June, 6th to 9th 2024

Filmforum NRW/Museum Ludwig, Köln

In two editions in 2023, “Visions of Iran” reacted to the suppression of the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement – with numerous human rights violations and executions. In the current selection, the question arose: how would cinema, how would cultural workers survive these events? In fact, films have been made that have carried on the momentum of the protests, leaving censorship and prescribed gender roles behind. They won over audiences and critics at international festivals such as “Critical Zone” in Locarno and “The Sun will Rise” in Venice. At the Berlinale competition, “My Favourite Cake” touched on taboos such as love in old age or self-determined female sexuality, which are not only effective in Iran.

Even in difficult times, our festival remains committed to the civil society, diverse, minority perspectives of Iran. This concerns the country’s rich cultural past and present (“Journey to Yazdegerd Castle”, “An Owl, a Garden and the Writer”), the situation of Afghan immigrants (“Maydegol”) or the cinematic discovery “The Great Yawn of History”.

Another focus of this year’s festival is on the diaspora of several million Iranians. An early representative was Sohrab Shahid-Sales, who has enriched both Iranian and Iranian cinema (“Meteor”) and currently Faraz Fesharaki’s documentary “What did you dream yesterday, Paradjanov?” shows how connected Iranians are worldwide. So it goes on.

We look forward to seeing you! Your festival team

Festival Trailer

The opening film My Favourite Cake followed by a discussion with the leading actress Lily Farhadpour is almost sold out. Due to this, there will be an additional screening on Saturday at 14:00 – also in the presence of Ms. Farhadpour!


Documentation, Sunday, June 2nd, 2024, 15.00-17.00 hrs

Qashqai Female Voices – Films & Discussion

The “Qashqai Female Voices” project, initiated and curated by ethnomusicologist Yalda Yazdani, takes a new look at the rich but marginalized culture of Qashqai women in southwest Iran in a series of events – so far at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum.

Feature film, Thursday, June 6th, 2024, 19.00 hrs

My Favorite Cake (کیک محبوب من)

Seventy-year-old Mahin has lived alone since the death of her husband and is connected to her daughter and grandchildren in Europe via Ipad.

Feature film, Thursday, June 6th, 21.15 hrs

Won’t You Cry (چرا گریه نمیکنی؟)

A man loses the ability to cry after the death of his younger brother. Grief, depression and the separation from his wife plunge him into a crisis.

Documentation, Saturday, June 8th, 2024, 17.00 hrs

Meteor (ستاره دنباله دار)

Sohrab Shahid Sales (1944-1998) is one of the pioneers of the new Iranian cinema. Less well known is his role within the new German cinema.

Feature film, Saturday, June 8th, 2024, 19.00 hrs

The Sun will Rise (آفتاب می شود)

Tehran, October 2022: During rehearsals for a production of Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata”, protests break out on the streets of Tehran and security forces take action.

Short films, Saturday, June 8th, 2024, 21.15 hrs

Short Films – a non-representative selection

Iran is always more and different than the image of it conveyed by the media; the short film offers the opportunity to get to know a wide variety of themes and perspectives, locations and artistic styles.

Documentation, Sunday June 9th, 13.00 hrs

Journey to Yazdegerd Castle (سفر به قلعه یزدگرد)

Mohammadi portrays an enthusiastic connoisseur of Iran: until the revolution of 1978, the British-Canadian archaeologist Dr. Edward Keall undertook expeditions to explore ancient Zoroastrian temples of the late-antique Sassanids.

Documentation, Sunday June 9th, 2024, 15.00 hrs

Maydegol (میدگل)

It is estimated that up to six million Afghan refugees are living in Iran. 15-year-old Maydegol dreams of becoming a professional Muay Thai boxer.

Feature film, Sunday, June 9th, 2024, 19.00 hrs

Critical Zone (منطقه بحرانی )

On the highways of Tehran at night, Amir supplies the city’s lonely souls with drugs to give them a little relief.