Posts Tagged ‘Film’

Docunight #52 [Penn State]: Death and the Judge (reminder)

Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Location: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, State College, Pennsylvania 16802

Death and the Judge

Director: Hassan Khademi
2018 / 53 min
Persian with English Subtitles, Free Admission

With more than 4000 death sentences in 45 years, judge Azizmohammadi not only has a record in issuing death sentences in Iran, but also in the world. “Death and the Judge” is a powerful documentary about Iran’s most famed and feared criminal judge, and it offers an intimate yet chilling portrait into the professional and private lives of this criminal judge.

About Docunight

Short Films Screening

Date: Fri March 30th, Sat March 31st, Sun Apr 1st., 6:30-9:30 PM
Location: Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library

Dear friends,

The official screening of Hilaj Film & Theatre Festival by Shahrzad Dadgar and in association with Penn State University (The Center for Global Studies and Penn State Libraries).

Docunight #42 [Penn State]: Iran’s Arrow

Date: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Location: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, State College, Pennsylvania 16802

The Rise and Fall of Paykan

Directed by: Shahin Armin, Sohrab Daryabandari
2016 / 78 min
Persian with English subtitles

On the spring of 1967, when the first Paykan rolled off the assembly line on an outskirt of Tehran, no one thought this car would be produced for 38 years, or that it could have such an impact on a whole nation.

Iran’s Arrow features numerous talking heads who share a common interest for the country’s emblematic car, ranging from historical to sociological analyses, from technical to artistic expertise and from sheer passion to a complicated love-hate relationship. The film uses rare archival footage, as well as a large collection of vintage photos and imagery, to document the history of Paykan, the way it’s been perceived throughout the years, and its links with Iran’s major historical and sociological landmarks, such as the White Revolution (1963), the industrialization, the rise of the middle class, the Islamic Revolution (1979), the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), and social economic mutations of the post-war era.

Older Paykan owners – including official and unofficial taxi drivers- testify of the fundamental role it played and still plays in their everyday life, as a means of transport, a source of income, and sometimes an achievement in itself. A number of Paykan enthusiasts, most of them from the younger generation, are being interviewed about their very special relationship with the car they grew up with. The film also documents the decline of the Paykan, while showing how it is still very much alive in the culture and memory of the country. Interviews are also conducted with artists who use Paykan as a medium or the subject of their art.

Shahin Armin is an automotive design-engineer and a lifelong Paykan expert. Born in Tehran and a car enthusiast before he could even talk or walk, he moved to the US in his twenties and worked in the US car industry for 13 years (Chrysler, Michigan and Honda America, Ohio).
Although he worked on the design of modern and sophisticated cars, he could never get the Paykan out of his head. In 2009 he started blog, thus initiating an extensive research about Iran’s emblematic car. Upon returning to Tehran in 2012, he co-curated two Paykan themed art exhibitions exhibiting work from prominent Iranian artists.
Iran’s Arrow is a result of his many years of extensive research into the history of this car, his experiences interacting with his fellow Paykan enthusiasts, and his comprehensive understanding of the car’s impact on Iranian society.

Sohrab Daryabandari is a Tehran based professional photographer and filmmaker whose 25 year-long careers has been stretching between almost all areas of expertise in analog and digital photography. His work has ranged from journalistic, commercial, and artistic to architectural and industrial photography, which later lead him to edit as well as industrial, artistic and documentary filmmaking.
His photographic work, which was regularly exhibited and published in Iran and Europe, has later been influencing his filmmaking, notably in Dammam (Iran, 2003) and Sharveh (Iran, 2005), his two documentaries on ethnic Iranian music.
Iran’s Arrow owes him its remarkable photography, the minute treatment of archive material, and its overall filmmaking and editing quality, considering the conditions of production and the limited resources.

Docunight #38 [State College]: Plane Grove

Plane Grove
Directed by Hadi Afarideh
2014 / 67 min
Persian with English Subtitles

This is the story and history of the longest street in the Middle East that expands 17 km from the south to the northern parts of the city of Tehran.This is also the largest plane grove, found in these parts with the plane trees lining and adorning the street all along its corridor.
This street holds the collective memory of the Iranian people and has been witness to the country’s most important social and political upheaval taking place in and around it. The street has gone through many reformations in step with the changes in the society; mass increase in population, changes in the governmental systems and social changes, to name a few, have all left their marks along the side of Vali e Asr Street. The street itself has changed names in line with the times, from Pahlavi to Mossadegh to the current Vali e Asr.

This engaging film is not only nostalgic in many ways, but educational as it provides a glimpse into Iran’s past century.

Date: Wednesday, June 7 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Location: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, State College, Pennsylvania 16802

Docunight #37 [Penn State]: The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Party

Decadence and Downfall: The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Party
Directed by Hassan Amini
2016 / 75 min
English / Persian with English Subtitles


In 1971, the Shah of Iran, the self-proclaimed ‘king of kings’, celebrated 2,500 years of the Persian monarchy by throwing the greatest party in history. Money was no object – a lavish tent city, using 37km of silk, was erected in a specially created oasis. The world’s top restaurant at the time, Maxim’s, closed its doors for two weeks to cater the event, a five-course banquet served to over sixty of the world’s kings, queens and presidents, and washed down with some of the rarest wines known to man. Over a decadent five-day period, guests were treated to a pageant of thousands of soldiers dressed in ancient Persian costume, a ‘son et Lumiere’ at the foot of Darius the Great’s temple, and the opening of the Azadi Tower in Tehran, designed to honor the Shah himself. Every party leaves a few hangovers. This one left a country reeling, never to recover. It crystallized the opposition, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. More than any other event, this party marked the break between the king of kings and the people of Iran he reigned over.

Date: Wednesday, May 3 at 7 PM – 9 PM ET.
Address: Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, State College, PA 16801.

Docunight #36

Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
2015 / 91 min
Persian with English Subtitles

If the 18-year old Sonita had a say in things, Michael Jackson would be her father and Rihanna her mother!

She is a dreamer, always writing things about her big dream of becoming a famous rapper in her scrapbook. This, given the fact that women are not even allowed to sing in Iran! So for the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in the Tehran shelter; where as a refugee from Afghanistan, Sonita is getting help and counseling for the trauma she has suffered. As an added complication, her family has a very different future planned for her: As a bride in an arranged marriage, she is worth $9,000!

How can Sonita succeed in making her dreams come true?

Director Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami tries to answer this question. In the film, Sonita makes her case through her music video by arguing against forced marriage practices that take away women’s freedom.

Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami is a Sundance Award-winning documentary filmmaker who was born in Tehran. She has a BA in cinema and an MA in animation. She has made several short and feature-length documentaries, and has done researches on “animated documentary” and Cyanosis is her work for her MA degree. Her research has been published as a book in Iran.

Her other documentary, “Going Up the Stairs: Portrait of an Unlikely Iranian Artist” was shown at Docunight in 2015.

Date: Wednesday, April 5 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Address: 102 Chemistry Bldg, University Park, PA 16802-4615, United States