Docunight #50 [Penn State]: Poets of Life

Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Location: W315 Pattee Library, State College, Pennsylvania 16802

Artistic Consultant: Rakhshan Banietemad
Producer: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
Director: Shirin Barghnavard
Artistic Consultant: Rakhshan Banietemad
Producer: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
2017 / 73 mins
Persian with English Subtitles
ADMISSION IS FREE

Shirin Parsi is a rice farmer, but not an ordinary one. After receiving a BA in French literature from the University of Paris, she returned to Iran and decided not to live in the megapolis capital, Tehran. Her husband had inherited land in Shanderman, a village near the Caspian Sea, so they moved there and took up rice farming. The Parsi family – including their two sons, who have stayed to farm with their parents – has instituted innovations in rice production. They promote sustainable farming and refrain from using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In a region where more and more farmers are selling their farms at very cheap prices to developers, the Parsis produce 100% organic rice. Shirin and her family have chosen an exemplary lifestyle which is rich in indigenous values. In addition to rice farming, she spends time as a social activist and volunteers with several local NGOs. She is especially active in women’s groups where she focuses on raising awareness. This film follows Shirin preparing the rice paddies until the rice harvest, as well as showing her social activities, as she attempts to bring about social and environmental change.

Karestan documentary films series are the story of Iranian entrepreneurs (men and women) who, both in big and small terms, take risks and change their lives and those of others by creating innovative ideas and values. Their impact, although confined to a small scale and within a limited and local geography, will bring about an inspiring atmosphere for change.

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Docunight #49 [Penn State]: Weavers of Imagination & The Season of Warm Breezes (double feature)

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

Weavers of Imagination
Directed by: Sadegh Jafari
2017 / 21 min
Persian with English Subtitles

Winner of Special Narrative Award, ARC festival in Germany, The Grand Prix at the 4th International Documentary Film Festival and Transmedia (RIOS) in Portugal, The Best Documentary film at the Lifft India Awards in India, and The Best Foreign Language Documentary Film Award in 2017 Cardiff International Film Festival in Wales.

‘Weavers of Imagination’ recounts the life of a number of visually-impaired people who weave rugs together and how the simple fact of working together fills them with a great sense of happiness.

The Season of Warm Breezes
Directed by: Hossein Rigi
2017 / 43 min
Persian with English Subtitles

Winner of The Jean-Loup Passek Award for best short or medium international film of the  Filmes do Homem – Melgaço International Documentary Film Festival in Portugal.

‘The Season of Warm Breezes’ follows a teacher in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province who tries to eradicate illiteracy among female residents. She, who had been unlettered till the age of 12, sticks to her roadmap to educate girls and women.

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