Films / Programs

Focus on Iranian Cinema

Each year the SDFF shines the spotlight on the cinematic treasures of one particular country. At a time when a number of well-known Iranian directors have been imprisoned or barred from leaving the country by the current government, a focus on Iran seemed especially urgent.

Iranian films have been highly celebrated in recent years, with many—including works by Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi and Majid Majidi—competing for top prizes in the world’s most esteemed festivals and receiving distribution not only overseas but in the United States, arguably the hardest market for foreign fare.

We’ve collected 10 of the most current, diverse and thought-provoking films from Iran this year and are delighted that directors will be here with Dog Sweat and Twenty Days That Shook Tehran.

  • Dog Sweat

    Dog Sweat

    Iran , 2009 , 90 min. Like their Western counterparts, the youths in Dog Sweat experiment with alcohol, sex and rock 'n' roll—only these rebels live in Tehran, where individual desire and societal mores are at dangerous odds.... more
  • My Tehran for Sale

    My Tehran for Sale

    Iran , 2009 , 95 min.
  • Rainy Seasons

    Rainy Seasons

    Iran , 2010 , 90 min. As his parents finalize their divorce, 16-year-old Sina is facing his own modern problems in present-day Iran. At every turn, they present him with choices that will shape the man he becomes. Rainy Seasons shows that the pain of adolescence is universal.... more
  • Salve


    Iran , 2010 , 95 min. Aziz, a sickly but devoted old woman, tries to help her addict-granddaughter, Maryam, escape a world of trouble in Tehran. Refusing to give up on her loved one, she struggles to protect Maryam from the wrath of her father, her drug dealer and the police.... more
  • Tehroun


    Iran , 2009 , 95 min. Ibrahim comes to Tehran from the provinces hoping to make quick money for his growing family—but hope fades fast in the big city. Tehroun, slang for Tehran, reveals its namesake’s underbelly in this noir-style thriller.... more
  • There Are Things You Don't Know

    There Are Things You Don't Know

    Iran , 2010 , 92 min. The melancholy mood of late-night Tehran matches that of taciturn taxi driver Ali, who ferries passengers with their own problems around the capital cloaked in darkness. Iran’s precarious political situation lends social texture to first-time director Fardin Saheb-Zamani’s drama.... more
  • Twenty Days That Shook Tehran

    Twenty Days That Shook Tehran

    Iran , 2010 , 98 min. Documentarian Ali Razi offers a vivid look at the three weeks leading up to the tumultuous Iranian presidential election of June 12, 2009—whose outcome continues to be disputed by a nation that struggles with the very notion of democracy.... more
  • We Are Half of Iran's Population

    We Are Half of Iran's Population

    Iran , 2009 , 47 min. Rakhshan Beni-Etamad's We Are Half of Iran's Population gives voice to Iranian women oppressed by draconian marriage laws, male-on-female violence, educational gender quotas and other hallmarks of second-class citizenship.... more
  • We'll Get Used to It

    We'll Get Used to It

    Iran , 2009 , 52 min. Mohsen Ostad Ali Makhmalbaf's We'll Get Used to It introduces us to five variously troubled girls living in a Tehran homeless shelter, each heroic in her own way.... more
  • The White Meadows

    The White Meadows

    Iran , 2009 , 92 min. In this magical-realist allegory of sociopolitical oppression, dissident Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof follows middle-aged Rahmat as he sails around Lake Urmia on a mission to collect the tears of the heartbroken into a tiny pitcher.... more
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