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“Pearls on the Ocean Floor”

Thursday, October 6, 2011
12:00 AM
Chesebrough Auditorium, Chrysler Center, 2121 Bonisteel (North Campus)

Pearls on the Ocean Floor, a feature-length documentary by Robert Adanto, examines the lives and works of Iranian female artists living and working in and outside the Islamic Republic. This unflinching and incisive study, featuring interviews with art luminaries Shirin Neshat, Shadi Ghadirian, Parastou Forouhar, Sara Rahbar and all-female cast, captures the uncertainty of this momentous time in Iran's history. Speaking with grace and honesty, these brave women express what is seldom seen in the western media: unique individual perspectives regarding issues of identity, gender, and the role that art plays in challenging the traditional stereotypes often associated with women in Iran.
"Adanto has managed to lift the veil off Iranian female artists and let us discover these genuine, creative, fearless, self-assured, good-humored, honest, independent, and colorful spirits who believe in themselves and in the future. Pearls is a precious record." -- Mahasti Afshar, The Huffington Post, on Pearls on the Ocean Floor. A classically-trained actor and documentary filmmaker, Mr. Adanto earned his MFA at the NYU's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. Pearls on the Ocean was an Official Selection at the UK Iranian Film Festival in London, The Glasgow International Film Festival, The New Orleans Middle East Film Festival, The Petaluma International Film Festival and the film received the Bronze Palm award for Best Documentary at this year's Mexican International Film Festival. In addition, the film has enjoyed screenings at The Smithsonian Institution, The MFA Boston, LACMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Orange County Museum of Art in association with the California Biennial, Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, and San Francisco Art Institute. The film was recently screened at the European Conference of Iranian Studies organized every four years by the Societas Iranologica Europaea and considered the largest event in the field of Iranian studies in Europe. The 7th edition of the conference took place September 7-10th and was hosted by the Institute of Oriental Philology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. The film has recently been named an Official Selection for 10th International Exile Film Festival, set to take place this year in Sweden in October, the XIII International Festival of Independent Film, taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the ION International Film Festival in Queretaro, Mexico, both taking place in November.