Circle,"an Iranian film by Jafar Panahi, won the top
prize at the 2000 Venice Film Festival and will be shown at
Vinegar Hill Theatre April 2 at 2 p.m. and April 3-5 at 7
Focusing on women in Iranian film
art of cinema may not be the first thing that comes to mind when
Americans think of Iran, but a U.Va. conference, to be held March
31 through April 1, aims to open viewers' eyes to this aspect
of Iranian culture.
has the world's most adventurous national cinema today, and this
conference will explore one important aspect of this creativity
the complex representations of and by Iranian women that
challenge stereotypes of their roles," said Richard Herskowitz,
artistic director of U.Va.'s Virginia
Film Festival and one of the conference organizers.
conference is a way of fostering a dialogue among cultures,"
said Farzaneh Milani, co-organizer of the event and interim director
of the Studies in Women and Gender program at U.Va. "It will
be fashioned like an intensive course on the role and representation
of women in Iranian cinema."
topics will cover "Women in Iranian Cinema," "Crossing
Artistic Borders: Film, Architecture and Poetry," "Iranian
Women Directors," and "Shirin Neshat and Expanded Media."
Major figures in Iranian contemporary art, filmmaking, film criticism
and scholarship will participate, including the acclaimed media
installation artist Shirin Neshat, film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum,
author of Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to
Limit What Films We Can See, and film scholar Hamid Naficy of
highlight of the conference will be screenings of six short and
two feature films at Vinegar Hill Theatre, including Forugh Farrokhzad's
1962 short film, "The House is Black," the first film
by an Iranian woman. For years, no one in America had access to
this work until the New York Film Festival screened it in 1998.
Neshat's dual-screen trilogy: "Turbulent," "Fervor,"
and "Rapture" will be screened March 31.
feature films, which begin their U.S. theatrical releases in April,
will also be shown at Vinegar Hill Theatre as part of the conference:
Marzieh Meshkini's "The Day I Became A Woman" and
Jafar Panahi's "The Circle."
conference is sponsored by U.Va.'s Persian Program, the Studies
in Women and Gender program and the Virginia Film Festival. Co-sponsors
include the Middle Eastern Studies Program, South Asia Center,
Special Lecture Series, the Bayly Art Museum, the Persian Cultural
Society, the Program for the Humanities and Medicine, and Asian
and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.
conference, which is free and open to the public, will be held
in Campbell Hall. Tickets for the films shown at Vinegar Hill
Theatre at 220 Market Street cost $7.
and a complete schedule is available on the Web at www.vafilm.com.