For a Moment, Freedom

Ein Augenblick, Freiheit
Director: Arash T. Riahi

Austria, France, Turkey, drama, 110 min., 2008, lithuanian and english subtitles
The film “For a Moment, Freedom” is the story about Ali and Merdad, two young Iranian men trying to bring their little cousins from Iran in order to join their parents in Austria. They are stuck in Turkey waiting for their visa, with freedom almost within their grasp. In a hotel they have to share their life with other refugees: a couple and their son desperate to prove to the authorities that they are victims of political persecution, a Persian teacher and a young Kurd who fight their miserable situation with a great sense of humour. The director Arash T. Riahi masterfully interweaves individual stories into a beautiful, poetic and moving drama, based on true stories about the life of refugees trying desperately to reach the holy grail of freedom.

2008 – Golden Zenith for the Best First Fiction Feature Film in the World Film Festival in Montreal.
2008 – Award for the Best Debut Feature Film in Zurich Film Festival.
2008 – Alain Poire Screenvision Award for Best Director in Saint-Jean-De-Luz International Festival of Young Filmmakers.
2008 – Vienna Film Award for the best Austrian film in Vienna International Film Festival.
2009 – Flying Ox for Best Feature in Schwerin Art of Film Festival.
2009 – Audience Award and Special Jury Award in Lecce Festival of European Cinema.

About the director:
Born in Iran in 1972, Arash T. Riahi has lived in Vienna since 1982. After studying art and cinema, he started working as a freelance journalist, scriptwriter and director for the Austrian national broadcaster ORF in 1995. In 1998, Riahi founded the film and media production company “Golden Girls Filmproduktion”. He has written and directed several short documentaries, experimental films, music videos and commercials. The cinema documentary “The Souvenirs of Mr. X” (Die Souvenirs des Herrn X, 2004) was his first long documentary, and the multi-award winning “Exile Family Movie” was the second one. In 2008, Riahi’s first feature film “For a Moment, Freedom” (Ein Augenblick, Freiheit) was released and it has won 23 international awards since the premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival. In this film the director combines his own experience as an Iranian refugee with topical political and social issues in Europe today.

Section: Identity

Screenplay: Arash T. Riahi

Dir. of Photography: Michael Riebl

Music: Karuan Marouf

Cast: Navid Akhavan, Pourya Mahyari, Payam Madjlessi, Behi Djanati Atai, Johannes Silberschneider, Michael Niavarani