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Series continues with film about basketball in Iran

"The Iran Job," a documentary that follows American baskeball player Kevin Sheppard, center, as he plays basketball in Iran, will be shown Feb. 10.

A documentary that follows an American athlete playing basketball in Iran will kick off the second half of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, sponsored by the University of North Georgia and The Arts Council, Inc. The Feb. 10 film screening will be followed by an opportunity to meet the filmmakers.

During the 2008-09 season, Kevin Sheppard, who hails from the U.S. Virgin Islands, played basketball with the A.S. Shiraz team in Iran. "The Iran Job" follows Sheppard as he tries to separate politics from sports. Among the people Sheppard encounters are three outspoken Iranian women, who discuss politics, religion and gender roles. 

Till Schauder, director and producer, and Sara Nodjoumi, producer, will discuss the movie after the screening. Schauder, who has written and directed award-winning films in the United States and abroad, teaches film classes at New York University. Nodjoumi, who has worked with the Tribeca Film Festival, co-produced and directed a series of documentaries about the Iranian community in America.

The movie will be screened at the Smithgall Arts Center, located at 331 Spring St., Gainesville, and Schauder and Nodjoumi will hold a question-and-answer session, hosted by Dr. Jeff Marker, head of UNG's Department of Communication, Media & Journalism, after the screening.

"The South Arts series provides UNG and surrounding communities access to exciting independent films and to the filmmakers who made them," Marker said. "For students, the opportunity to talk with experienced filmmakers, especially away from the crowded, intimidating atmosphere of a film festival, is invaluable to their own growth as filmmakers."

All film screenings begin at 7 p.m., but doors open at 6:30 p.m. Opportunities to meet the filmmakers will be held after each screening. Tickets for each movie are $7 for adults or $5 for students and seniors; tickets for the series are $38 per person.

Upcoming movies include:

  • March 6: "Finding Hillywood," a film by Leah Warshawski, explores the efforts to start a film industry in Rwanda. The screening will be in the Hoag Student Center Auditorium on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.
  • April 14: "The New Public," filmed over four years by Jyllian Gunther, chronicles the opening of a new public school in Brooklyn's inner city. The screening will be held in the Martha T. Nesbitt Academic Building on UNG's Gainesville Campus.

For more information about the independent film series, including trailers and additional information, or to buy tickets, call The Arts Council at 770-534-2787 or visit the website at

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