Oct 24: Lecture: Women Directors in Iranian Cinema (Maryam Ghorbankarimi)

Iranian cinema, both before and after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, has been closely monitored by the ruling power, and has been utilized to relay messages and information that comply with the ruling ideology. However, it was only after the Revolution and the subsequent legitimization of cinema by the Islamic rule that cinema became widely accessible to the general public. 

It was in the late 1980s that women took a prominent role both behind and in front of the camera for the first time, even though some aspects of women’s lives became stricter after the revolution. These shifts were due to several factors, including factionalism within the Islamic Republic, shifts in the Iranian film industry, and the emergence of a group of highly educated film production teams, in addition to the fuller integration of women into the film industry. This study explores the work of a number of female Iranian directors, with a focus on their cultural, social and cinematic contexts.

             Film: Nahid (Ida Panahandeh) 

 Ida Panahandeh was born in Tehran in 1979.  As a female filmmaker, she has always been interested in women's issues and has tried to do her best in improving the cultural view on women by making documentaries and also through her first feature film, NAHID, about a young divorcee who lives alone with her 10-year-old son in a Northern Iranian city on the Caspian Sea. According to the current rules, the custody of the child belongs to the father, but he has granted custody to his ex-wife on the condition that she doesn't remarry. The relationship between Nahid and another man, who loves her passionately and wants to marry her, will trouble her life as a woman and as a mother. NAHID was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where it won a Promising Future Prize.