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Iran, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Jafar Panahi: Filmmaker in Focus)

Director: Jafar Panahi

Offside was the winner of the Silver Bear award at this year's Berlin Film Festival.

For almost three decades, Iranian soccer players have been cheered almost exclusively by men. Female fans, banned from stadiums after the Islamic revolution, have been forced to reconcile themselves with watching the games on television.

This situation is the basis for Jafar Panahi's telling comedy Offside, in which several women caught trying to sneak into an Iran versus Bahrain World Cup qualifier dressed as men are subjected to a kind of torture: Being forced to sit in a holding pen outside the stadium while they listen to the roar of the crowd inside! The women, desperate for a glimpse of the action, use every trick in the book to find out what's going on in the game, including harassing their clueless captors to stage re-enactments of the play on the field.

In what is a comedic change of pace for Panahi, Offside uses the arena of sport to kick-off an entertaining critique of the constraints placed on women in modern Iranian society.

Director Jafar Panahi is a guest of the Festival and will introduce the screening on Friday 28 July, 7pm at the RMIT Capitol Theatre.

D/S/P Jafar Panahi S Shadmehr Rastin WS Celluloid Dreams L Farsi w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2006/88mins

See also...


The Circle was a multiple award-winner at the Venice Film Festival in 2000. ... A tour de force, The Circle depicts the plight of several Iranian women oppressed solely for being born female in a ... More »


Winner of the Camera D'or at the Cannes Film Festival, Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon is the story of a young Iranian girl's trip to the market - a simple undertaking that becomes unexpectedly ... More »


Crimson Gold was selected as the Closing Night film of Un Certain Regard and winner of the Jury Award, Un Certain Regard, at the Cannes Film Festival. ... An intimate and absorbing drama, Crimson ... More »


β€œOne of the most powerful films to have emerged from Iran this decade.” - Toronto International Film Festival A little girl's journey through the streets of Tehran turns into a dazzling ... More »


In this shocking, politically courageous look at the other' Iran, the plight of women is wilfully, sometimes furiously forced into plain sight. Director Jafar Panahi's narrative delicately drifts ... More »


Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Award at Cannes this year, Jafar Panahi's (The Circle, MIFF 2001) new film is a intimate and absorbing drama. Based on true events, told to Panahi by Abbas ... More »

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