Írán:Ci presents Iranian films

The festival has features, shorts and documentaries, plus several guest filmmakers

The eighth edition of the Iranian film festival Írán:Ci starts Jan. 15 at Lucerna and runs till Jan. 20 with films at Lucerna, Oko, Světozor and Kino Pilotů, and then it goes to Brno and Bratislava.

Films are in their original versions with English and Czech subtitles.

The festival will present some 30 recent films from the international film festivals at Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Locarno, Amsterdam. Most of the films will be in the Czech Republic for the first time and several will be introduced by prominent figures from the Iranian film world.

Film categories include competitions for features, documentaries and shorts, as well as the presentation of an Iranian-Czech co-production and vintage films in the Pioneers section.

There will also be an exhibition of posters, the opportunity to try Persian cuisine, and debates and seminars.

Controversial director Mani Haghighi will present his film Pig (Khook), which will open the festival and also go into Czech distribution. The film is a black comedy about a serial killer going after famous directors, and a mediocre artist who is disappointed not be on the list.

“Iran's film is for Asia what French film is for Europe. It is shown at the best festivals and has a strong domestic and foreign audience,” Ivan Hronec, director of distributor Film Europe, said. “Pig is a Be2Can movie because it was premiered at the Berlinale, and it shows there is not only high festival art in Iran, but also bizarre black comedy. Pig is a good link between Be2Can and the Írán:Ci festival, and I am very glad that our film is starting this year’s festival,” he added. Be2Can refers to films that were hits at Berlin, Venice (Benátky) or Cannes.

Pig will go to Czech screens Jan. 24, but only festival or special screenings will have English subtitles, so catch it at the festival if you are interested.

Another guest will be Hadi Mohaghegh, director of the feature film Here (Iro). He is considered a rising star of the Iranian film. His films take place in the west of the country and are characterized by a distinctive visual style, where a whole scene is often made by a single uninterrupted shot.

The Pioneers section of the program is dedicated to films of Mohammad-Ali Talebi, who is head of the international jury. He will present his films Wind and Willow (Bid o Bad) and Bag of Rice (Kiseye Berenj), and also lead a seminar that includes a free screening of his film The Boot (Chakmeh).

Documentary director Kamran Heidari will introduce the film Ali Aqa, about a defiant man and his pigeons. Other documentaries look into current events and topics.

While dramatic films get all the attention, the documentaries often take people beyond the headlines to show more complexity about people and events.

Several packages of short films will also give a broad look at trends in Iranian cinema.
The Írán:Ci festival was established in Prague in 2012 to present the Czech audience with the best of Iranian cinematography. This project has continued to grow and is now a platform for other forms of Iranian art, such as music, theater, fine arts, and graphic design.

The entire program is available on the festival's website at www.iranci.cz and up to date information is at www.facebook.com/events

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