Iranian Film Fest New York 2019:

The First annual Iranian Film Festival New York (IrFFNY) which ran January 10-15, ended Tuesday night after a six-day run at the IFC Center, with 13 sold out shows. The festival, co-founded and co-programmed by Iranian film distributor & Festival Director Armin Miladi, highlighted both classic art-house Iranian cinema and cutting-edge films by young Iranian filmmakers.
IFC Center’s Senior Vice President & General Manager, John Vanco introduced the festival jury which included David Schwartz (former Chief Curator of the Museum of the Moving Image), film programmer Marian Masone (film curator at Art Basel) and filmmaker Ramin Serry (professor).
The BEST FILM award winner was given to the festival’s Closing Night film, SHEEPLE directed by Hooman Seyedi
A violent action film about criminal gangs that has been compared to Brazil’s City Of God as well as the films of Tarantino, SHEEPLE also won the Audience Award this year at Iran’s Fajr Film Festival. The film stars Navid Mohammadzadeh (Best Actor winner, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival) who is considered one the best new actors of Iranian Cinema.
The SPECIAL JURY award was given to HENDI & HORMOZ by Abbas Amini
A tale of imperiled young love in coastal Iran that premiered at last year’s Berlinale and recently won Best Film & Best Director prizes at Toronto’s CineIran Film Festival, HENDI & HORMOZ has moved audiences and critics alike.
BEST ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT award was given to Asghar Yousefinejad’s THE HOME 
A Best Picture prize-winner in Iran that examines the tensions and deceptions in a family as they prepare to bury their just-deceased patriarch, THE HOME has been called a “raw emotional film” and “shot in a simple, unassuming style at times reminiscent of John Cassavetes”
 
The AUDIENCE AWARD winner was given to the controversial comedy-drama I WANT TO DANCE by veteran Iranian filmmaker & the festival’s Guest of Honor, Bahman Farmanara
Recently released from a four-year ban in Iran, I WANT TO DANCE follows Bahram Farzaneh (played by Reza Kianian), a lonely writer with severe writer’s block who begins to hear rhythmic Persian dance music in his head after an accident, which leads him to be consumed by the irrepressible desire to dance. People think he has gone crazy and this bizarre new behavior creates many problems for him – both with the authorities and his family.
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