will run Sept. 24-Oct.4.

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  1. Hooman Majd says:

    The nuclear deal was “hammered out” not in the Swiss city of Geneva, but in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

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