March 23-29, 2001
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U.Va.'s fund-raising campaign tallies $1.43 billion
Washington Post reporter discusses media and medicine
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Kilmartin performs 'Crimes Against Nature'
Focusing on women in Iranian film
English faculty to share diverse scholarship
The Circle
"The 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 p.m.

Focusing on women in Iranian film

Staff Report

The 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.

"Iran 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.

"This 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."

Conference 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 Rice University.

A 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.

Two 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."

The 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.

The 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.

Information and a complete schedule is available on the Web at www.vafilm.com.


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