Saturday, March 5, 2016

'Seeking Valentina?" Try Beverly Hills!

Award-winning director Armin Nasseri wants to change the way U.S. audiences see ethnic minorities in the U.S., and it seems festivals both in the U.S. and abroad applaud Nasseri’s efforts.Nasseri, who is very proud of his Persian-American heritage and also vocal about the stereotyping of Middle Eastern Americans, made a strong effort to cast his film against type.  His film strongly features Iranian-American talent, such as the noted Persian actress Vida Ghaffari, in atypical roles.

Seeking Valentina, written and directed by Armin Nasseri, follows Benjamin (played by Ali Bavarian), an Iranian-American writer, in the pangs of grief. When Benjamin takes in a whimsical and an engaging tenant named Valentina (Kristin West) and she mysteriously disappears, it is for the audience to decide is she a ghost, a hallucination, a dream or a runaway.  Enigmatic and controversial to some, Seeking Valentina has received tremendous critical acclaim worldwide. Regarding his film’s recent success both in the U.S. and abroad, Nasseri says, “I am deeply humbled and honored that Seeking Valentina continues to touch diverse audiences worldwide.”  He adds, “Having this film screen both at Noor Iranian Film Festival and Beverly Hills Film Festival is such an affirmation that the work we are trying to do to resist stereotyping is valuable and important, not just to the Persian-American community but to all minorities.”  Beverly Hills, CA has been a home to Iranian-Americans for decades, with nearly 20% of the city’s population being of Iranian heritage.

The 16th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival runs April 6-10, with tickets available at  The Noor Iranian Film Festival will take place in 2016, with dates and venues TBD.

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