“We are proud that the 8th Persian Film Festival is paying a tribute to the strength and resilience of women from Iran and Afghanistan all around the world.”

Comprised of 15 features, 6 documentaries, 13 shorts and set to kick off in Sydney from December 4 – Persian Film Festival Director Amin Palangi sat down to chat about the 8th run and “the largest festival dedicated to Iranian cinema and the Persian-speaking filmmakers outside of Iran.”

“When curating the festival, I look at quality of storytelling, variety of artistic expressions and integrity,” said Palangi. “This year we have family dramas, biopics and films that are dealing with a sense of nostalgia for the past, relationships and migration; a combination of works by well-known filmmakers as well as the new names that are building the future of Persian Cinema. What is quite apparent in the Festival this year, through our guests, the list of Directors and the films’ narratives, is the strong presence and representation of women.”

“Our international Guest is Mahnaz Afshar, a prominent Iranian actress who stars in our Opening Night film ‘Suddenly a Tree’ and ‘The Oath,’ two of the best films in the program this year. Two of our short films are premieres by local Directors Faeze Alavi and Kimia Hendi.”

Also featured in this year’s program is ‘The Swallows of Kabul’ which enjoyed it’s Australian premiere at the Veterans Film Festival in Canberra. Bearing a strong emotional undercurrent throughout, the entry is replete with gorgeous animation; starkly and pointedly evoking some of the least forgiving realities of the environment. 

“’The Swallows of Kabul’ is one of the first films I confirmed for our program and one of my favourites,” said Palangi. “This beautifully-put-together feature animation captures a transitional period in Afghanistan when the Taliban regime is taking over the country; correlating with a loss of knowledge, culture and poetry in the region.”

“The film is directed by two French filmmakers, Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mevellec. These type of films are a great fit for representing the cultures of the region to a wide Australian audience; an intention I have had since the inception of our program in 2011.”

The Persian Film Festival 2019 screens in Sydney From December 4-8

on FalkenScreen