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UK Premiere: Ava (15*) + ScreenTalk with Sadaf Foroughi

Part of: Human Rights Watch Film Festival

A still from Ava

This timely, coming of age story follows Ava, a teenage girl whose life is dictated by the constraints of her conservative, patriarchal community in Tehran.

After an act of betrayal by her mother, Ava feels increasingly compelled to rebel against the strictures imposed by her parents, her school, and societal norms in Iran that stifle female creativity and self-expression. This visually stunning film offers a searing social critique of the wider discrimination against women, while featuring a strong and complex female character pushed to the limits as she fights to find her voice.

'Iran criminalizes sex outside of marriage which means both law and social practices are very restrictive. Ava highlights how it is mainly women who restrict girls, which is often the daily reality, but exists as part of the wider patriarchy and discrimination against women.'

Rothna Begum, Researcher, Women’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

These screening are followed by a post-film discussion with director and writer Sadaf Foroughi.

Iran/Canada/Qatar 2017 Dir Sadaf Foroughi 103 min

* This film has been locally classified by the Barbican Centre

FIPRESCI Discovery Award, Toronto International Film Festival 2017; Eight nominations including Best Motion Picture, Canadian Screen Awards 2018

Sadaf Foroughi is an Iranian-born, Montreal-based filmmaker. She began her artistic career in 2003 by creating and producing short films, documentaries and video art. In 2005, she was selected to participate in the Berlinale Talent Campus as a writer/director. Foroughi graduated with an MA in Film Studies from the University of Provence, and obtained a degree in film production from the New York Film Academy. 

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings


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Getting here

The exciting events of Barbican OpenFest will impact access to the centre from 15–19 March. Plan your route here and find out more about accessibility here.

Barbican Cinema 2