Edinburgh Iranian Festival


The sights, sounds and tastes of Iran are coming to town in February, when the fourth season of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival kicks off. In a diverse and interactive line-up, festival-goers will be able to take tea in a Persian teahouse, sample renowned Iranian cinema, and even learn traditional music and calligraphy.

The Edinburgh Iranian Festival, which will run from February 6-16, 2015, aims to span both Iran’s rich traditions and its contemporary cultural life. The festival’s organisers hope to address misconceptions by introducing Scotland to the heart and soul of Iran – from its art and music, through to its history, food and – for the first time in the festival’s history – its fashion.    

Festival founder Sara Kheradmand said: “I am privileged to have seen this festival grow over the past 5 years from a modest, student-run project to the wide-ranging and hugely exciting program we have on offer today. It is thanks to the open-mindedness and curiosity of the Scottish public that we continue to grow and diversify.

“With over 5,000 Iranians currently living in Scotland, and given the celebrated tradition for cultural events in the capital, Edinburgh really is a natural home for this festival.”

The 2015 festival season is partnered with British Council Iran as part of their UK-Iran Season of Culture.

Rosewater on
DVD and Blu-ray


Rosewater, a political thriller, is coming to DVD and Blu-ray on February 10, 2015, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on the thrilling true-life story of Maziar Bahari, the film features first-rate performances from an international cast, as well as an impassioned script that infuses wit and humor into a terrifying and all-too-real situation.

Rosewater marks the feature-film writing and directing debut of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart. Gael García Bernal (Cesar Chavez, The Loneliest Planet) gives an “exceptional” performance as Maziar, along with Oscar®nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo (On the Inside, The Odd Life of Timothy Green). Rosewater earned the prestigious Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review, as well as widespread critical acclaim.

Based on Bahari’s best-selling memoir, Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity, and Survival, Rosewater recounts the harrowing true story of his coverage of Iran’s 2009 uprisings over the controversial re-election of incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—and Bahari’s subsequent arrest and incarceration at Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.

Solo Exhibition:
Parviz Tanavoli


The Davis Museum at Wellesley College presents Parviz Tanavoli, the first solo exhibition of the Iranian artist’s work by a U.S. museum.

Critically acclaimed and widely acknowledged as the “father of modern Iranian sculpture,” Tanavoli’s trajectory has spanned east and west as he has innovated ambitiously across media. Best known as a sculptor, his expansive oeuvre also includes painting, printmaking, ceramics, rugs, and jewelry. As well, he is a highly regarded collector, scholar, and poet.  This exhibition shares the breadth and richness of his work from the 1960s to the present.

Through June 7 with an opening celebration, featuring a 5pm talk with the artist, will be held on Tuesday, February 10 from 5-8pm.  

Film About Iranian Dancer Set for April


Indian-origin Hollywood actress Freida Pinto practices choreographed dance moves in suppressed society in the movie Desert Dancer.

The movie centers on a real-life dancer Afshin Ghaffarian (played by Reece Ritchie). The video first shows him as a kid who gets punished at school for dancing in class. Afshin’s passion, however, does not die. He learns dancing from videos of Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev, and later creates his own dance company alongside some friends, including Pinto’s Elaheh.

Directed by Richard Raymond, the movie kicked off the opening night of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theatre.

Also starring Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Cullen and Marmama Corlett, the film will open in select theatres in the US on April 10 before going wide on April 17.