Last week, on Wednesday, February 11, Nashville Public Television, the Nashville Public Library and ITVS Community Cinema held the fourth installment of Community Cinema in Nashville. In the beautiful theatre at the downtown Nashville branch of the library, we advanced-screened ARUSI PERSIAN WEDDING, in which Iranian American filmmaker Marjan Tehrani travels to Iran with her brother and his American wife to chronicle their tradition Persian wedding and exploration of his lost heritage. Guests at the screening — co-sponsored by the Islamic Center of Nashville — enjoyed food and beverages from House of Kabob, and an enlightening and engaging panel discussion moderated by Community Cinema organizer Allison Inman with Dr. Amir Arain, director of public relations for the Islamic Center of Nashville; Lena Khan, award-winning Muslim fillmaker; and Pouria Montazeri, Nashville filmmaker and director of operations for the Nashville Film Festival.
Attendees also got to spend some time in the Main Library’s art gallery with Nashville artist Alan LeQuire’s new scuptural exhibit, Cultural Heroes. The exhibit is a series of oversized portrait heads. The five people currently represented in the sculptures so far are Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Leadbelly, Paul Robeson, and Woody Guthrie. A new portrait will be unveiled at a reception on February 19. The exhibit runs until May 31, 2009.
Set against the turbulent relationship between the U.S. and Iran, Iranian-American filmmaker Marjan Tehrani’s ARUSI PERSIAN WEDDING captures the struggle and excitement of her brother Alex and his wife Heather as they plan a Persian Islamic wedding in Iran. But when Alex’s Iranian-born parents and Heather’s conservative American father meet for the first time, cultures clash and test the couple to their limits. The film airs on NPT on March 24, 2009 at 9:00 p.m.
To read Montazeri’s account of the screening and panel discussion, check out Pouria’s Blog.
A Land Called Paradise by director Lena Khan.
Visit the Islamic Center of Nashville.
Visit House of Kabob.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. (5:15 reception), when for one night only, Community Cinema moves to the Nashville Film Festival at the Regal Green Hills Cinema for a free screening of CRIPS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA. Dogtown and Z Boys‘ director Stacy Peralta’s bracing film, narrated by Forest Whitaker, grimly examines the causes and nature of Los Angeles’ epidemic gang violence and includes interviews with current and former members of the Crips and Bloods.
More photos after the jump.