The 19th Annual Iranian Film Festival


Playing at the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, the 19th Annual Iranian Film Festival is cosponsored by the ILEX Foundation and curated by Tom Vick, Freer|Sackler; Carter Long, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Marian Luntz, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. All films are in Persian with English subtitles unless otherwise indicated.

Manuscripts Don’t Burn will be playing Friday, January 9, 7pm
And Sunday, January 11, 2pm. Made in defiance of a 20-year ban on filmmaking, this incendiary thriller was inspired by the Iranian government’s 1995 attempt to murder several prominent writers and intellectuals.
Dir.: Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran, 2013, 125 min., DCP, Persian with English subtitles)

Fish & Cat playing Friday, January 16, 7pm and Sunday, January 18, 2pm with director Shahram Mokri, in person (Friday only).
Based on a true story about a rural Iranian restaurant that served human flesh, this highly original film was shot in one continuous take.
(Dir.: Shahram Mokri, Iran, 2013, 134 min., DCP, Persian with English subtitles)

The Freer Gallery is located at 1050 Independence Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-1000

Orthodox Christians and Armenians Celebrate Christmas


January 6 marked the day that Orthodox Christian communities around the world began their Christmas celebrations, marking the start of Christmas Eve for much of the Eastern Christian world. Different sects of Orthodox Christianity have maintained the traditional Christmas date from the old Julian Calendar, resulting in the difference in Christmas dates between Eastern and Western Christian traditions.

Many of Iran’s Christians celebrate Christmas on Janurary 6, and according to the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI), over 117,000 Christians reside in Iran, most of whom are Armenians who are followers of the Oriental Orthodox branch of Christianity. More than 46,000 members of this minority group live in Tehran. Assyrians, Catholics, Protestants and Evangelical Christians make up the remainder of Iran’s Christian population.

In Lebanon on Tuesday shops were to be closed across the country, but in Burj Hammoud most establishments – 90 percent according to the local mukhtar – will stay closed Wednesday as well, as Armenian Orthodox and Protestants partake in a two-day celebration.

Tuesday night, President Serzh Sargsyan attended the Christmas candle lighting liturgy at the Saint Sargis Church in Yerevan, President’s Press Office reported.

Middle Eastern Artist in Women Artists Exhibit


“Reductive Minimalism: Women Artist’s in Dialogue 1960-2014” is an exhibit at UMMA, running through Jan. 25. The concept behind the exhibit, curated by University alum Erica Barrish, was to pair minimalist paintings from the movements’ origins in the 1960s, with works from its contemporary resurgence. The exhibit contains nine pairs of paintings, each focusing on a specific element that both old and new artists explores. The pairings draw attention to the common ground these women artists share despite generational and cultural differences.

Artist Shirazeh Houshiary, an Iranian artist, is the only Middle Eastern artist in the show, and her work is juxtaposed with Sally Hazelet Drummond, an American artist who rose to prominence in the 1950s.

Shirazeh Houshiary was born Shiraz 15 January 1955 and is an Iranian installation artist and sculptor. She is a former Turner Prize nominee, and lives and works in London.

See Houshiary’s work in “Reductive Minimalism: Women Artist’s in Dialogue 1960-2014” until January 25, 2015 at The University of Michigan Museum of Art
. 525 South State Street
. Ann Arbor 48109-1354
. telephone: 734.764.0395

Shirin Neshat :


The first solo exhibition in the region of the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat. The exhibition introduces a group of new and existing works along with interventions including the photographic series, The Book of Kings (2011), Our House is on Fire (2013) as well as the video installation, Turbulent (1998) that build relationships between ancient mythologies and contemporary events that are challenging our lives.
The work of Shirin Neshat explores the relationship between ancient history and the politics of the present narrated through a strong visual language referencing the primal concepts of violence, passion and love in universal history. The artist proposes a different perspective on this collective history, using images that reflect the paradox of beauty and violence.
Until February 15, 2015