Rising talent on Iranian Scene

New visions enter screen

The names of Abbas Kiarostami, Dariush Mehrjui, Jafar Panahi and Majid Majidi are familiar to any international festgoer. While these Iranian helmers have helped put their country’s cinema on the map, a new generation of Iranian helmers is bursting through, eager to get their visions onto the bigscreen.

“I think we’re now seeing the third generation of Iranian filmmakers. They’re tackling a variety of subjects, from political films and art films to something in between. It’s a mix of first generation like Kiarostami and second generation like Panahi. It’s very good that there are so many new names,” says Amir Esfandiari, head of the Fajr festival’s international market.

Saman Salour

Salour’s 2006 “A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral” defied expectations of Iranian cinema with its wry observations on male friendship. Pic took home the special jury prize at Locarno. Salour is currently prepping new project “Heaven’s Gate,” again as a possible co-production with European partners.

Maziar Miri

Miri’s “Gradually,” selected at last year’s Berlinale, confirmed his talent. The snow-filled screen reflected the growing madness of a welder who struggles to come to terms with his wife’s sudden disappearance. Visiting a nightmarish twilight world of police stations and morgues, Miri fashions a haunting look at modern-day Iran. His new movie, “Award of Silence,” is vying for the top prize at this year’s Fajr fest.

Mohsen Amiryoussefi

Amiryoussefi first came to prominence with his 2004 black comedy “Bitter Dream,” about a funeral director. It took home the Camera d’Or at that year’s Cannes as well as generous critical acclaim. He is currently editing his second feature, “Manly Secret.” He also has another script that agent DreamLab Films is looking to fund as a co-production with a European shingle.

Asghar Farhadi

Farhadi’s “Fireworks Wednesday” set off sparks when it debuted at fests around the world. The caustic tale of a young maid facing marriage, Farhadi’s pic sizzled with urban desperation and debilitating mistrust. Co-scripted by fellow rising star Mani Haghighi, “Fireworks” won Chicago’s Gold Hugo award. Farhafi is collaborating on pal Haghighi’s “Canann,” about a middle-class Iranian couple facing a break-up.

More Film

  • The Great Hack (2019) - pictured:

    Film Review: 'The Great Hack'

    When I was growing up, we learned that the moral cornerstone of the First Amendment — the very essence of it — is that it’s about protecting the speech you don’t like. If the Nazis aren’t allowed to march in Skokie (a major test case in the 1970s), then a treacherous principle gets laid down: that [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Outfest Film Review: 'Circus of Books'

    Rachel Mason grew up believing that her parents ran a small bookstore in Los Angeles. She wasn’t entirely mistaken, although the naive young woman — then an artsy teen, now a documentary filmmaker — never imagined that, as her mother Karen bluntly tells her on camera, “at one point, we were probably the biggest distributor [...]

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Box Office: Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Takes on 'Lion King'

    Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” will have to take on much more than a changing showbiz landscape. This weekend, the washed-up actor and his majordomo are battling Disney’s juggernaut “The Lion King” at the domestic box office. Tarantino’s R-rated auteur [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content