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Fremont (2023)

Opens on October 6

Director: Babak Jalali Run Time: 91 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2023

Starring: Anaita Wali Zada, Gregg Turkington, Hilda Schmelling, Jeremy Allen White, Siddique Ahmed

Country: United States
Language: English, Dari, Cantonese with English subtitles

About the film:

World Premiere, 2023 Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection, 2023 SXSW Film Festival

Each morning, Donya crosses the Bay to work at a family-run fortune cookie factory in San Francisco. An Afghan immigrant, she drifts through her routine, struggling to connect with the culture and people of her new, unfamiliar surroundings. When an unexpected promotion at work thrusts her into the position to write her own story, she communicates her loneliness and longing through a concise medium: the fortunes inside each cookie.

“the potency of “Fremont” sneaks up on you… [You] come out wondering how and why you’re moved to tears.”

—Tomris Laffly, Variety

Tenderly sculpted and lyrically shot in black-and-white, Babak Jalali’s Fremont (2023) is a wry, deadpan vision of the universal longing for home. The film went on to receive nominations for the John Cassavetes Award – given to the best feature made for under $1 million – and Best Breakthrough Performance (Anaita Wali Zada) at the 2024 Independent Spirit Awards.

About the filmmaker:

Babak Jalali was born in Northern Iran and raised primarily in London. His short film, Heydar, An Afghan in Tehran (2005), received a BAFTA nomination for Best Short Film in 2006. He developed his debut feature film, Frontier Blues (2009), at the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation Residence. The film premiered in Official Competition at the 2009 Locarno International Film Festival and went on to receive the FIPRESCI Award at the San Francisco Film Festival. His second feature, Radio Dreams (2016), won the Hivos Tiger Award at the 2016 Rotterdam Film Festival, received the Special Jury Award at the Seattle International Film Festival and won Best Director at the Andrei Tarkovsky Film Festival in Russia. His third feature, Land (2018), premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2018. Fremont (2023) is his fourth feature film.

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