The 6th San Francisco Iranian Film Festival was held September 28-29, 2013, and screened tens of feature and short films over the two days. The Sepanta Awards announced for the first time by the organizers of the festival in 15 categories are noted below.

The anticipated film in the festival was Meeting Leila (2012), directed by Adel Yaraghi who also co-wrote the screenplay with Abbas Kiarostami, the world-renowned film director. Leila Hatami plays the lead role for which she received the Best Actress award. Hatami has become quite well-known since her strong performance in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winning A Separation (2011).

However, the film Parviz (2012) directed by Majid Barzegar was the highly praised film that won the most awards — Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Parviz has also received a number of other accolades in film festivals in Europe. Parviz is the story of a 50-year-old man who still lives with his father, but is forced to move out as his father decides to remarry. Levon Haftan in the lead role of Parviz, reminds me of James Gandolfini! See its trailer below.

No Burqas Behind Bars (2012), directed by Nima Sarvestani grabbed the award for best documentary. Among other screened films, Just Like a Woman (2012), directed by Rachid Bouchareb and starring Golshifteh Farahani, was also quite good though not among the award recepients. It tells the story of two women with very different backgrounds but united because of unhappy marriages, who form a strong friendship over a road trip across USA. Everything Is Fine Here (2012) directed by Pourya Azarbaijani, is also a notable film. It is a drama about a 25-year-old woman in Tehran with a bright future, whose life is turned upside down once she gets gang-raped.

For a complete list of the films with a little synopsis here.

  • Best Film: Parviz
  • Best Director: Majid Barzegar for Parviz
  • Best Actor: Levon Haftvan for Parviz
  • Best Actress: Leila Hatami for Meeting Leila
  • Best Screenplay: Hamed Rajabi, Bardia Yadegari, Majid Barzegar for Parviz
  • Best Cinematography: Amin Jafari for Parviz
  • Best Documentary: No Burqas Behind Bars, directed by Nima Sarvestani
  • Best Short Film: More than Two Hours, directed by Ali Asghari
  • Best Director for a short film: Talkhon Hamzavi for Parvaneh
  • Best Screenplay for a short film: Soheila Golestani for Return
  • Best Short Documentary: Forget-Me-Not Egg, directed by Mohammadreza Farzad
  • Best Actor in a short film: Mohammad Yasin Ardehi for Beyond the Deadend
  • Best Actress in a short film: Nissa Kashani for Parvaneh
  • Best Cinematography for a short film: Roozbeh Raiga for Hannaneh
  • Best Animation: Why this phone doesn’t ring? Directed by Hadi Yaghinlou

Abdolhossein-SepantaThe award name Sepanta is in honor of Abdolhossein Sepanta (1907 – 1969), father of sound in Iranian cinema, and also director, producer, screenwriter and actor in a number of films such as The Lor Girl, Shireen o Farhad, and Leyli o Majnun. Many of these films were produced in India.

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