Feature Film Program


New York Premiere! Spurred by a provocative family memory and a lifetime of separation from the country her mother left behind, a young filmmaker delves into her mother and grandmother’s complicated pasts, and her own fractured Iranian identity.

Thu Jul 27 7:30 PM

The Films


Sierra Urich | US | 100

Filmmaker Sierra Urich grew up in rural Vermont, a place and an upbringing far removed from Iran, the homeland of her mother, Mitra, and grandmother, Behjat. Only knowing Iran through family stories, food, and holidays, and with the prospect of travel to the country a seemingly impossible dream, she embarks on a personal quest to make sense of her fractured Iranian identity. Navigating barriers of language and culture (not to mention the complications of geopolitical conflict and displacement), Sierra turns to Mitra and Behjat to construct a deeply moving and sometimes disarmingly funny portrait of three generations of women and their complex relationship to an Iran of the past. Named for a Farsi term of endearment, Joonam is infused with humor and heart like only a film about family could be. Interrogating family history and memory, including her grandmother’s experiences as a preteen bride and her mother’s rebellious teenage years during the Iranian Revolution, Sierra Urich constructs a rich, personal film that poignantly reflects the experiences of the Iranian diasporic community and speaks to anyone affected by the dislocation that accompanies immigration.


Yto Barrada | Morocco | 11

Barrada digs into her family history and narrates 16 myths based on unreliable narrators and unverifiable stories, illustrated with strangers’ home movies found at flea markets and archival films from the last half-century in Morocco.

This program is co-presented by ArteEast and Rooftop Films and is part of the legacy program Unpacking the ArteArchive, which preserves and presents 20 years of film and video programming by ArteEast. Parts of the program will be screened online on artearchive.org from July 22-29 and in-person at Brooklyn Commons on June 27th. For more info on the online screening go to artearchive.org!


Mehrnam Rastegari

Mehrnam Rastegari is a prominent Iranian musician and film score composer, singer, violinist, and master Kamancheh player. She has been featured in some of the most prestigious music festivals in the World, including the GlobalFest in NYC, USA, Secret Planet in NYC, USA, Fajr International Music Festival in Tehran, Iran, and the WOMEX (World Music Expo).

Rastegari is an extraordinary performer on Kamancheh and has been recognized by some of the best Kamancheh performers and instructors globally, who certified her as a Master Kamancheh player. She was featured as a guest speaker in the TEDx event "Oasis: Existence in Nothingness." Additionally, she composed the score for multiple award-winning films, including Dispirited for which she won the award of “Best Original Score” from the Melbourne City Independent Film Awards (MCIFA), and the film Rotten, which was nominated for the original score in Japan Kadoma Festival​​​​​.

Event Details

7:30 PM
Seating Opens
8:00 PM
Live Music from Mehrnam Rastegari
8:45 PM
Films Begin
10:30 PM
Q&A with filmmaker Sierra Urich, moderated by Arian Moayed
Presented in Partnership with ArteEast’s Unpacking the Archive.


Brooklyn Commons Park

5 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201

venue on Google Map

The show presented in partnership with