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Sonita
Iran/Germany/Switzerland, 2015, 91 minutes, Color, DVD, English/Farsi, Subtitled
Order No. W161180
Two-time Sundance Film Festival award winner SONITA tells the inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. And her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she's worth $9,000. Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (GOING UP THE STAIRS) poignantly shifts from observer to participant altering expectations, as Sonita's story unfolds in this personal and joyful portrait. An intimate portrait of creativity and womanhood, SONITA highlights the rarely seen intricacies and shifting contrasts of Iranian society through the lens of an artist who is defining the next generation.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS


Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize – World Documentary and Audience Award – World Documentary
IDFA, Audience Award and DOC U Award
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, The Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award
Sarasota Film Festival, Best In World Cinema Audience Award
True/False Film Festival, True Life Fund Award
Sheffield Doc/Fest, Youth Jury Award
One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, AVAST Foundation Audience Award
Montclair Film Festival, Audience Award, MFF Junior Jury Special Jury Prize for Social Justice
Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, Jury Award, Best Feature Documentary

  • Ambulante Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New York & London
  • Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights
  • Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
  • Ashland International Film Festival
  • AFI Docs
  • Aspen Ideas Festival
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival
  • Greenwich Film Festival
  • Nantucket Film Festival
  • Boulder International Film Festival
  • Salem Documentary Film Festival
  • Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Seattle International Film Festival
  • San Francisco Film Festival
  • Montclair Film Festival
  • Florida Film Festival
  • Wisconsin Film Festival
  • Dallas International Film Festival

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QUOTES

    ***** "Triumphant documentary...Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami’s absorbing portrait of a refugee in Iran is endlessly surprising..."
    Nigel M. Smith
    The Guardian

    "Inspiring…a certified crowdpleaser."
    Neil Young
    The Hollywood Reporter

    "SONITA is the deftly done story of a young Afghan woman in Tehran who dreams of rap stardom while her family plans to sell her as a bride."
    Kenneth Turan
    LA Times

    "Everyone falls in love with Sonita in this film…"
    Fionnuala Halligan
    Screen Daily

    "Sonita is engaging, articulate, intelligent and wholly admirable in her audacious campaigning against forced marriage in particular and misogynistic Islam in general…"
    Neil Young
    The Hollywood Reporter

    "Her plight is sadly common, but Sonita herself—a fiery and opportunistic fighter wrapped in a head scarf—is anything but."
    Enid Spitz
    Willamette Week

    “Maghami is such a skilled, aware filmmaker that her action, beyond its obvious humanitarian value, falls into a glorious tradition of meta-filmmaking in Iranian cinema - it immediately conjured Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up."
    Erin Teachman
    DC Metro Theater Arts

    “4 ****”
    Leslie Felperin
    The Guardian

    "Wrenching, delicately told documentary."
    Leslie Felperin
    The Guardian

    "The kid is a force of nature, and it’s impossible not to be swept along by the powerful tide of her story."
    Leslie Felperin
    The Guardian

    "4 ****"
    Antonia Quirke
    Financial Times

    "… you feel Ghaemmaghami’s supercharged will as strongly as the stubborn and talented Sonita’s. The older woman urging the younger to lead a bigger, more beautiful and enjoyable life. To be happy."
    Antonia Quirke
    Financial Times

    "The film metamorphoses from a moving and intimate profile of an exceptional young woman into a cinematic treatise on the role of the filmmaker in nonfiction filmmaking."
    Christopher Llewellyn Reed
    Hammer to Nail

    "Profound movie."
    Christopher Llewellyn Reed
    Hammer to Nail

    "Exhilarating documentary…Initially entertaining and effervescent, it jolts the viewer into realizing that what is on the screen is not just a performance to be vicariously enjoyed, but the life of a real person whose fate is being determined."
    Peter Keough
    The Boston Globe

    "***"
    Video Librarian

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