2021- Media Releases (10th IFFA)

1st Media Release


2019- Media Releases

2nd Media Release


From gripping psychological dramas to intimate tales of young female friendship, the Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA) returns this month to showcase the best of Iranian cinema in 2019, presenting restored classics by world-renowned Iranian auteurs alongside a special focus on debut talents and the inaugural Golden Pomegranate Award for Best First Director. With a dynamic program comprising 12 superb features, the Festival tours nationally from 24 October to 20 November.

The 2019 Festival opens with the Australian premiere of Reza Mirkarimi’s astonishing Castle of Dreams (Winner, Best Feature Film, 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival), a devastating drama about family, separation and keeping one’s promises that gloriously exemplifies the poetic and
emotional power for which Iranian cinema is so beloved worldwide.

Further IFFA 2019 highlights include Tehran: City of Love, which arrives direct from the BFI London Film Festival to make its Australian premiere. The latest provocation from on-the-rise director Ali Jaberansari (Falling Leaves, 2013) follows an ex-bodybuilding champ who develops feelings for the young man he’s training; a shy office clerk who invents a new persona for herself; and a singer who turns to weddings in the hope of finding love. Tehran: City of Love is a delicate examination of disenfranchisement, desperation and sexuality.

Direct from dazzling crowds at the Moscow and Shanghai International Film Festivals, My Second Year in College makes its Australian Premiere at IFFA 2019. The latest feature from Rasoul Sadremeli (2002 Locarno Special Jury Prize Winner I’m Taraneh, 15) is an intimate observation of two young women navigating their own way through Iranian society. The two university students and best friends come from different walks of life; when one falls into a coma, her friend must grapple with the fallout, with poignant, amusing and dramatic results.

As part of IFFA’s newly created Golden Pomegranate Award for Best First Feature, the Festival is proud to spotlight scintillating debut features from the thrilling next generation of Iranian directors. The five films in competition include three International Premieres – Hosein Doumari and Pedram Pouramiri’s Alive, Ali Hashemi’s Zaferanieh, July 5, and Reza Gouran’s Repression (starring IFFA Special Guest Sar Bahrami) – alongside two Australian premieres, Amir Hossein Torabi’s Labyrinth and Reza Jamali’s Old Men Never Die.

In 2019, the Festival is delighted to welcome Special Guest Sara Bahrami, a thrilling new star in Iranian cinema. Bahrami has garnered attention for her winning turns in numerous TV series and films such as I am Diego Maradona (2015 – Presented at IFFA 2015), A House on 41st Street (2016) and Italy Italy (2017), before her Best Actress win for Axing (2018) at last year Iran’s prestigious Fajr Film Festival and IFFA 2018 cemented her as an irrepressible talent to watch. Bahrami will attend the Festival, presenting the International Premiere of Reza Gouran’s controversial debut feature Repression and participating in post-screening audience Q&As

Iranian Film Festival Australia Director Armin Miladi said, “A general concern in the past few years among Iranian film industry professionals was the fact that there seemed to be a lack of new female stars who are not only relying on their appearance to cast in a film but also not to be afraid of taking a risk of portraying difficult characters. Sara by acting as an addict in Axing prove that she has got what it takes to be a bright star not only in Iran but also internationally. In Repression she demonstrate a completely different range of performance. She won Best Actress for the same role last year at IFFA 2018 gave us an extra reason for us to invite her to Australia this year.”

As well as looking to the future, the Festival honours the past, presenting a new restoration of Nasser Taghavi’s 1986 classic Captain Khorshid. Taking out the Bronze Lion at the Locarno International Film Festival, Nasser Taghavi’s reimagining of Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not in a port town of the Persian Gulf is widely considered one of Iran’s greatest films.

Further titles include the International Premiere of Ebrahim Ebrahimian’s Zero Floor and International premiere of Symphony No. 9 by Mohammadreza Honarmand who is returning on the big screen after 17 years after having a couple of dacades rest from making Box Office hit comedies such as Honey! I am not tuned & The Wrong Man, and the Australian premiere of Mohsen Tanabandeh’s The Oath right after it’s international premiere at Tokyo Film Festival. The full program can be found at iffa.net.au

In its ninth edition, IFFA continues to grow, touring to all major capital cities across October and November. New venues for 2019 include Cinema Nova in Melbourne, Palace Nova East End in Adelaide, and Event Cinema Manuka in Canberra. The Festival is delighted to return to Luna Cinema, Leederville in Perth, Elizabeth Picture Theatre in Brisbane and Event Cinemas, Top Ryde in Sydney.

Media release

1st Media Release


The Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA) is thrilled to announce Reza Mirkarimi’s acclaimed, multi award winning film, Castle of Dreams as the opening night film of this year’s Festival, which takes place from 24 October – 20 November. In its ninth iteration IFFA 2019 will showcase the best of Iranian cinema, presenting a mix of films by world-renowned Iranian auteurs alongside thrilling new talents in a dynamic program that tours across the country.

After winning the Best Screenplay and Music awards at Iran’s National Academy Awards, Castle of Dreams  went on to scoop the Golden Goblet prize for Best Film, the Best Director prize for Reza Mirkarimi and a shared Best Actor Award for Hamed Behdad at the prestigious Shanghai Film Festival earlier this year.

A drama about family, separation and keeping one’s promises by one of Iran’s finest filmmakers, Castle of Dreams is described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a subtly written and sensitively directed psychological drama that nimbly teases out the meaning of fatherhood and the responsibility it entails.”

Iranian Film Festival Australia Director Armin Miladi said, “The Iranian Film industry continues to shine on the international stage despite all political and economic challenges the country has been facing due to sanctions. For the 9th edition of the festival as per previous years, we have selected the best of 2019 film productions, bringing one of our best selections yet of contemporary Iranian cinema to a wide audience. Iranian cinema is recognised internationally for its minimalism and emotional directness, you can see this at it’s best at Reza Mirkarimi’s master piece, Castle of Dreams, that we have chosen to open the festival with.“

IFFA 2019 will tour to all major capital cities presenting more than 10 recent films. New venues for 2019 include Cinema Nova in Melbourne, Palace Nova East End in Adelaide, Event Cinema Manuka in Canberra and the Festival is delighted to return to Luna Cinema, Leederville in Perth, Elizabeth Picture Theatre in Brisbane and Event Cinemas, Top Ryde in Sydney.


Brisbane · 24-30 Oct· Elizabeth Picture Theatre

Sydney · 31 Oct – 6 Nov · Event Cinemas Top Ryde

Canberra 1-3 Nov · Event Cinemas Manuka

Melbourne · 7-13 Nov · Cinema Nova

Adelaide · 14-20 Nov · Palace Nova East End

Perth · 14-20 Nov · Luna Cinemas Leederville