Imagine that you have this one thing that you love to do more than anything in the world. Now imagine that you have been banned from doing that one thing for the remainder of your life. How would you deal with that? Would you fight against those who banned you, or would you give up and wallow in misery? Would you take up a new hobby? For Jafar Panahi, the answer is quite simple: fight the system.
This is Not A Film is a documentary about Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, sentenced to house arrest and banned for twenty years from filmmaking. The ban doesn’t seem to have that much of an effect on him considering he’s taken to filming his activity throughout the day. He calls friend and colleague Mojtaba Mirtahmasb over to run the camera while he dictates his newest “script,” citing that “reading” a script doesn’t constitute filmmaking.
Up until last year, film festivals had always been a bit of a mystery to me. I had gone to a few conventions before and been shown advanced screenings of films, but to actually go to an event where all you did was watch films seemed a bit beyond my reach. Didn’t help either that I had never really lived in areas with affordable or frequent festivals. That is, up until last year when I was introduced to AFI FEST. They hooked me in with free tickets and the promise of engaging cinema from around the world. To say I had fun is a bit of an understatement. As the credits to the last film rolled, I decided that I would come back next year in a more professional manner and write about it.
Which brings us to now. AFI FEST 2011 Presented by Audi is a little over a week away (November 3-10) and they’ve once again made the tickets to all their films free. This is definitely a good thing as there’s quite an impressive lineup this year. It’s going to be difficult scheduling which films I’d like to see!
Listed below are all the films being showcased at the festival. If you’re in the LA area and want to go to any of these screenings hop over to the AFI FEST site and keep an eye out for ticket information.