The 15th International Diaspora Film Festival (IDFF) brings a unique selection of films from around the world with many award winning works. The festival theme is “Iranian Diaspora Revisited” to celebrate the roots of the festival in its Quinceañera.

The Festival opens with the Canadian premiere of The President by renowned Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The Festival also closes with an Iranian diaspora production. The Toronto premiere of Fifi Howls from Happiness is a beautifully made documentary by the France-based Mitra Farahani about Bahman Mohssess, an openly gay Iranian painter commonly refered as “Picasso of Iran”.

Under the main theme of the Festival also comes the Toronto premiere of My Stolen Revolution by Nahid Persson (The Queen and I). Five female Iranian ex-political prisoners currently living in exile share their laughter and tears when revisiting their memories.

Also, on the opening night is the screening Toronto premiere of 2 Nights till Morning a Finish-Lithuanian co-production about a one-night-stand between two strangers with no common language. Three Canadian productions are included in the program this year: Pandi, The Waiting Room, and Eryka’s Eyes.

In Pandi, Maria-Saroja Ponnambalam, an Indian-Canadian filmmaker, tells the story of the challenges that his uncle, an Indian filmmaker with mental illness, had to deal with after migrating to Canada. In The Waiting Room Jasmin, once a successful actor, comes face to face with his bitter memories when acting in a movie about his homeland Yugoslavia. The emerging Canadian filmmaker Igor Drljiaca received a nomination for Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival for this film.

Eryka’s Eyes by Bruno Lazaro is the search of Eryka for her disappeared Spanish boyfriend after she comes back from Africa. This is the Canadian premiere of the film. From Germany, the challenging love that a young Turkish man develops for a tough German wrestler is the subject of the heartwarming comedy-drama Where Are You Going Habibi?. Convincing a straight petite-criminal guy of a true love is as difficult as dealing with a traditional Turkish family.

Also from Germany is Anywhere Else. Noa, a young Israeli girl in Germany finds refuge back in her homeland and among her family. A Canadian premiere of Berlin and Karlovy Vary film festivals prize winner. In Paradise Suite the lives of six characters from six different cultures cross in Amsterdam in this 2016 Oscars hopeful from The Netherlands.

For more information, please visit the festival website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St. (College Subway)-Toronto, 6 to 8 November 2015

Tickets are $15 regular / $12 students and seniors at-door. Festival Passes: $65 regular / $52 students and seniors. 20% discount is available for online ticket purchase until the night before the screening of each film. A number of tickets will be available at-door.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.