2008 Films: Behzad’s Last Journey

Running Time: 57 minutes
Country: Ireland / Iran
Director: John Murray

This film follows Behzad, a charismatic Qashqa’i nomad on his spectacular annual journey across Iran. The Qashqa’i are a tribe of nomads who inhabit the mountains of South Western Iran, a proud people with a strong sense of identity and tradition. For centuries, the Qashqa’i have embarked each spring on a gruelling 500 kilometre migration. Resisting relentless pressure to give up their way of life, the Qashqa’i have maintained their own language, music, dance, dress and unique culture – but the nomadic journey is a dying form of human travel. With Behzad as our guide, the viewer can share in this great traditional journey.

John Murray


John Murray’s passion for adventure and exploration is apparent in every aspect of his career. With a degree in Marine Biology from Trinity College Dublin John began working as an “underwater journalist”, travelling the world, researching, writing, diving and photographing some of the most famous shipwrecks on earth. Back in Ireland his background in science and journalism found an outlet working as on on-screen reporter for RTE’s health series “Check Up”. Then in 1992 an Irish expedition to the Himalayas proved too strong a temptation for John to stay at home. Armed with a bolex and 1000 feet of film John joined the Irish team and filmed the first successful Irish ascent of a mountain over 8000 meters. His first film “Manaslu, Summit of Soul” was critically acclaimed and served as the impetus for John to establish his own production company, Crossing the Line Films. One year later saw the first Irish expedition to Everest… again John was there at the heart of the expedition filming the Irish team as they successfully reached the top of the world.

13 And a Half

Running Time: 60 minutes
Country: Canada / Iran
Directors: Nader Davoodi & Abbas Ahmadi

The story of “Thirteen” goes back to 100 years ago. Returning from a trip to France, the king has brought with him a new wife from there, for his harem, whose entrance is announced by him on the 13th day of the month. An incentive study of the present situation of Iranian women told through music and dance.

Nader Davoodi

Nader Davoodi is an award winning photojournalist. For the past decades, he has been working both on and off the record to produce ethnographically detailed works that document a very important period in contemporary history of our life. While his work can best be described as documentary, he aims to artistically capture important moments in everyday life rather than merely document. From 1991 to 1994, Nader lived in New York City, where his love for photography and the city itself produced an exceptional stock. He has captured some of the most precious moments of happiness and passion in his collection of the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima 1994, Sydney Olympic games in 2000, as well as four World Cups, 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006. Nader's love of moving pictures has been inevitable, and as an independent filmmaker, he has put his unique style to the celluloid.

Dead Heat Under the Shrubs

Running Time: 71 minutes
Country: Iran
Genre: Fiction
Cast: Leila Booshehri, Abolfazl Ghorbani, Asieh Kalani
Director: Esmael Barari

A high-octane thriller. One day, a teenage boy happens to witness a woman dumping a body down a well near his village on the outskirts of the desert. Noticing his presence, the murderess decides to get rid of him, starting a chase and deadly marathon.

Esmael Barari

Born in 1965 in the Caspian Sea port of Bandar Anzali, Esmael Barari graduated as film director. In 1988, his short film "Reaction" won the top prize at the Students film festival of Tehran and the Silver Plaque at the 1989 Nations festival of Austria. He is also the founder of World Iranian Film Center www.wifc.org.
Filmography: City in the Hands of Children, The Green Hell, The Devil’s Dance, The Nest, Dead Heat under the Shrubs.

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A World Between

Running Time: 55 minutes
Country: US / Iran
Director: Nezam Manouchehri
In Attendance: Nezam Manouchehri & Jason Rezaian

A World Between is the story of a young Iranian-American raised in the United States, who travels to Iran to discover his father's homeland. His encounters take him across the country, from the teeming capital of Tehran, to the center of Ancient Persia in Esfahan, and finally to the home of his ancestors in Iran's holiest city, Mashhad. In each place we meet his friends and relatives who help form a more representative view of Iranians rarely seen in the West.

Nezam Manouchehri

Nezam Manouchehri is a writer/translator photographer/filmmaker and actor (Deserted Station), born and brought up in Iran. Went to England and US for his higher education. Graduated from San Francisco Art Institute and made a number of short films. He also attended San Francisco State University where he was granted an MFA. He moved back to Iran after the war, where he is currently residing.

Hannibal Alkhas Colorful Poems

Running Time: 12 minutes
Country: Iran
Cast: Hannibal Alkhas
Poems: Poetry & voice of Forough Farrokhzad
Director: Mohammad Reza Sharifi

Hannibal Alkhas, Iranian master painter, and son of the Assyrian writer Rabi Adai Alkhas was born in Kermanshah, Iran, in 1930. His Uncle John Alkhas is one of the two most famous Assyrian poets in the 20th Century. Hannibal spent his childhood and teenage year in Kermonshah, Ahwaz and Tehran. In 1951, Hannibal moved to the United State in pursiot of his education and studied philosophy for three years at Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois. From 1953 to 1959 he attended the Art Institute of Chicago where be earned his Bachelor''s and Masters of Fine Arts. In 1959 , after the death of his father, Hannibal returned to Iran. He began teaching at the "Tehran Schoold of Fine Arts" for nearly four years. During that time he also established the successful Gilgamesh Gallery, the first modern Art Gallery in Iran where aspiring young artists were intrduced. In 1963, he returned to the US and taught art at Monticello Collage, in Illinois where he became the Chairman of the art department. In 1969 he went hack to Iran and taught at Tehran University for eleven years. In 1980, Hannibal was once again back in the US, and spent twelve years teaching arts at the Assyrian Civic Club of Turluck, private collages and the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles. He now teaches at "Azad University," a position which he has held since 1992. He also holds private painting classes and writes as an arts critic in various Iranian Magazines.

Mohammad Reza Sharifi

- Born in 1951 in Serkan (a city in west Iran). - High School in Hamedan.- High Education (BA): Persian literature from Tehran University (Faculty for Litrature and Human Science). - Graduated in the field of cinema and TV from Faculty of Dramatic Arts. - Cooperation in more than 90 short films as scriptwriter,photographer, director and producer. - Director of photography in more than 12 Iranian features like: Prosecutor, All the temptation of the earth, Journey of grey men. - Professor in field of photography and directing in University of Tehran and Dramatic Arts, Azad University. - His last works are: director of photography in the feature film "Such a long trip," director of a documentary film about the life and works of Abdullah Alimorad (A famous Iranian Animation Maker) this film is produced by the Institute for Mental Development of Children and Young Adults.

Lesson from Bam (Mashghé Bam)

Running Time: 23 minutes
Country: Iran/Austria
Cast: Azam Chardongi, Fatem Balaroodi, and the children of the Old Citadel School of Bam
Director: Alireza Ghanie

Forty days have elapsed since the earthquake in Bam- southeastern -Iran - an earthquake that killed over 68,000 people (unofficially) and destroyed the city and the ancient mud-brick citadel of Bam. The children of the Old Citadel School have finally gone back to school in the old citadel but as most buildings have been destroyed, class has been set up in the open air. The children have written compositions about their own experience of the earthquake and one by one are reading their composition out to the class.But the young girl, Fateme, does not want to read out her essay…

Alireza Ghanie
Writer, Director & Editor

Born in 1959 in Tehran, Alireza Ghanie moved to Austria when he was 14 years old. He received his masters degree in 1982 from the University of Music and Dramatic Art, "Mozarteum" in Salzburg. He graduated in Computer Science in 1994. He worked extensively in theatre and opera and also as a freelance painter. Ghanie made a number of short films and wrote several screenplays which allowed him to make his debut feature film WINDSPIEL / The Wind Game, (2002). Windspiel has participated in a number of international film festivals and was awarded by Omid Film Festival. He received the "Europa Tolerance" award, sponsored by the European Parliament, for his short film, HAND IN HAND in 1994. He lives and works as a freelance artist in Salzburg, Austria.

Abyaneh, Red Village

Running Time: 21 minutes
Country: Iran
Director: Katayoun Afrooz
[In Attendance]

Abyaneh is an ancient village in Iran, situated 40 kilometers from the Iranian Nuclear Power Plants in Natanz, on the northwestern slope of Karkas Mountain.

Being a village of great antiquity, the village has preserved in itself like a live museum, monuments from very far ages to this day. With a unique reddish hue, Abyaneh is one of the oldest villages in Iran.

The people of Abyaneh are in love with their traditions, their culture and their village. The village has 1500 years written history but the people of Abyaneh will tell you otherwise, they would say the village has been there for more than 6000 years.

Katayoun Afrooz
Director / Producer

Born and brought up in Iran, Katayoun Afrooz undertook her formal education and training in Cinema in the United State. She has been working as a professional filmmaker and artist. She holds a degree both in Cinema and TV production...
“Abyaneh, Red Village” is Katayoun’s first short documentary.
“Abyaneh, Red Village” premiered at the Los Angeles international shorts film festival. Katayoun’s next documentary short film "Bistoon & Its Secrets" was shot entirely in Iran. Katayoun is a U.S. citizen living in Los Angeles, CA.

Best in the West

Running Time: 70 minutes
Country: US

Director: Maryam Kashani

Leaving Iran for San Francisco in the 1960's, filmmaker's father and his friends maintained a friendship that would span over forty years, through cultural revolutions and political events that changed the world around them. By interweaving the history of oil relations between the US. and Iran, with the personal mishaps, achievements, and relationships of these men, the film explores the possibilities and limits of freedom, and the importance of friendship throughout this struggle.

Maryam Kashani

Maryam Kashani is currently a graduate student in Social Anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin, where she is examining issues of politics, identity and spirituality in the Middle Eastern Diaspora. She holds an MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She began her filmmaking practice as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. Her film and video work has been screened in festivals and museums internationally.

Women Behind the Camera

Running Time: 90 minutes
Country: US, France, Iran, Afghanistan, India, China...
Cast: Agnes Varda [France], Ellen Kuras, Celiana Cardenas, Emiko Omori, Mona Kasra, Rosette Ghaderi [Iran], Ariana Delawari, Shakiba Adil, Marie Ayub, Meenakshi Shedde, Ashok Mehta...
Director: Alexis Krasilovsky

This made-by-women-for-women documentary, based upon Alexis Krasilovsky’s book of the same name, connects globally, exploring the lives of camerawomen in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, and other countries in a way never seen before. From the secret films by camerawomen of Taliban beating Afghani women, to historic footage by China’s first camerawomen of Mao’s travels through the Chinese countryside… From the playful narrative of a Russian filmmaker who learned the art from her father, her choice of career told as a love story, to rural India, where subsistence-level women are taught camerawork as a means of empowerment, to the glowing young Senegalese camerawoman willing to climb onto a man’s shoulders – literally – to get her subject, Professor Krasilovsky shows us a world of beauty, courage and technical skill.

Rosette Ghaderi, one of Iran's first female Directors of Photography, studied cinematography at the University of Tehran. She says that there is no support for women cinematographers and DP's in Iran, but nevertheless, by demonstrating her skill, speed and talent, she was able to shoot her first film in Iraqi Kurdistan and has also directed a short film (as well as shooting it) called "Parhoodeh," set in the forests of Northern Iran.

Alexis Krasilovsky

Alexis Krasilovsky's "Women Behind the Camera" is based on her book, "Women Behind the Camera" (Praeger 1997), the first in-depth look at the lives of camerawomen and their struggles to succeed in a male-dominated field. After studying film history at Yale University, Alexis Krasilovsky embarked on a career as a n indpendent filmmaker and holographer. Krasilovsky was the first to include the film techniques of zooming and dissolving in a motion pictures hologram, "Created and Consumed by Light" (1975). Her pro-choice Hologram, "Childbirth Dream," was exhibited at the Georges Pompidou Center, Paris and other museums and festivals here and abroad. She later received an MFA in Film/Video from Cal Arts. As head of her own production company, Rafael Film (New York and Los Angeles), Krasilovsky has written, directed, produced and shot numerous documentaries, video-poems and art films, including "End of the Art World," "Beale Street," "Exile," "What Memphis Needs" and "Blood."Alexis is currently a professor in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts at California State University, Northridge, where she has taught film production, screenwriting and film studies. She and her son live in Los Angeles, where she continues to make her own movies.