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Top Movies to See at the Iranian Film Festival

Don't miss award-winning films at MFAH's annual celebration.

By Amber Tong January 20, 2017

The Houston Iranian Film Festival celebrates it 24th year of showcasing new and established filmmakers from Iran, as well as across the globe. This year’s lineup features six films about the culturally rich and often misunderstood Middle Eastern country and the diaspora of Iranians around the world. Screened at MFAH's Brown Auditorium Jan. 20–24, expect to be impressed with a diverse selection of films that range from women-centered narratives to a haunted cemetery in the middle of the desert. 

Wednesday, May 9

Friday, Jan 20 at 8:30 | MFAH

When a generous Tehran businessman, played by director Vahid Jalilvand, places an advertisement to give away a small fortune, interlocking stories of the women who respond to this opportunity unfold in Wednesday, May 9. The lauded film was shown at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, where it received an award from the International Federation of Film Critics. (No small feat!)

Me (aka I)

Friday, Jan 20 at 7 | MFAH 

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Me (aka I) follows an ambitious female entrepreneur as she navigates Tehran’s sophisticated subculture while smuggling refugees and brokering million-dollar land sales, somehow keeping her nefarious activities from the local police. Renowned actress Leila Hatami stars in this debut feature of director Soheil Beiraghi.


Saturday, Jan 21 at 7 | MFAH

This bold social drama explores themes of human rights and criminal justice through the perspective of a social activist that, as Variety reports, "Marks another ambitious examination of the churning frustrations of Iran’s disenfranchised younger generation from multihyphenate [director] Reza Dormishian." 

A Dragon Arrives!

Saturday, Jan 21 at 9:15 | MFAH


A Dragon Arrives! is a gripping tale based on the experiences of filmmaker Mani Haghighi’s grandfather, who was a movie sound engineer who disappeared mysteriously in the '60s. The film, which travels back and forth through time, follows three men who encounter an abandoned ship in the middle of a desert, adjacent to a possibly haunted cemetery. 

Radio Dreams

Sunday, Jan 22 at 5 | MFAH

A rhythmic modern story by director Babak Jalali, Radio Dreams narrates an eccentric Iranian writer’s ambitious goal to bring together an Iranian heavy metal band and Afghanistan’s first rock band to a satellite radio station in San Francisco.

The Salesman

Tuesday, Jan 24 at 7 

The latest film by acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi, The Salesman follows two married actors who experience a sudden, traumatic incident while performing Arthur Miller’s famous play. The film was awarded Best Screenplay at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and made the shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination.

Houston Iranian Film Festival

$10 for each screening. Brown Auditorium Theater at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7531.

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