AVA DISC D: Sadaf Foroughi. Iran/Canada/Qatar. 103 min..

AVA DISC D: Sadaf Foroughi. Iran/Canada/Qatar. 103 min. Sep 8, 6:15 pm, Scotiabank 3 Sep 10, 9 am, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Sep 17, 6:30 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4. Rating: NNN

You can see why there’s buzz for this emerging director. The film cannily conveys how Tehrani teenager Ava (Mahour Jabbari) feels constricted by her family and the institutions around her.

Her parents (Vahid Aghapour, Bahar Nouhian) are starting to regret that they encouraged her to play music and appreciate the arts, and want her to study something useful. And her school principal (Leili Rashidi) is horrified by – and punitive about – her friendship with a boy pianist.

Although the film builds to a terrific scene between the principal and Ava’s dad (Aghapour is excellent as an ineffectual man who finally speaks out), the pace is ragged. Conversations tend to be too long and are staged too statically. And the English subtitles are, unfortunately, stilted.

But Foroughi is definitely one to watch.

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