Edinburgh Iranian Festival highlights the importance of film
Cinema is the beating heart of this community festival
Despite common misconceptions, Iran's history and culture are rich with phenomenal music, art, film and food. The biannual Edinburgh Iranian Festival aims to foster a sense of understanding, introducing audiences to the country's diverse cultural highlights.
'Iran is more often in the headlines for its politics than for its heritage and creativity,' says festival organiser Sara Kheradmand. 'So our festival hopes to introduce Scotland to the heart and soul of Iran: its people and its culture.'
As well as talks, exhibitions and performances, the festival's film strand looks set to be a focal point, with a wide range of movies being showcased, including new releases and UK premieres. 'The film season this year is one of two halves,' explains Kheradmand. 'On the one hand, it pays tribute to one of the legends of Iranian cinema, Abbas Kiarostami, and on the other, it looks to the future of Iranian cinema by providing a platform for several young female directors.'
The festival will also focus on stories with young women at the centre, such as Sarah Saidan's animated short Beach Flags and Reza Mirkarimi's familial drama Daughter. Kheradmand is ultimately hopeful that the festival will meet its goals in terms of uniting communities. 'We hope people will recognise that we're all more alike than we are different.'
Various venues, Edinburgh, Thu 9–Sun 19 Feb.