1) Documentary ‘Lady Touran’ Finishes Shooting, Celebrates the Life of Touran Mirhadi
Touran Mirhadi, devoted teacher and co-founder of the Children’s Book Council, will be celebrated in the documentary Lady Touran, now in post-production. “The council has played an important role in the creation of many institutions active in children’s literature, education, and rights in Iran.” The documentary was filmed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Mojtaba Mir-Tahmasb; Bani-Etemad is a critically acclaimed, beloved filmmaker and humanitarian, who has even auctioned off her film awards in the past to build women’s shelters for the homeless in Tehran.
2) Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Taste of Cherry’ Prominently Featured For…Indian Police Officers?
A police station in Kozhikode, India has a new, perhaps strange addition: a mini movie theater has been opened up on the compound, to feature motivating and socially aware films to the officers. The inaugural film? Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry. And what does Kiarostami’s award winning film have to do with the police? Circle Inspector K. Suhir describes the choice: “We decided to screen The Taste of Cherry as the opening movie, as it was found to be giving a message against suicide. Some recent suicides by policeman also prompted us to choose the movie for the maiden screening.”
3) Texas’ Sheed Persian Film Festival Names Award After Kiarostami
The Kiarostami appreciation continues in Dallas, TX, this time in advance of this year’s Sheed Festival, a Persian film fest scheduled for November 10th to the 12th (more info here). “The Golden Closeup award will be presented to the best movie, best director, best actor, and best actress. This award, which is taken from the name of one of Abbas Kiarostami’s movies, is being presented for the first time after this great Iranian director’s untimely passing in 2016.”
4) Ana Lily Amirpour’s ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ Featured on NBC’s Asian Horror Roundup
The director’s Persian-language debut film, identified by NBC as “cinema’s first Iranian feminist vampire Western romance,” made the list of “7 Asian Horror Films For Your Halloween Movie Night.” Amirpour’s experimental horror movie, although mostly shot in the industrial regions of the sparsely populated city of Taft, CA, boasts a script entirely in Farsi. The director chose English for her newest film, The Bad Batch, which is available for streaming on Netflix.
5) Yaser Talebi’s Debut ‘The Descendants’ Takes Home Best Foreign Film Award In Michigan
No, not the 2011 George Clooney film co-written by the dean on NBC’s Community. New Iranian filmmaker Yaser Talebi’s 2015 debut Farzandan (“The Descendants”) was awarded Best Foreign Film Award at the Royal Star Film Festival in Detroit. The Tehran Times describes it as “An Iranian Jewish man who leaves Iran for Sweden to find his son, Farrokh, who was in the country to continue his studies but has not been in touch with his family for a long time.” The filmfest has been active since 2016, and accepts a variety of entries, in addition to a special category for by high school students.
And our biggest news of the week, which shouldn’t be big news, and yet somehow is:
Rajkummar Rao Reports That He Totally Wasn’t Affected By ‘Newton’ Controversy, Really…
The lead in India’s official entry to the 2018 Oscars, Newton, was recently quoted in Hindustan Times as being totally unbothered by the controversy stirred up by unofficial allegations that the movie plagiarized Babak Payami’s film Secret Ballot. Like, completely unbothered. Rajkummar Rao must be unbothered, because he made a point to say so to a public outlet. To explain and underline how unbothered he was, and to reiterate that everyone got an answer about the controversy, already.
Rao remains unbothered, un-flapped, and unencumbered with doubt, as Newton vies for the Foreign Language Oscar (rumored to soon be renamed The Asghar Farhadi Award, pending further research).
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