Festival of Iranian films 2017

By Ryan Keating-Lambert

The 6th Festival of Iranian Films starts in Prague this week on the 10th of January and it couldn’t be a more exciting and diverse year for the festival. On top of the exceptional selection of feature films, short films and documentaries, the festival welcomes additional speakers and performers from within the Iranian art and music industry. The festival, like the selection of films it boasts every year, is ready to transcend some controversial boundaries making it one of Prague’s best current film festivals… You really shouldn’t miss this one.

The festival will go from the 10th – 15th January and will span over a lot of independent Prague cinemas including Kino Svetozor, Kino Lucerna, Bio Oko, Cinema Royal and the new and refurbished Kino Pilotu. Read on for some recommendations.


Feature films

The Salesman

From acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi (Separation) comes the festival darling The SalesmanA couple’s relationship deteriorates dramatically after they are forced to move into a new home, and deal with the previous tenant’s troubled past. All of this is heightened when they perform Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’. This is a smart and original drama not to be missed.


Tuesday 10/01/17 – 20.00 – Kino Lucerna

Saturday 14/01/17 – 20.30 – Kino Svetozor



A Dragon Arrives

A Dragon Arrives is a surreal in-your-face genre bender from director Mani Haghighi (Men at Work, Modest Reception). A haunted graveyard, a mysterious death and a shipwreck in the middle of the desert make for a cryptic investigation and hard work for a young detective and his team. You can get some Lynchian vibes just from watching the trailer…


Wednesday 11/01/17 – 20.45 – Kino Svetozor

Friday 13/01/17 – 20.30 – Kino Svetozor




Sundance and IDFA award winning documentary Sonita is the story of a typical Afghan girl forced to marry against her will, but unlike the vast majority, Sonita rebels and expresses her anger and frustration through rap music. Talented young director Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami will be present at the screening in Bio OKO as a part of the festival’s ‘Afghan Night’.


Friday 13/01/17 – 18.00 – Bio OKO

Saturday 14/01/17 – 18.30 – Kino Pilotu.



Under the Shadow

A truly terrifying tale of a mother and daughter fighting a mysterious presence in their new home during the war torn Iran of the 1980s. Director Babak Anvari’s debut film Under the Shadow is gripping from start to finish, and also a noteworthy addition to the modern horror / thriller genre.


Saturday 14/01/17 – 20.30 – Bio OKO



Music, food and culture

In addition to the impressive film programme, the festival also offers a taste of Persian cuisine (YES, definitely get in on that) from Wednesday 11/01 to Sunday 15/01 in the foyer of Kino Svetozor with accompanying screenings, not to mention seminars and talks with directors in the industry and the photo exhibition ‘Colours of Afghanistan’ in Langhan’s art gallery.

Iranian band Golnar and Mahan will be performing their distinctive mix of traditional folk style songs with an Afro-Cuban influence on Thursday 12/01 in the beautiful Cinema Royal. And finally, the official festival party will take place in bar N.O.D. above Roxy on Dlouha trida from 22.00 on Saturday 14/01. See you there!

All films will have both English and Czech subtitles.

For tickets and more information, check out the website.

Photo: Alfa


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