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Iranians at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences




On the invitation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), a prominent group of Iranian filmmakers will leave for USA late this week to attend the screening of 8 Iranian movies as well as other cultural events.
Last March, a high ranking delegation from the Academy visited Iran on the invitation of the Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds (aka House of Cinema). During the visit, a series of films made by the visiting filmmakers were screened for an Iranian audience. Academy members also watched a collection of recently made Iranian films during their stay. Now, an Iranian delegation of motion picture figures are traveling to the United States to keep the mutual relationship going between the Iranian cinema and one of the most outstanding motion picture organizations in the international scene.
Among the Academy’s representatives who traveled to Iran were highly recognized figures of cinema like the then Academy President Sid Ganis, screenwriter Frank Pierson (Cool Hand Luke, Dog Day Afternoon), director Phil Robinson (Field of Dreams) and Oscar nominated actress Annette Bening. The Iranian delegation was formed in much the same composition.   
House of Cinema’s Managing Director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour is one of the members of the delegation. Other members of the group have been selected based on their body of work to represent different generations of filmmakers. They include Rakhshan Bani Etemad, Ebrahim Hatamikia, Reza Mir-Karimi, Mojtaba Raei, Alireza Raisian, Amin Tarokh, Fatemeh Motamed Arya, Farhad Tohidi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.
The most important part of the program will be the screening of 8 Iranian films in five evenings, representing each member of the visiting delegation. The five nights of screenings will begin at the James Bridges Theater on the UCLA campus and conclude at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The film screening program includes:
Friday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m.
At the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater
As Simple as That, followed by a discussion with co-writer and director Reza Mir-Karimi.
Saturday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m.
At the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater
Lady of the Roses, Followed by a discussion with filmmaker Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.
In the Name of the Father, followed by a discussion with writer-director Ebrahim Hatamikia.
Sunday, October 11, at 7 p.m.
At the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s James Bridges Theater
Journey to Hidalou, followed by a discussion with writer-director Mojtaba Raie.
Thursday, October 15, at 7 p.m.
At the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater
The Mother, followed by a discussion with actor Amin Tarokh.
Havana File, followed by a discussion with director Alireza Raisian and screenwriter Farhad Tohidi.
Friday, October 16, at 7 p.m.
At the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater
Gilaneh, followed by a discussion with co-writer and co-director Rakhshan Bani Etemad and actress Fatemah Motamed-Aria.
7:05 P.M., followed by a discussion with director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour and screenwriter Farhad Tohidi.
The Iranian delegation’s trip itinerary also includes visits to two major motion picture companies, backstage of an ongoing production project and a film poster museum. 
In the wake of the academy’s trip to Iran, Sid Ganis pointed out in a number of interviews that one should travel to Iran and meet the people up close and personal to be able to discuss and judge the cinema of Iran. The impression made during the visit to Iran was recently described in a brief introduction of Iranian cinema on the Academy’s website:
“Filmmaking has a long and impressive history in Iran, a country of poets and storytellers. The large and well-established community of Iranian film artists currently working in Tehran and elsewhere has developed both technical expertise and a lyrical narrative style that has been embraced by film viewers, and honored by numerous film festivals, throughout the world. At the same time, new filmmakers and different narrative structures are emerging.”
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