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The Montreal World Film Festival


The MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF MONTREAL) is the only competitive film festival in North America recognized by the FIAPF.

Montreal ranks among the most prestigious festivals in the world. rates this festival in the top 10

The 2017 Festival edition will run August 24 - September 4

Check our full coverage 2014  full coverage of 2013



No Land'S Song Interview with Ayat Najafi and Sarah Najafi winners for Best Documentary in Montreal FFM 38





2014, Colour, Germany, France, Documentaries of the World 


Every year FFM offers a few interesting feature documentaries, and once again, the most precious one was made by an Iranian author living abroad - Ayat Najafi’s No Land’s Song (German-French co-production). Arguably winning the audience award for best documentary, Najafi succeeded in his first feature to overcome all difficulties that a documentary filmmaker can encounter – telling a story in a compelling way engaging the audience as if it was a fiction movie, yet showing the facts truthfully, and being courageous.

No Land’s Song follows a young Iranian composer Sara Najafi in her attempt to organize a concert in Tehran with other female solo singers, something that is strictly forbidden under Islamic law; those voices may sexually arouse a man, as explained by an Islamic scholar, who compared that kind of sin to eating cheese – plain cheese is fine, but if you add more yummy ingredients to it, you may start enjoying it too much, and then problems will occur...

Dealing with another shocking restriction of 21st century Iranian Islamic country, Najafi’s film is very dynamic, honest, occasionally ironic, and above all brave (we even see Iranian female musicians without hijab(!)); with plenty of characters (Sara being supported by several Iranian and French musicians in their joined efforts to perform the concert), as well as informative (including precious archive footage before the Islamic revolution where a popular singer of 60’s sings in a sort of blues bar, and during performance takes shots of alcohol from time to time).

Finally, Najafi’s approach to subject matter is highly sophisticated, and therefore his piece cannot be classified as a mere ideological statement. On the contrary, No Land’s Song is a story above that; it’s a story with characters we really care about, and a certain amount of optimism and faith for a better tomorrow. 



Production Team

Director : Ayat Najafi

Cinematographer : Koohyar Kalari, Sarah Blum

Editor : Julia Wiedwald, Schokofeh Kamiz

Film production and Sales : Prod.: Gunter Hanfgam, Anne Grange, Rouven Rech, Teresa Renn, Torero Film GbR, Blarerstr. 56, 78462 Constance (Allemagne) / Hanfgarn & Ufer Filmproduktion, Berlin (Allemagne), / Chaz Productions, Paris (France),




In Iran, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, women have been forbidden to sing in public -- if they sing solo and in front of men. Sara Najafi is determined to defy the ban. 



Born in Iran in 1976, Ayat Najafi lives between Tehran and Berlin. In 2003, in Tehran, he founded the Arta Atelier, focusing on an interdisciplinary approach to theatre, as well as experimental shorts and documentaries. In Berlin, he presented several theatre productions as well as his first feature documentary, FOOTBALL UNDER COVER, winner of two Teddy awards at the 2008 Berlin Festival. 

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About The Montreal World Film Festival

Losique Serge

The MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF MONTREAL)is the only competitive film festival in North America recognized by the FIAPF.

Montreal ranks among the most prestigious festivals in the world.
2015 Coverage  includes 120 articles and interviews with winning producers and directors. It was provided by Musivision Films, Laurie Gordon Musivision (video interview), Tom Llewellin, Ken Fernandez,  Dejan Nikolaj Kraljacic and Bruno Chatelin


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