Flinders a big feature in Adelaide’s film festival

My Tehran for Sale, the debut feature film by Iranian poet and graduate of the Screen Studies course at Flinders, Granaz Moussouvi, will have its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival this month.

Moussouvi shot much of the film in Iran before undertaking post-production in Adelaide, where she is based. The storyline centres on an Iranian actress and her struggle to control her own fate.

Flinders Screen Studies senior lecturer Dr Mike Walsh, who helped select the program for the Festival, said the film is an extraordinary achievement.

After graduating from Flinders, Moussavi studied at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney and then worked as an assistant for famed Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi.

Dr Walsh said that My Tehran For Sale took shape during Ghobadi’s visit to the 2007 Adelaide Film Festival, where festival director Katrina Sedgwick put Moussavi together with local producers Julie Ryan and Kate Croser, who were fresh from producing Rolf de Heer’s Dr Plonk.

“The project was an enormously ambitious one for a debut feature. It was shot completely in Iran, featuring scenes such as a rave party, which pushed the envelope for what could be shot safely in that country,” Dr Walsh said.

Screen Studies graduate Sandy Cameron made the trip to Iran and has a major on-screen role in the finished film. The footage was edited in Adelaide by another Flinders graduate (and part-time lecturer) Bryan Mason.

“The film pulls no punches in its indictment of the policies of both the Iranian and Australian governments,” Dr Walsh said.

Flinders, a major sponsor of the Festival, also has direct involvement in the documentary SA Film Sampler, a tour through the State’s recent and not-so-recent social history, compiled from some 400 16-mm films formerly held in public libraries. Honours Screen Studies student Dave Raftery has compiled clips that span royal visits, 1970s pop festivals and the building of Football Park.

Other Flinders graduates with work on show include Eddie White, whose latest animated short, The Cat Piano, is narrated by Nick Cave. And YouTube cult hero Italian Spiderman, the hirsute creation of Dario Russo, will hit the big screen at the Palace Cinemas.

Graduate Matthew Phipps is among the 16 finalists in Sydney’s Tropfest. The screenings and awards will be broadcast live on a big screen in Rundle Park on February 22.

Numerous Flinders graduates are also among the nominees in the South Australian Screen Awards, to be announced on February 26.

“Adelaide’s festival is now a major fixture on the national film scene, and Flinders is contributing strongly to the behind-the-scenes and creative efforts that make it so successful,” Dr Walsh said.

The Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival runs from February 19 to March 1.

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