Annual Festival of Films from Iran

February 1-8, 2024


For our 35th Iranian spotlight, the Film Center proudly presents 11 films—including nine Chicago premieres—from directors working within and outside of Iran. The showcase begins with Ehsan Khoshbakht’s CELLULOID UNDERGROUND, a poetic and moving document of the creative, inspiring, and subversive power of cinema in Iran—a perfect way to kick off a week-long spotlight of some of the best and brightest voices from the region.

We also pay special tribute to the mastery of the Iranian auteur Dariush Mehrjui, one of the most important pioneers of the Iranian New Wave cinema, who was tragically murdered on October 14, 2023. His seminal and groundbreaking 1969 film THE COW will be followed by DARIUSH MEHRJUI: MAKING OF THE COW, with director Bahman Maghsoudlou in attendance. Join us for a week of embracing and changing perspectives, connecting with new voices, and exploring Iran’s political, social, and cultural world. —Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Festival advisor

The Gene Siskel Film Center’s Festival of Films from Iran was founded in 1989 and continues as a yearly showcase that spotlights the innovation, resilience, and humanism of contemporary Iranian filmmakers and acclaimed Iranian auteurs. The Festival of Films from Iran serves as a window to Iran and its political, social and cultural world, forming and challenging audiences' perceptions of Iran, while also building a richer understanding of the country and its cinema. The festival would not be possible without the support and guidance of Festival advisor Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, and our enthusiastic audience.