One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs; every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there is a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images..
Told in stunning animation, Waltz with Bashir is enchanting, gripping, horrific, innovative and unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Country of Origin: Israel
Language: Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Duration: 90 minutes
Director: Ari Folman
Starring: Ari Folman and interviewees
Australian release: 2008
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Winner – Best Foreign Film, Golden Globes 2009
Nominated – Best Foreign Language Film, 81st Academy Awards 2009
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival 2009
Winner – 6 Ophir Israeli Academy Awards: Best Movie, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Artistic Design, Best Editing, Best Sound Design
Winner - Best Animated Film, Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation 2008
Winner – Best Animation, Asia Pacific Film Awards 2008
Winner - Best Foreign Film, British Independent Film Awards 2008
Winner – Best Picture, National Society of Film Critics (US) 2008
Official selection – Melbourne International Film Festival
4 1/2 STARS ‘A quite remarkable film’ ‘Exceptional’ ‘It’s an amazing film’ David Stratton, At The Movies
4 1/2 STARS ‘A most extraordinary piece of animation’ ‘Such a powerful film experience‘ Margaret Pomeranz, At The Movies
4 1/2 STARS ‘One of the most significant and powerful of all anti-war movies’ ‘An unforgettable film’ ‘The film screened in Cannes this year to an audience stunned by its audacity and power’ David Stratton, The Australian
‘This is one of the outstanding films of the year’ ‘A true story, rendered with extraordinary power’ ‘A brilliant, powerful film’ Julie Rigg, ABC Radio National
‘It really is a remarkable film’ Jason Di Rosso, ABC Radio National
4 STARS Michael Adams, Empire
4 1/2 STARS ‘An artistic triumph’ ‘A film that will get under your skin and move you in the deepest way possible’ The Big Issue
4 1/2 STARS Marc Fennell, Triple J
4 STARS ‘A stunning achievement’ ‘A strikingly original production … it approaches the realm of documentary in new and stimulating ways’ ‘Extraordinarily beautiful‘ Colin Fraser, SX & MCV
4 STARS Andiee Paviour, Who
‘A true original’ ‘Hypnotic’ ‘WALZ WITH BASHIR is a rarity – it’s a true original’ ‘Spellbinding and worthy of big screen viewing’ Annette Basile, FILMINK
‘Mesmerising cinema’ ‘Remarkable’ ‘Striking’ ‘Stunning’ ‘A unique experience’ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
9/10 ‘A must-see’ ‘WALTZ WITH BASHIR is that rare film which achieves cinematic poetry’ ‘The most interesting new filmic genre in years’ ‘Not only an outstanding war movie in its own right, but also the most interesting new filmic genre in years’ ‘A must-see for anyone who wants to keep up with the latest in movie-making’ ‘Extraordinary’ Rob Lowing, Sun-Herald
4 STARS Ben McEachen, Sunday Telegraph
4 STARS ‘A brilliant piece of work’ ‘Original, demanding and rewarding’ Paul Byrnes, The Sydney Morning Herald
4 STARS ‘Those who do see it can not fail to be moved by it’ ‘This film has a true heart‘ Rod Chester, The Daily Telegraph
4 STARS ‘Astonishing’ ‘The overall effect of the film is difficult to put into words‘ Leigh Paatsch, Herald Sun
4 STARS ‘A potent piece of storytelling… that leaves a remarkable, lingering impression‘ Philippa Hawker, The Age
4 STARS Jim Schembri, The Age
4 STARS Tom Ryan, The Sunday Age
4 STARS ‘Those who do see it can not fail to be moved by it’ ‘This film has a true heart‘ Rod Chester, The Courier Mail
‘A powerhouse’ ‘Stunning‘ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
‘Could easily turn out to be one of the most powerful statements of this Cannes and will leave its mark forever on the ethics of war films in general.‘ Dan Fainaru, Screen Daily
‘Extraordinary’ ‘Waltz With Bashir is an extraordinary, harrowing, provocative picture. We staggered out of the screening in a daze.’ Xan Brooks, The Guardian
’something special, strange and peculiarly potent’ Leslie Felperin, Variety
‘The message of the futility of war has rarely been painted with such bold strokes.’ Mary Corliss, Time
‘Folman unleashes a pastiche of incredible cinematic scenes that are as innovative as they are devastating.‘ Sheigh Crabtree, LA Times
‘It’s a shattering war film, full of guilt and shock, and finding a new medium for expressing and exploring familiar themes.’ Jason Solomons, the Observer
‘Folman has made a beautiful, disturbing and deeply compelling film‘ Kim Voynar, Cinematical
As in “The Odyssey,” the Aegean Sea is the setting when our hero, Elias, sets out on his adventures. On the same waters, under the same sun and the same sky as the dawn of civilization. After countless incidents and accidents, a stopover in paradise and a sojourn in hell, the magical conclusion of his journey takes place in Paris.
Paris, the shining city in the deepest dreams, in the most uncertain sleep of wanderers.
EDEN IS WEST attempts to echo the path, the journey of those (once our fathers and mothers) who cross through lands, braving oceans and seas of uniforms, looking for a home.
Elias’ story is not that of Ulysses, nor is it Jean-Claude’s or mine. But I see myself in Elias, a foreigner who is not foreign to me.
Country of Origin: France/Italy/Greece
Language: French/English/Greek w/ English subtitles
Duration: 107 minutes
Starring: Riccardo Scamarcio, Juliane Köhler, Eric Caravaca
Australian release: 2009 with Jump Street Films
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Winner – Jury Prize, Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation 2009
Closing Night Film – Berlinale 2009
Official Selection – Melbourne International Film Festival
‘…the brightest, most-entertaining film of his illustrious career.’ Jim Schembri – The Age
‘an odyssey both touching, dangerous, thrilling and funny…Costa Gavras remains one of the miracles of international movies with a conscience – and has, still, all the energy, wit and that great eye for the telling scene that few filmmakers in the world can display. Like his movies, he’s all passion and humanity and long may he continue. We need him!’ Jonathon Dawson- ABC Radio
‘…delightfully entertaining…This film is by turns Felliniesque, as quirky as Kaurismaki, wildly implausible, very funny (frequently)…See it for the element of sheer fun and you wont be disappointed. Mark Demetrius – Filmink
‘…challenging and beautiful, definitely.’ Hilary Harper – ABC
‘A beguiling film to savour’ John Bale, The Blurb
‘Continually arresting. There’s a taste of heaven and hell in this likeable road movie that addresses the plight of illegal immigrants within a cocktail of drama, poetry and humour’ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
‘I fell in love with this’ Jason Di Rosso, ABC Radio National
‘Tender and beguiling… many stunning images’ Peter Galvin, SBS
‘Charming, sophisticated filmmaking… a fascinating cross-section of European faces and mores. Sometimes whimsical, often heartbreaking’ Tim Milfull, The Independent
‘A playful modern fairy tale.’ Variety
‘A cross between the noble, wandering Ulysses and a Charlie Chaplin perpetually on the run from the cops’ The Hollywood Reporter
‘Gripping’ The New York Times
‘Bittersweet comedy… a deft mix of allegory and realism’ Screen International
4.5 STARS ‘European cinema at its best… touching, comedic, and poignant… Scamarcio’s performance is an absolute tour de force’ Eye For Film UK
Director Cherien Dabis’s auspicious debut feature, Amreeka, is a warm and lighthearted film about one Palestinian family’s tumultuous journey into Diaspora amidst the cultural fallout of America’s war in Iraq.
Country of Origin: USA
Language: English w/ English subtitles for foreign language segments
Duration: 96 minutes
Director: Cherien Dabis
Starring: Nisreen Faour, Hiam Abass, Alia Shawkat
Australian release: 2009
Muna Farah, a Palestinian single mum, struggles to maintain her optimistic spirit in the daily grind of intimidating West Bank checkpoints, the constant nagging of a controlling mother, and the haunting shadows of a failed marriage. Everything changes one day when she receives a letter informing her that her family has been granted a U.S. Green Card. Reluctant to leave her homeland, but realising it may be the only way to secure a future for Fadi, her teenage son, Muna decides to quit her job at the bank and visit her relatives in Illinois to see about a new life in a land that gives newcomers a run for their money… Do they have what it takes to successfully occupy the heartland?
Dabis weaves an abundance of humor and levity into this tale of struggle, displacement, and nostalgia and draws an absorbing and irresistibly charming performance from actress Nisreen Faour as Muna, who stands at the heart of this tale. Amreeka glows with the truth and magic of everyday life and signals the arrival of an exciting, new directorial talent.
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight)
WINNER FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize – Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection – Melbourne International Film Festival
Official Selection – Sydney International Film Festival
‘… genuinely lovable little slice- of- life drama.’ Leigh Paatsch- Herald Sun
4 STARS ‘…humour…enhanced by believable performances…most notably by wonderful Nisreen Faour.’ Des Partridge – The Courier Mail
‘Faour’s performance …is simply beautiful.’ Paul Byrnes – Sydney Morning Herald
‘…it’s the humanity of the work that makes it resonate and the insight into a culture closed to most Australian that make it illuminating.’ Andrew Urban – Urban Cinefile
‘…a heartfelt and engaging film’ Louise Keller – Urban Cinefile
‘Amreeka…one of those gems that takes on serious themes and packages them into something that’s often amusing and genuinely entertaining.’ ‘…an enriching film filled with humour and hope.’ Annette Basile – Filmink
‘Amreeka is a heartwarming film…When this woman smiles, you want it to be on you’ Roger Ebert.com
‘Amreeka stands alongside The Visitor and Maria Full of Grace as one of the most accomplished recent films about a non-European immigrant coming to the United States…Amreeka believes in people, and its faith rubs off on you.’ Stephen Holden – New York Times
‘Director Cherien Dabis has made a truly transcendent drama with her latest work’ ‘Amreeka… as inspiring as it is intriguing’ Devin Heller – NWI Times
‘…a small film of surpassing quality…has the kind of warm touch and playful disposition…’ Kenneth Turan – www.latimes.com
‘…vibrant energy, balanced politics and droll humour…Enormously appealing turn by earthy Nisreen Faour in the lead role of Muna…’ Rob Nelson – Variety
‘one of the most accomplished recent films about a non-European immigrant… The film’s upbeat tone reflects the resilience and sunny temperament of Muna, who as embodied by Ms. Faour is the kind of warm, lovable woman you want to hug.’ Stephen Holden – The New York Times
‘This slice of American life, as seen through the eyes of Palestinian immigrants, is nuanced, engaging and authentically observed. Though some of the bias they endure is predictable, the unfolding of Muna and Fadi’s subtly uplifting saga is not’. Claudia Puig – _ USA Today
‘This small gem takes a basically optimistic view about the struggles that generations of immigrants have endured‘ Lou Limenick – New York Post
‘Dabis..has thoroughly re-energised the genre with refreshing wit, honest emotions, incisive observations and a perfect cast.’ Kirk Honeycutt – The Hollywood Reporter
‘The film is anchored in Ms Faour’s wonderful portrayal of a warm-hearted, self-reliant woman…’ Stephen Holden – The New York Times
‘Dabis…makes us laugh at ourselves and in turn, each other.’ Scott Foundas – www.laweekly.com
‘…there’s an authenticity to Amreeka that can’t be faked, an artless purity especially in the winning performance of Nisreen Faour as the unsinkable Muna, and a bright warmth of storytelling that announces the filmmaker as a talent to watch.’ Lisa Schwarzbaum – Hollywood Insider
Variety is head over heels for Love Story!
‘The line between reality and fiction has rarely been so delightfully blurred’
‘Habicht emerges as the funniest and most lovable Kiwi to hit New York since Flight of the Conchords’
Florian Habicht’s romantic comedy, written on the streets of New York, has been a hit with audiences and critics alike around the world.
Love Story begins in New York when Florian meets a mysterious woman holding a piece of cake at a train station. Cutting to vox-pop interviews, Habicht asks complete strangers on the streets of New York what this could mean. With a resounding ‘cake means seduction’ coming from the people, Habicht relocates the woman (Masha Yakovenko, a Russian actress) and casts her opposite him in a unique take on the romantic comedy genre. The pair begins to act out a love story film, with the twist that each scene in the story is suggested by everyday people interviewed by Florian on the streets and cafes of New York.
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Language: English / Some German w/ English subtitles
Duration: 94 minutes
Director: Florian Habicht
Starring: Florian Habicht, Masha Yakovenko, Frank Habicht, the People of New York City
Australian release: December 6, 2012
VIC: Cinema Nova
NSW: Dendy Newtown, Hoyts Cinema Paris, Cinemax Kingscliff, Narooma Theatre
ACT: Dendy Canberra
SA: Palace Nova Eastend
WA: Luna Paradiso, Northbridge
TAS: MONA – Museum of Old & New Art
The world is falling in love with this film!
‘Marvellously original’ ‘Utterly enchanting’
‘Uproariously funny’ ‘The line between reality and fiction has rarely been so delightfully blurred’
‘Habicht emerges as the funniest and most lovable Kiwi to hit New York since Flight of the Conchords’ – Variety
FIVE STARS ‘Instant classic’ – Peter Calder, New Zealand Herald
‘The sweetest romance since Before Sunrise’ – Lauren Wissot, Filmmaker Magazine
‘It’s hard not to fall in love with the energy and humour on display.’ – Twitch
‘an absurdist rom-com, a flawless comic subversion; I’m not sure what Love Story is. Possibly genius.’ – Critic’
‘So effectively has Habicht mashed fact with fiction, reality with fantasy, that he has virtually erased the lines of traditional cinema.’ – Lumiere Reader
‘Even Woody Allen couldn’t have done it better in his best times’ – Kino-Zeit.de
‘The Punk version of Amélie’ – RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival
New Zealand director Florian Habicht’s romantic comedy about the construction of a fictional love story merges snippets of narrative with actual interviews with everyday New Yorkers to create an original film in which the boundaries of art and life overlap.
Shot on the streets of New York, Love Story begins when Habicht finds a subject for his filmic experiment: the beautiful Masha, spotted at a subway station, carrying a slice of cake. Seeking advice from New Yorkers – strangers – on how to create his on-screen love story with Masha, he takes the notion of interactive storytelling to its logical end, crowdsourcing his plot on the streets. Romance blossoms artificially, and organically, between the director, actor, New York and New Yorkers.
An opening night film at the New Zealand Film Festival, Love Story will surprise and delight in its idiosyncratic style. - Melbourne International Film Festival 2012
NSW: Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, Dendy Opera Quays, Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, Chauvel Cinema, Dendy Newtown, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, Event Cinemas Castle Hill, Belgrave Cinemas Armidale, Dendy Byron Bay, Greater Union Newcastle, Cinemax Kingscliff, Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, Narooma Theatre, Arcadia Twin Ulladulla, Forum Cinemas Tamworth, Forum Cinemas Wagga Wagga, Odeon Cinemas Orange
Directed by Gilles Legrand, You Will Be My Son stars Niels Arestrup as Paul de Marseul, a prestigious wine-maker and owner of a renowned chateau and vineyard in Saint-Émilion, whom is disheartened by the notion of his son Martin (Lorànt Deutsch) taking over the family business. Martin does not seem to have inherited the qualities that Paul esteems in a wine-maker: persistence, creative insight and technical prowess matched with passion for the job and the product, and Paul frequently reminds him of this, whether explicitly or in subtle gestures. When Philippe (Nicolas Bridet) appears at the vineyard, Paul leaps at the chance to name him as his successor, neglecting the wishes of his own son. The tension in this familial triangle comes to a head when an unexpected event changes everything.
Like a fine wine, this drama is full-bodied and complex and provides a fascinating look at the matter of the transmission of knowledge, heritage and tradition in the world of wine.
Country of Origin: France
Language: French w/ English subtitles
Duration: 102 minutes
Director: Gilles Legrand
Starring: Niels Arestrup, Patrick Chenais, Lorànt Deutsch, Nicolas Bridet
Australian release: November 1, 2012
Nicolas Bridet was nominated for Most Promising Actor at César Awards 2012
‘Fermenting daddy issues prove a headier concoction than any vintage produced at a French chateau in this classy, full-bodied family drama’ – Variety
‘Classically structured and played’ – Variety
‘One of the finest films of French cinema’ – Pariscope (France)
‘ a deeply moving drama set in the ruthless world of wine, orchestrated around a father-son confrontation’ – Le Figaro (France)
‘a great vintage’ 3 out of 4 stars – Le Figaro (France)
‘A very good year!’ – Execessif (France)
‘ Gilles Legrand beautifully portrays the scenic beauty and light of Bordeaux. ‘ – La Croix (France)
PARIS – Awards season officially kicked off in France on Friday when Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre won the 69th annual Louis Delluc Prize at a ceremony in Paris.
The whimsical modern day fairytale about a town coming together to reunite an immigrant child with his mother premiered at May’s Festival de Cannes in Competition. Le Havre is also Finland’s official entry for an Oscar this year.
The title was shot in French and stars Andre Wilms, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Kati Outinen. Le Havre was produced by Kaurismaki’s Sputnik Oy with France’s Pyramide Productions and Germany’s Pandora Films. The Match Factory is handling international sales for the critic and crowd-pleasing film that has been a favorite on the festival circuit, taking prizes at the Chicago Film Festival, the Munich Film Festival and scoring a nomination at the European Film Awards.
Le Havre swam to victory in a pool of high-profile contenders this year including Golden Globes sweetheart The Artist, Festival de Cannes favorites Alain Cavalier’s Pater and Bertrand Bonello’s House of Tolerance and Bruno Dumont’s Hors Satan, France’s bid for an Oscar Valerie Donzelli’s Declaration of War, Robert Guediguian’s The Snows of Kilimandjaro, Celine Sciamma’s Tomboy and Pierre Schoeller’s politically-charged The Minister.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
This is Not a Film is a day-in-the-life documentary of Jafar Panahi’s experience of being under house arrest, filmed almost entirely inside his apartment in Tehran, as he creatively expresses his frustration of not being allowed to do what comes so naturally to this passionate writer and filmmaker: make films.
Jafar Panahi, the Iranian writer/director of internationally acclaimed films such as The White Balloon, The Circle and Offside, is under house arrest and a 20 year ban on making films, leaving Iran and talking to the media. This is Not a Film is a courageous effort by Panahi and his co-director Motjaba Mirtahmasb to fight against censorship and for the human rights of, not only his colleagues in the Iranian film industry, but filmmakers everywhere.
This is Not a Film was smuggled from Iran to France on a USB drive inside a cake, and supported by the international film community including filmmakers of the highest profile, Panahi and Mirtahmasb’s film will be shown to audiences around the world despite efforts in the filmmakers’ homeland to censor their voices.
Country of Origin: Iran
Language: Farsi w/ English subtitles
Duration: 75 minutes
Starring: Jafar Panahi, Motjaba Mirtahmasb
Australian release: 10 November 2011
WINNER: Carrosse d’Or, Festival de Cannes 2011
4 STARS – David Stratton, At the Movies
‘A refreshing and intrinsically beautiful film’ – David Stratton, At the Movies
4 STARS – Margaret Pomeranz, At the Movies
‘Highly recommended’ – Julie Rigg, Movietime, ABC Radio National
4 ½ STARS – Jake Wilson, The Saturday Age
‘An inspiring demonstration of what is meant by grace under pressure’ – Jake Wilson, The Saturday Age
4 ½ STARS– Craig Mathieson, SBS Film
‘A transcendent experience’– Craig Mathieson, SBS Film
‘It’s hard to think of a more powerfully uplifting and resonant finale in a film released this year.’ – Craig Mathieson, SBS Film
‘A heartfelt act of defiance’– Craig Mathieson, SBS Film
4 STARS– David Stratton, The Weekend Australian
‘Mandatory viewing for any number of reasons, not least because it’s the latest, and seemingly the last for a time, work of a major director, but also because it’s a reminder that some artists risk everything to get their message out to a wider world’ – David Stratton, The Weekend Australian
4 STARS – Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald
‘A brave and eloquent call for help’ – Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald
4 STARS– Tom Ryan, The Sunday Age
‘A masterpiece of allusion’ – Tom Ryan, The Sunday Age
‘Brave’ – Tom Ryan, The Sunday Age
4 STARS– Nick Dent, Sunday Telegraph
‘Moving and poetic’ – Nick Dent, Sunday Telegraph
4 STARS– Rose Capp, The Vine.com.au
[This is Not a Film] shows just why Panahi is regarded as one of the most influential directors working today’ – Rose Capp, The Vine.com.au
4 STARS– Sarah Ward, ArtsHub
‘Complex, compelling, haunting and honest…an engaging, insightful and intellectual viewing experience’ – Sarah Ward, ArtsHub
4 STARS– Thomas Caldwell, The Big Issue
‘A wicked act of defiance…an intricately crafted work about the art of filmmaking’ – Thomas Caldwell, The Big Issue
‘Breathtakingly cinematic, a cannily crafted verite crackling with immediacy. As much as it’s a political statement, an act of defiance, a master class in one auteur’s body of work and process, and a document of a life unseen, it’s also, maybe most miraculously, a never-a-dull-moment entertainment.’ – LA WEEKLY
‘Cannes review: Jafar Panahi Turns Censorship Into Art with Stunning This is Not a Film; criticWIRE grade: A’ – IndieWire
‘The film of the [Cannes Film] festival of 2011…[Panahi and Mirtahmasb], using the barest means but inspired by their art, their passion, and their existence in the world, have crafted one of cinema’s rare masterpieces of truth.’- MUBI
‘Panahi’s day of filming falls on Fireworks Wednesday, which marks the Persian New Year — a holiday that makes innocuous law-breakers of many, at least according to a news report Panahi watches, in which the president decrees fireworks illegal. Standing at his balcony, filming the revelry with his iPhone, he seems to be saying that directing is more defiant an act than lighting a firecracker or two. Truth be told, Panahi’s poignant “Film” is infinitely more explosive.’ - Variety
‘By far the most powerful and moving film screened at Cannes.’ - Daily Beast
‘This is Not a Film is built from nothing, and yet every moment has a powerful urgency to it.’ – BFI/Sight & Sound
‘This Is Not a Film is an unusual documentary that gives viewers a clear feeling for the director’s life trapped inside the gilded cage of his luxurious Teheran apartment, his frustration at not being able to express himself artistically, and the courage and humour with which he faces an uncertain future.’ - The Hollywood Reporter
‘…the amazing closing shot brings the volatility of post-Green Revolution Iran home with unforgettable force.’ – AV Club
September 07 2011
Iran bans Jafar Panahi collaborator, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, from travelling
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, the co-director with Jafar Panahi of THIS IS NOT A FILM, had his passport forfeited at Tehran airport on September 5, 2011, just as he planned to fly to Paris with his wife and son.
Mirtahmasb is now banned from travelling outside Iran and all of his belongings, including his laptop and notebooks, were confiscated. Only his wife and son are permitted to travel.
Jafar Panahi (director of films critical of Iran’s government such as The Circle) is currently under house arrest, after a sentence was passed in December 2010 when the Iranian government accused him of opposing the Iranian regime. Panahi has denied the charges and is awaiting an appeal on the sentence of a six-year prison term, plus a 20-year ban on filmmaking, talking to the press and travelling abroad.
This is Not a Film will be released in Australia on 10 November 2011 by Sharmill Films.
Wide Management and Sharmill Films are very concerned about the situation of the two directors.
Jafar Panahi’s latest effort This is Not a Film was courageously smuggled from Iran to France on a USB thumb drive inside a cake to make it to the Cannes Film Festival in May where he was awarded the Carrosse d’Or in his absence.
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb was allowed to attend the world premiere at Cannes of this film which was shot almost entirely in Panahi’s apartment on digital video and an iPhone, and chronicles a ‘day in the life’ of Panahi under his house arrest.
The purpose of Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s trip to France this week was to promote the theatrical release of This is Not a Film there at the end of Septemebr, before going to Toronto where the film will be shown in the Masters section and travel to international film festivals such as New York and London.
For more information please contact Kate McCurdy, Marketing Manager
03 9826 9077
‘When a filmmaker does not make films it is if he is jailed.
Even when he is freed from the small jail, he finds himself wandering in a larger jail.’
– Jafar Panahi (The Guardian, UK, September 2010)
Sharmill Films is very proud to announce their new acquisition, THIS IS NOT A FILM, a courageous and provocative new documentary film by the internationally renowned Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi. The film was launched at the recent Cannes Film Festival, and will have a limited release from 10 November 2011.
Jafar Panahi, although unable to attend the Cannes Film Festival, was awarded the Carrosse d’Or for this film which was, in an extraordinary act of courage, smuggled from Iran to France on a USB stick inside a cake.
An outspoken supporter of Iran’s opposition green movement, Jafar Panahi (The Circle, Offside, The White Balloon), defiantly made this film while awaiting the verdict of his appeal against a six-year prison term, and 20-year-ban on film-making, talking to the press and travelling abroad.
The sentence was passed in December 2010, after the Iranian government accused him of ‘colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic’. Panahi denies the charges and is still awaiting the appeal verdict. (The Guardian, UK, May 2011)
Panahi, 50, was arrested in July 2009 after joining in mourning for protesters killed after the disputed presidential election. He was soon released but denied permission to leave the country. In February 2010, he was arrested with his family and colleagues and taken to Tehran’s Evin prison. Leading Hollywood figures including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Juliette Binoche condemned his arrest. Binoche held Panahi’s name in protest at Cannes in 2010. (The Guardian, UK, May 2011)
‘This is Not a Film is built from nothing, and yet every moment has a powerful urgency to it.’ -Sight & Sound
‘By far the most powerful and moving film screened at Cannes (2011)’ – Daily Beast
‘This is Not a Film is an unusual documentary that gives viewers a clear feeling for the director’s life trapped inside the gilded cage of his luxurious Teheran apartment, his frustration at not being able to express himself artistically, and the courage and humour with which he faces an uncertain future.’ (Hollywood Reporter)
‘Panahi’s day of filming falls on Fireworks Wednesday, which marks the Persion New Year –a holiday that makes innocuous law-breakers of many, at least according to a news report Panahi watches, in which the president decrees fireworks illegal. Standing on his balcony, filming the revelry…he seems to be saying that directing is more defiant an act than lighting a firecracker or two. Truth be told, Panahi’s poignant “Film” is infinitely more explosive.’ – Variety
‘The film of the [Cannes] festival of 2011… [Panahi and Mirtahmasb], using the barest means but inspired by their art, their passion, and their existence in the world, have crafted one of cinema’s rare masterpieces of truth.’ – MUBI
For more information please contact Kate McCurdy, Marketing Manager
03 9826 9077