Bratislava, Slovakia – At the end of the month, audiences in both Slovakia and the Czech Republic will be able, for the eighth year in a row, to discover the wonders of contemporary Iranian cinema with the kick-off of the Iranian Film Festival in Prague.
A popular, long-running festival in Slovakia and the Czech Republic
The 8th edition of the Iranian Film Festival, or ÍRÁN:CI, will be held from January 15 to January 26 in the Czech cities of Prague and Brno and in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava.
The aim of this popular festival is to bring some of this year’s most noteworthy Iranian movies to Czech and Slovak moviegoers and cinephiles, and present selected films from some of the most prestigious international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Locarno and Amsterdam. Last year, the 7th edition was also held in mid-January simultaneously in both countries.
The opening ceremony will be held on January 15, at 8 pm at the iconic Lucerna cinema in Prague. Movies will be screened from January 15 to 20 in several venues of the Czech capital, including Kino Svetozor, Kino Lucerna, Bio Oko and Kino Pilotu. The detailed Prague program is available online.
It will then move to Brno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city and capital of Moravia, on the 22nd and 23rd of January in Kino Art and Univerzitni Kino Scala. The festival will end in Bratislava from January 24 to 26 in Kino Lumière and Kino Film Europe. You can check out the complete program of the Iranian Film festival in Bratislava on the event’s website.
Complete lineup of the Iranian Film Festival unveiled
A few days ago, the festival unveiled its detailed lineup in several categories. A total of eleven movies will compete in the feature film section, including “The Graveless” by Mostafa Sayyari, “Reza” by Alireza Motamedi, “Pig” by Mani Haqiqi, “Bomb, a Love Story” by Peymand Maada and “Three Faces” by Jafar Panahi.
The festival will also screen half a dozen documentaries. These include “Women with Gunpowder Earrings” by Reza Farahmand, “Ali Aqa” by Kamran Heidari and “Finding Farideh”, co-directed by Azadeh Musavi and Kursh Atai.
Nearly a dozen short films will also be shown to the public, including “Like a Good Kid” by Arian Vazirdaftari, “Lunch Time” by Alireza Qasemi and “Moon in a Wane” by Ali Drakhshandeh.
Iranian cinema renown growing all around the world
Iranian cinema has been gaining growing attention in recent years, with feature film, short movies, documentaries and animated movies becoming some of the most critically acclaimed in the world.
Among the most famous Iranian movies released in the last few years, the work of Asghar Farhadi has received a particularly warm welcome from critics and audience around the world, including About Elly (2009), A Separation, Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011, and The Salesman, Best Foreign Language Film in 2017.
Talking to Radio Praha before last year’s festival opening ceremony, festival founder Kaveh Daneshmand pointed out that “from our very first edition, the Czech audience was quite familiar with Iranian cinema. Since then, I think we have brought about 150 or 160 titles from Iranian cinema to Prague, Brno and Bratislava, and I hope we have played a small role in expanding that knowledge”.
Both the Czech Republic and Slovakia have a strong cinema tradition, dating back to the golden age of the so-called “Czech new wave” in 1960’s Czechoslovakia. Coincidentally, after many years in the making, a brand new national cinema museum, the first of its kind in the country, just opened last month in Prague.