Anthem Persian film festival
2 Days
2 theaters
12 films
6 panels
400 participants
and you!
march 2 - 3 2024

the Folino theater

March 2
283 North Cypress Street
Orange, CA 92866


the frida cinema

March 3
305 E 4th St #100
Santa Ana, CA 92701


Our Story

In 2018, something powerful and unexpected began to happen at Anthem: a handful of freedom loving filmmakers inside Iran discovered our festival and began sending us pleas for a fee waiver. 

Through the magic of the Internet they could share their films with us. But because of Iran’s oppressive currency regulations, they could not send us their submission fee. 

Of course we said yes. Every single time. 

The handful turned into a deluge. In the past five years we have received nearly 200 submissions from courageous filmmakers who want the world to know their stories. 

Their films contain richly textured stories about women’s rights, family relationships, love, loss, guilt, injustice, defiance, risk, connection, and hope.

At Anthem, we are inspired by their resistance. We care deeply about freedom of speech, freedom of choice, and the freedom to act. 

And we want you to hear their voices through their films. Join us at the Persian Film Festival March 2-3..

Films you won't see anywhere else.
Be the first to see brand new films from talented and courageous Persian filmmakers that have not yet been screened in the United States, as well as some of Anthem’s award-winning Iranian films from previous seasons. You can watch “Tangle,” Anthem’s 2018 Narrative Grand Prize winner, here. Join the conversation! Film screenings will include post-screening panels and Q&A. Join the party! Your VIP ticket includes our gala reception with keynote speakers. Films presented in Farsi with English subtitles.
Keynote speakers
Cyrus Saidi

Cyrus Saidi is an Iranian born filmmaker and talent manager. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Cyrus has a multidisciplinary attitude towards creative verticals, both in empowering artists to reach their visions, as well as exploring his own creative dreams fueled by a passion for freedom of expression and blending ideals and philosophies of eastern and western cultures.


Farbod Ardebili is an Iranian director/writer residing in the US. He was awarded Sundance's Film Intensive Fellowship in 2018. His work has won awards and recognition at renowned film festivals including Slamdance, Fantastic Fest, Fantasia, and numerous Oscar/BAFTA qualifiers. His films have also been praised by news outlets such as BBC, Yahoo, Dazed, VOA, and more.

Mahyar Mandegar
Mahyar Mandegar is an Iranian director, writer and editor. His short film "White Winged Horse" premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was an official selection at EnergaCamerimage. His work as an editor premiered at the Venice Film Festival and Melbourne IFF. Mahyar holds a BA in film from the Art University of Tehran and an MFA in directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory.


Meet the filmmakers and our celebrity guests at our gala opening night reception! Hot and cold hors d’ouevres, wine and champagne, entertainment, networking, and keynote speaker. Saturday March 2 from 4-5:30 at Sandhu Conference Center on the Chapman University Campus. For tickets go to:


opening night films & panels

$20 Student
$35 Adult
Saturday, March 2
6-10 pm

Festival of shorts + Panels

$15 Student
$25 Adult
Sunday, March 3
12-4 pm

Film lovers
festival ticket

$35 Student
$50 Adult
All films and panels both days.

opening night gala reception

Food, drinks, entertainment, celebrity guests, keynote speakers.


  • VIP seating at all films and panel discussions
  • Opening Cocktail Reception, Exclusive Meet and Greet Dessert & Wine, reception during Saturday intermission
  • Guest-list Only Saturday night After Party
  • Exclusive Meet and Greet Reception during Sunday intermission & Swag bag

Corporate Sponsorships

  • All VIP benefits;
  • Name and business logo printed in the program
  • Signage at the receptions and in the theater lobbies
  • Displayed on festival screen and on the Anthem Persian Film Festival website;
  • Personal acknowledgement from the stage by the festival emcee