The UK premiere of Willow and Wind

The Iranian master's UK trip started at the BFI Southbank

The UK premiere of Willow and Wind by the great Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Ali Talebi was greeted with rapturous applause by a sell-out audience at BFI Southbank last night (April 11).

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Mark Cousins introducing the season with his/her childhood self. Photo: Paria Kamyab

The film was screened to launch the Cinema of Childhood season, curated by Mark Cousins. Talebi, making his first ever public appearance in the UK, took part in a Q&A session with Cousins after the screening.

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Q&A with Talebi and Cousins. Photo: Paria Kamyab

Earlier in the day, Talebi visited the National Film & TV School at Beaconsfield, where he shared his vast experience of working with child and non-pro actors with directing students.

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Another highlight of the Iranian master’s UK trip so far was his visit to the Cinema Museum in Kennington, south London. This vast collection of old movie posters and equipment is housed in the building which was once the workhouse where Charlie Chaplin lived as a boy.

Talebi said the smell and atmosphere of the museum reminded him of the cinemas of his childhood, where his father used to control his unruly brood of siblings with a long stick to reach across the row and tap the miscreant on the head.

After taking the plaudits at BFI Southbank, Talebi heads off on a UK tour in the coming week. He’s due to appear at Cambridge Arts Picturehouse on Sunday April 13, screening Bag of Rice at 15.20; then Filmhouse Edinburgh on Tuesday April 15, screening Willow and Wind at 18.10; and finally at Watershed Bristol on April 17, screening Willow and Wind again at 18.10.

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