Welcome to the eleventh episode of the Hello Cinema podcast. As regular listeners of the show are aware, TIFF Cinematheque is hosting “I For Iran: A History of Iranian Cinema by its Creators”. Fifteen feature films and three shorts from Iran will be screened as part of a series that was initiated by Thierry Jobin, the artistic director of Fribourg International Film Festival. On today’s show, we’re honoured to host documentary filmmaker Roya Akbari, whose film Only Image Remains (2014) is opening the retrospective.
Roya Akbari in Only Image Remains
Akbari started her career in cinema with a short but memorable voice performance in Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten (Dah, 2002), alongside her sister, Mania. Her first work as a director was a short documentary called Dancing Mania, about a film her sister was directing about dance in Iran. Her latest, Only Image Remains, is the most recent entry in a TIFF Cinematheque retrospective that includes films as old as Haji Agha, The Movie Actor (1933). In this film, which Akbari directed on the occasion of Fribourg festival’s Iranian retrospective, she discusses this national cinema with filmmakers such as Bahram Beizaei, Amir Naderi and Rafi Pitts.
We asked her about her motivations for making this film, the history of Iranian cinema, the cultural significance of producing Iranian works in diaspora, the difficulties of making films as a woman, and TIFF Cinematheque’s retrospective series. Akbari will introduce her film, as well as The Night It Rained (An Shab Ke Barun Umad, Kamran Shirdel, 1967) and P Like Pelican (P Mesl-e Pelikaan, Parviz Kimiavi, 1972). For a complete schedule of events at the retrospective, click here.
Music: “Sonatine” by Maziar Heidari