Docunight #16: Going Up the Stairs & Behjat Sadr
July 1, 2015


Going Up the Stairs: Portrait of an Unlikely Iranian Artist

Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami 2011 / 52 min, Persian with English subtitles

UnknownAkram, an illiterate Iranian woman, shows us that true talent will always refuse to be stifled, and that you don’t need an education to understand, to feel, and to paint. She discovered her talent quite by chance at the age of 50, when she was helping her grandson with his homework. The magic of painting holds an irresistible appeal for this uneducated woman who was married off at the age of nine to the then 28-year-old Heydar, and has had to stand on our own two feet ever since. When her authoritarian spouse is out, Akram paints as if her life depends on it. She then hides the primitive, colorful, and expressive paintings under the carpet. But then her “hobby” is discovered and an exhibition of her work is organized in Paris. The rules dictate that she must ask her husband’s permission to go to the opening, but she puts this off for as long as she can. The camera remains in Akram’s home as she paints and squabbles with the cynical Heydar, who thinks she is wasting too much paint. This, then, is a portrait of a painter who expresses herself as colorfully in words as she does in imagery, but it is also a tragicomic portrait of a traditional Iranian marriage.

Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami

Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami was born in Tehran. She has a BA in cinema and a MA in animation. She has done some researches on “animated documentary” and Cyanosis is her work for her MA degree. Her research has been published as a book in Iran.

Behjat Sadr: Time Suspended

Directed by Mitra Farahani, 2006 / 46 mins, Persian with English subtitles

Unknown-1Behjat Sadr is one of Iran’s great hidden treasures. With a career spanning more than fifty years, she is one of only a handful of women artists to have received international accolades for their work. Her powerful, unusually constructed abstract paintings have been selected for the Venice Biennial and for gallery and museum exhibitions in Brazil, Canada, France, Iran, Italy, and the U.S. Most recently she was the subject of a major retrospective at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sadr’s work continues to evolve over time; indeed one of the distinguishing characteristics of her oeuvre is the artist’s continual search for new and innovative techniques. Rhythm is very important to her work and she is known for her innovative techniques. She has covered the surface of a canvas with black paint and then selectively scraped it away to develop shapes and textures. She has mixed oil painting with photographs, figures with abstractions, working in a variety of media from canvas and oil to wood, metal, and other materials. The final product often blurs the distinctions between painting and sculpture.

Mitra Farahani

Born in Tehran in Iran in 1975, she graduated in graphic design from Azad university in Tehran in 1997 and then emigrated to Paris and studied at ENSAD from 2000. Her first documentary short film JUSTE UNE FEMME won the Teddy Award at the 2002 Berlinale. TABOUS – ZOHRE & MANOUCHEHR (2004) and FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS (2013), two feature documentaries, were each premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival.

S.F. Frozen Film Festival
July 17, 2015 - July 18, 2015

2015 S.F. Frozen Film Festival (9th Annual)

2015 SF FFF Poster_smallWhat do musicians, artists, surfers, animators, local documentary film makers, and Bay Area film lovers all have in common?  They are all subjects of the 9th annual S.F. Frozen Film Festival in the mission.

The San Francisco Frozen Film Festival annually brings independent filmmakers from around the globe to the city by the bay. The three-day festival runs Thursday July 16th, through July 18th at the Roxie Theater and will feature jaw dropping documentaries, dramatic short and comedic film collections, an exceptional animation collection, plus also shows international features, and even surf/skateboarding films.

The festival’s July 16th opening night mixer at Dalva in the Mission District (7pm) is free to the public, and is an open forum for filmmakers, artists, media, and film lovers to mingle and network. Individual shows are $12.00 each, or an All Festival Pass is available for just $20.00. For additional information about our tickets and show times please visit 


July 17

6:00pm BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARIES 2015 (102 min)

8:00pm PRETEND WE’RE KISSING (81min)

9:30pm  BEST DRAMATIC SHORTS OF 2015, PROGRAM #1 (64min)

10:45pm BEST ANIMATION OF 2015, PROGRAM 1 (70min)

July 18

2:00pm LOCAL FILMMAKERS PROGRAM 2015 (70min)

3:20pm  BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILMS 2015 (80min)

4:50pm  BEST COMEDIC SHORTS 2015  (58min)

6:00pm BEST SURF AND SKATE MOVIES 2015 (53min)

7:00pm BEST DRAMATIC SHORTS 2015, PROGRAM #2 (106min)


10:45pm  BEST ANIMATION OF 2015 PROGRAM #2 (56min)

The San Francisco Frozen Film Festival (SF FFF) is a Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2006 that is dedicated to creating avenues for independent filmmakers, youth, filmmakers of conscience, and artists from underserved communities to come together and exhibit their work to the widest possible

The San Francisco Frozen Film Festival is held every summer in the heart of the Mission district in San Francisco at the Roxie Theatre. Filmmakers whose work is accepted into the festival are invited to come to the city by the bay in the dead of summer to screen and discuss their work.

In addition to our annual international film festival, the SFFFF Youth Program is specifically focused on demonstrating to underserved youth that existing pathways do exist to help them find a career in the film arts. SFFFF holds annual music and art performances, as well as youth programming and awards presentations.

※Individual Program Ticket: $12    Festival Pass: $20