British/Iranian Babak Jalali talks about Radio Dreams


Radio Dreams, a UK film directed by Iranian/British filmmaker, Babak Jalali had a very successful release in US and to find out more about making of Radio Dreams, we had a video interview with Babak Jalali.

Radio Dreams creates the odd yet very real world of PARS-FM – a Farsi-language radio station broadcasting from the heart of San Francisco. The story unfolds over a single day as the station’s program manager, Hamid – a brilliant, misunderstood Iranian writer (played by the “Iranian Bob Dylan” Mohsen Namjoo) – prepares for a triumphant broadcast – a live performance pairing Metallica and Kabul Dreams, Afghanistan’s first rock band. Meanwhile, Hamid must juggle a dysfunctional mix of on-air talent, station managers, and performers while fending off the owner’s plans to wrest control of the station.

Radio Dreams brings to life the sometimes-bizarre experience of immigrants pursuing dreams in the U.S.A. with the perfect mixture of honesty, art, and socio-political topicality served up in an ingenious, offbeat transmission.
Radio Dreams is the newest feature film from Iranian-British director Babak Jalali (Frontier Blues).
Writer, director and producer Babak Jalali was born in 1978 in Northern Iran and graduated with a Master’s in Filmmaking from the London Film School in 2005. He’s most-ly lived in London since 1986, but his films take place across the world.

Jalali’s short film, Heydar, An Afghan in Tehran, was screened at 60 film festivals worldwide and received a Best Short Film nomination from the The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in 2006.
Jalali was one of six residents at the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation Residence in 2006–2007. There he developed his first feature film, Frontier Blues (2009). The film premiered in the International Competition at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2009 and has gone on to screen at over 30 festivals internationally including in Ghent, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Gijon, Sofia, New York, San Francisco and Edinburgh. Frontier Blues won the FIPRESCI award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Radio Dreams is Jalali’s second feature film as writer and director, and takes place in San Francisco. The film won the prestigious Hivos Tiger Award for Best Film at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in January 2016.
He is currently in production on his third feature film, Land, which is a co-production between Asmara Films (Italy), A Cup of Tea (France) and (Topkapi Films) in the Netherlands. Land won the main production grant at Framework in the Torino Film Lab as well as received funding from CNC aides aux cinemas du monde (France), Mi-BACT development and MiBACT production grants (Italy), RAI Cinema funding (Italy), MEDIA development fund, Doha Film Institute production grant, The Netherlands Film Fund (Netherlands) and Eurimages production funding.

Jalali’s work as a producer includes White Shadow (2013), winner of the Luigi de Lau-rentiis – Lion of the Future Award for Best Debut Film at the 2013 Venice Film Festival, and selected in competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. He also produced Short Skin (2015), developed at Venice Biennale College of Cinema and premiered at 2014 Venice Film Festival and 2015 Berlinale Generation.


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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