Saless: Far from Home
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Iran 1998, 16 min.
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, USA 1987, 8 min.
Jerry & Me
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, USA 2012, 38 min.
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa: Far from Home takes a look back at Iranian film culture and identity through the lens of Iranian-American filmmaker Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, who, towards the end of the 1970s, worked with some of the most prominent figures of the Iranian New Wave before moving to the United States. Her films are often intimate, autobiographical works that touch upon issues of cultural identity and exile. In Silent Majority, a group of people dine in a restaurant with signs of intolerance, fear and suspicion hanging in the air. Saless: Far from Home is a moving portrait of Sohrab Shahid Saless. It shows the key figure of Iranian New Wave cinema (and later New German Cinema) during his last days in exile in Chicago, combining informal interviews with multiple clips from his films. The witty, fast-moving and multi-layered cinematic memoir Jerry & Me uses comedian Jerry Lewis to recover divided memories of Iran. One of the essential works of essayistic cinema in the past decade.
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa is a filmmaker and a professor at the Cinema and Television Arts Department, School of Media Arts, Columbia College Chicago. She is a co-founder and since 1989 the artistic consultant of the annual Festival of Films from Iran. She has written extensively on Iranian cinema and has co-authored a book on Abbas Kiarostami with Jonathan Rosenbaum.