NOW PLAYING: A (Not-so) MODEST RECEPTION for Global Lens 2013

Ringing in the New Year with fresh films and packed houses…

A new year means a whole new slate of incredible films from Global Lens! Oh, you haven’t seen the 2013 lineup yet? Not to worry—you can check it out here! The series just wrapped its two-week premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and next month will begin playing at select venues throughout the United States and Canada.

Which means, if you’re a festival, theater or other venue, Global Lens 2013 is now open for booking! And you may want to get a jump on a particularly popular new title, Mani Haghighi’s Iranian MODEST RECEPTION, which has been playing everywhere recently—MoMA, Palm Springs IFF, Santa Barbara IFF, MFA Boston, MFA Houston, Smithsonian, Portland IFF… You get the idea.

In MODEST RECEPTION, a mysterious pair of urban sophisticates from Tehran travel the countryside in their Lexus coupe with the bizarre, inexplicable mission of pushing big bags of cash onto the locals they pass along the way. Something like Bonnie and Clyde in reverse, the couple (or are they siblings?) find that their job isn’t quite as simple as it should be, and their increasingly distressing encounters are alternately hilarious and alarming—sometimes existing somewhere in between. Taraneh Alidoosti and writer-director Mani Haghighi own the screen, captivating us with every sentence, gesture, and facial expression, up until the final shot, which manages to be simultaneously shocking, curious, and moving.

“The performances from the actors who play these mountain folk are raw and believable, and while the setting may be otherworldly in its high-altitude grandeur, it is also grittily real.” –Screen Daily

Modest Reception…rates as Haghighi’s strongest helming work to date. As a thesp, he puts his stubbly, George Clooney-esque good looks to fine use, and ignites sparks with Alidoosti, who is thrilling in a challenging, uncharacteristic role.” –Variety

Festivals, theaters, and other venues can view MODEST RECEPTION and the rest of the Global Lens 2013 lineup now on Festival Scope or Vimeo. E-mail us at to schedule films today.

MODEST RECEPTION and other films from the Global Lens 2013 film series
are now playing at the following venues and festivals across the U.S. and Canada:

Gasparilla International Film Festival/Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa, FL):
Presenting the complete Global Lens 2013 film series
February 8th – December 13th
Check the film calendar for screening information

San Antonio Museum of Art (San Antonio, TX):
Presenting the complete Global Lens 2013 film series
February 17th – December 31st
Check the film calendar for screening information

Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Santa Barbara, CA):
ABOUT 111 GIRLS (dir. Nahid Ghobadi and Bijan Zamanpira, Iraq)
BEIJING FLICKERS (dir. Zhang Yuan, China)
MODEST RECEPTION (dir. Mani Haghighi, Iran)
STUDENT (dir. Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan)
January 24th – February 3rd

MFA Boston (Boston, MA):
MODEST RECEPTION (dir. Mani Haghighi, Iran)
January 30th – 31st

Portland International Film Festival (Portland, OR):
MODEST RECEPTION (dir. Mani Haghighi, Iran)
February 7th – 23rd

Block Cinema (Evanston, IL):
ABOUT 111 GIRLS (dir. Nahid Ghobadi and Bijan Zamanpira, Iraq)
February 22nd

Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival (Toronto, ON):
THE PARADE (dir. Srdjan Dragojevic, Serbia)
February 26th – March 7th

Miami International Film Festival (Miami, FL):
BEIJING FLICKERS (dir. Zhang Yuan, China)
March 1st – 10th

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (San Francisco, CA):
BEIJING FLICKERS (dir. Zhang Yuan, China)
March 14th – 24th

Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago, IL):
THE PARADE (dir. Srdjan Dragojevic, Serbia)
March 17th – 19th


The Global Lens 2013 film series lineup:

ABOUT 111 GIRLS (DARBARE 111 DOKHTAR), dir. Nahid Ghobadi and Bijan Zamanpira, Iraq, 2012, 79 minutes
An Iranian state official, his driver and a young guide race across a troubled but magnificent landscape to stop 111 young Kurdish women from committing suicide in protest against conditions that have left them spinsters. Official Selection, 2012 Busan IFF.



BEIJING FLICKERS (YOU-ZHONG), dir. Zhang Yuan, China, 2012, 96 minutes
A young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth experiences moments of euphoria amid despair as he roams the city with other misfit dreamers in this darkly funny, gorgeously gritty portrait of disaffected youth. Official Selection, 2012 Toronto IFF; Official Selection, 2012 Busan IFF.



CAIRO 678, dir. Mohamed Diab, Egypt, 2010, 100 minutes
Three Cairene women from different backgrounds warily unite to combat the sexual harassment that has impacted each of their lives—and become a citywide plague—but their unconventional response provokes a dogged police hunt. Official Selection, 2011 New Directors/New Films; Official Selection, 2011 Seattle IFF; Muhr Arab Feature Best Actress and Best Actor, 2010 Dubai IFF.



THE FANTASTIC WORLD OF JUAN OROL (EL FANTASTICO MUNDO DE JUAN OROL), dir. Sebastian del Amo, Mexico, 2012, 90 minutes
Move over Ed Wood! The story of Mexico’s half-forgotten B-movie master, “involuntary surrealist” Juan Orol, receives a pitch-perfect tribute in this deft, irresistible love letter to life, the movies and a self-made man of showbiz. Best First Feature Film, 2012 Guadalajara IFF.



LIFE KILLS ME (LA VIDA ME MATA), dir. Sebastian Silva, Chile, 2007, 92 minutes
Life and death come wrapped in a mutual embrace, absurd and poignant at once, in celebrated director Sebastián Silva’s debut film about the unlikely friendship between a grieving, young cinematographer and a morbidly obsessed drifter. Best First Feature Film, 2008 International Latino FF; Best Chilean Film of 2007, Chilean Art Critics Circle.



MODEST RECEPTION (PAZIRAIE SADEH), dir. Mani Haghighi, Iran, 2012, 100 minutes
Two sibling-sophisticates from Tehran travel the mountainous northern countryside, maniacally pushing bags of money on locals—a hilarious and alarming exercise that unfurls with unexpected force amid subtle themes of power and corruption. NETPAC Prize, 2012 Berlin IFF; Official Selection, 2012 Chicago IFF.



THE PARADE (PARADA), dir. Srdjan Dragojevic, Serbia, 2011, 115 minutes
In exchange for some wedding-planning expertise, a macho Serbian crime boss recruits a ragtag group of Balkan war-buddies to provide protection for a Pride march in this rollicking yet poignant comedy inspired by real events. Panorama Audience Award, 2012 Berlin IFF; FIPRESCI Serbia Award for Best Serbian Film 2011.



SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS, dir. Suman Ghosh, India, 2012, 65 minutes
An 80-year-old Kolkata retiree is determined to get the streetlights turned off after sunrise, but finding someone to take him seriously proves a battle against an indifferent bureaucracy and a complacent status quo. Official Selection, 2012 Busan IFF.



SOUTHWEST (SUDOESTE), dir. Eduardo Nunes, Brazil, 2011, 128 minutes
A young woman gives birth on her deathbed to a child who, spirited away to a remote lakeside village, lives her lifetime in a single day, in this hauntingly dreamlike tale of incommensurable life. Special Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Best Latin American Film and Best Photography, 2011 Rio IFF; Official Selection, 2012 IFF Rotterdam.



STUDENT, dir. Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan, 2012, 90 minutes
A solitary philosophy student commits a calculated violent crime against the backdrop of Kazakhstan’s growing inequality, institutional corruption and a ruthless ethic of eat-or-be-eaten in this broodingly contemporary adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Un Certain Regard, 2012 Cannes FF; Official Selection, 2012 Toronto IFF; Official Selection, 2012 Venice IFF.


Looking for other films from the Global Lens Collection (including some of the stellar titles from 2012)? You can currently catch QARANTINA, and most of the other 2012 titles on Virgin America airlines, who also happen to have the best in-flight entertainment system in the sky. Not traveling anywhere in the near future? No problem: Choose from any number of Global Lens selections, available on Hulu and Fandor, to stream on your computer or television. And if, like many of us here at the Global Film Initiative, you are proud of your ever-growing DVD collection, now is the time to take THE WHITE MEADOWS off your wish list—because it’s now available for purchase on Amazon or directly from our website, along with plenty of other films in our catalogue.


The Global Lens film series is an annual, curated program of narrative feature films from Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Films from the series are screened in more than fifty cities nationwide, are featured exclusively on Virgin America airlines, and include top festival picks and official submissions to the Oscars. All proceeds received from Global Lens are reinvested in the Global Film Initiative’s Granting Program, and other philanthropic programs of the Initiative.

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