'Shayda' (2023). Credit: ÍRÁN:CI

IRÁN:CI 2024 Festival At Kino Art Presents The Best Cinema From Iran and Its Neighbours

From 23-25 January, Brno’s Kino Art will play host to the 11th ÍRÁN:CI film festival, which showcases the best in contemporary cinema from Iran. For the first time this year, the program will also include a selection of internationally recognized works from other countries in the region, including a semi-autobiographical film by the iconic Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, and the first ever Armenian film directed by a woman, ‘The Lighthouse’.

The Brno program features five feature films and a block of short films, which draw attention to the fragile destinies that plague those living in political and social injustice, each of whom fights for the right to life in their own way and becomes the embodiment of civil resistance.

‘Cause of Death Unknown’ is the feature debut from versatile Iranian artist Ali Zarnegár. Seven passengers are driving through a long stretch of desert together. When one of them dies, it threatens the fate of the others, who begin to suspect each other and decide to ask the police for help. However, a shocking discovery about the deceased presents all of the survivors with a severe moral test.

‘Endless Borders’ by director Abbas Aminí, winner of the Big Screen competition at the Rotterdam IFF, is one of the most critically acclaimed Iranian films of recent years. It deals with convoluted Iranian politics, family dynamics, ethnic tensions, and a repressive regime that places the lives of ordinary people under extraordinary pressure. The film tells the story of Ahmad, who survives in exile from his troubled political past in an impoverished area near the Afghan border. As he tries to come to terms with his fate, his new life encounters difficulties, as he tries to protect a girl trapped in an arranged marriage and becomes embroiled in the social politics of his hosts.

‘The Lighthouse’ is the first ever Armenia feature film directed by a woman. Marija Sahakyan’s warm, moving and mysterious masterpiece delves deep into the history of a region torn by decades of war. The main character is a young woman returning to her native North Armenian village to save her grandparents from the war, where she rediscovers the magical life of her village in all its beauty and sadness.

‘Shayda’, the debut from Iranian-born Australian director Núra Nijsárí, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won awards at festivals around the world. The film was co-produced by Cate Blanchett and is Australia’s official Oscar nominee. The sensitively filmed story of an immigrant woman who seeks refuge in a women’s home in Melbourne during a custody battle for her daughter features a stellar performance from the talented Iranian actress Zar Amír Ebráhimí.

‘The Time That Remains’ is a semi-autobiographical film by the Palestinian director Elia Suleiman. It begins with the creation of the State of Israel, spanning four historical episodes from 1948 to the present, and traces the journey of one family through the most complex period of Palestinian history. Delivered with Suleiman’s typical humour, the film is based on the diaries of Suleiman’s father as a resistance fighter and his mother’s letters to family members in exile who were forced to leave the country in 1948.

The evening of 23 January will see a block of seven short films from Iranian directors. For more information about the festival and program, see the festival website.

Brno Daily Subscribe
Sign up for morning news in your mail