NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS
Young Iranian musicians Negar and Ashkan dream of playing alternative rock, idolizing Joy Division and Arctic Monkeys, but it’s not so easy to start a band and get gigs in present-day Iran. Just released from prison, they decide to go to Great Britain. But that means organizing fake passports and visas for them and their as yet non-existent band, while dodging the draft and the censors. Bahman Ghobadi shot his semi-documentary drama based on real events, locations and people without any official approval in 17 days in the underground Teheran music scene.
With: Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Kooshanejad, Hamed Behdad, Babak Mirzakhani
Screenplay: Bahman Ghobadi, Hossein M. Abkenar, Roxana Saberi
Director of Photography: Turaj Mansur
Film Editor: Hayedeh Safiyari
Composer: Mahdyar Aghajani
Production Designer: Bahman Ghobadi
Sound: Nezamodin Kiaie
Producer: Bahman Ghobadi
Production Company: Mij Film Co
Co-Producer: Mehmet Aktas
Co-Production Company: mîtosfilm
Distributor: Wild Bunch Germany GmbH
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Bahman Ghobadi was born in Baneh in 1969, a city in Iranian Kurdistan near the Iraqi border. The Iran-Iraq War forced his family to move to Sanandaj, the capital of Iranian Kurdistan. After high school graduation, Ghobadi moved to Teheran, where he began working as a photographer. He attended Iranian Broadcasting College, but did not graduate. He then worked as assistant director to Abbas Kiarostami on THE WIND WILL CARRY US. After shooting several documentary shorts on Super8, he made his award-winning breakout short LIFE IN FOG 1999. He named his production co. Mij (Fog), which funds and produces Kurdish films, after this film. “Iran has always been a region that cradled a multitude of different ethnic groups, Turkmens, Kurds and Turks, yet their voices are rarely expressed in Iranian cinema,” says Ghobadi. He made the first Iranian Kurdish feature film 2000, A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES, followed by TURTLES CAN FLY (2004), HALF MOON (2006) and NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS (2009), winning numerous international awards, including the Caméra d'Or in Cannes, the Glass Bear in Berlin, two main prizes in San Sebastian, the Index on Censorship award and numerous audience awards worldwide. Bahman Ghobadi has been making Kurdish films for twenty years now, often working with non-actors and laypeople.