Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Feb 29, 2024 at 7:00 pm

Reflections from the Future

With Gelareh Kiazand, Hanif Sadr, and Lila Nazemian

Doors 7:00p
Program 7:30p

352 Onderdonk Ave
Ridgewood, NY

UnionDocs is delighted to come together with Arteeast to co-present REFLECTIONS FROM THE FUTURE, curated by ArteEast Programs and Communications Director Lila Nazemian!

REFLECTIONS FROM THE FUTURE presents documentary films that explore continuities and transformations over the last two decades within Iran’s cultural landscape. Shedding perspectives on some of the forces that have resulted in the decay and preservation of various traditions, the films explore Iranian culture across food, music, sport, as well as literary and spiritual performance. The program highlights the tireless efforts of individuals as they struggle to maintain the long legacy of Iran’s cultural diversity while simultaneously innovating traditions to align with the evolving times.

The evening includes Hadi Afarideh’s The Afar and Gelareh Kiazand’s Preserving Taste, followed by a Q&A and tasting with filmmaker Gelareh Kiazand, Chef Hanif Sadr, and ArteEast Programs and Communications Director, Lila Nazemian. 

Following the Q&A, chef Hanif Sadr will be discussing some of these ancient techniques as well as sharing some of his handmade preserves with the audience to taste!

Come through!

Note: This screening features two of several films featured in this program. The entire program will be available worldwide on Arteeast’s website from February 25 – March 5. RSVP.


The Afar by Hadi Afarideh

29 mins, 2015, Iran, Persian with English subtitles

The Afar is about ancient and sacred dances from the towns of Torbat Jam and Torbat Heydarieh in Iran. The film features Farooq Kiyani who has strived to preserve local dances from the Khorasan region, including the dance of Afar which is a ritual dance performed during Nowruz since ancient times in Iran. Nowruz, which corresponds to the vernal equinox, is the new year celebration dating back thousands of years and is still practiced by communities of varying faiths across Central and West Asia. The movements performed in the Afar dance are symbols of creation that represent the harmony of the four elements: water, wind, earth and the sun.

Preserving Taste by Gelareh Kiazand

21 mins, 2023, Iran, English and Persian with English subtitles

In the era of food sustainability, Hanif Sadr, an engineer turned chef from Tehran, Iran, has opened his first Iranian regional restaurant in San Francisco, USA. He delved into the farm to table gastronomy world after working as a cook for a Montessori school in Berkley. His mission is to introduce the regional and seasonal recipes of Northern Iran, learnt from his childhood, to the North American public where its ingredients geographically match California. With his wife banned from the US, and a lack of distribution of Iranian food ingredients, he travels back and forth between Iran and the U.S, attempting to bridge the personal and political to bring back a taste of home. Alongside other renowned food figures Hanif aims to show the depth of a unique forgotten cuisine that is connected with nature, influenced by seasons, and which defines the art of preservation techniques.

Program Duration: 50 mins

Watch the conversation between Presenter1, Presenter2 and Presenter 3 on the UnionDocs’ Membership hub.


Hadi Afarideh was born in Tehran, Iran in 1984. He started his art career in the theater in 1998, followed by the cinema in 2001 through the Iranian Youth Cinema Society from where he graduated with honors. He was chosen the Best Documentary Filmmaker in the first specialized workshops of documentary filmmaking in Iran by the Documentary and Experimental Film Center and Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association in 2006. Afarideh has participated in more than 200 Iranian and international festivals and won various awards for the directing, writing, and research of his 3 short films and 30 documentaries.  Some of the documentaries made by Afarideh have been screened in renowned universities such as UCLA, Dutch Anthropology Society, and international television channels such as the BBC.

Born in Tehran 1981, Gelareh Kiazand is a freelance Canadian-Iranian director of photography (DP), director and producer. She is currently based in NYC but had lived in Iran for 12 years as well as residing and covering stories in Afghanistan and Turkey resulting in producing over 25 stories. Documentaries she had directed and DP’d have also taken her to Antartica, India, Pakistan, Malta, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Ukraine. In 2016, she became Iran’s first female DP for a fiction feature film, post 79 revolution. Initially beginning her career as a photographer in 2003, she also held exhibitions and had her photos for renowned filmmaker Kiarostami’s film SHIRIN published internationally as well as being exhibited in Arles Photography Festival. Her most prominent works include: two documentaries directed and DP’d for ARTE Germany titled – A GOAL FOR FREEDOM (Kabul), DEATH OF DAPHNE (MALTA) and one directed and DP’d for VICE WORLD titled PRESERVING TASTE (Iran); four feature movies DP’d in Iran, Germany and China, 2 news feature reports co-produced and co-DP’d for VICE NEWS on the situation of Afghanistan post Taliban that brought in 3 News Emmys and 1 Peabody. In 2019 her Canadian production company SEETO PRODUCTIONS INC. was founded working with a young team in Iran that brought in other clients such as the HBO, History channel, Al Jazeera, Show of Force and other production companies. She and her team in Tehran also received a Doc Emmy for their work in the series HOSTAGES on HBO.

Lila Nazemian (she/her) is an independent curator and the Special Projects Curator at ArteEast in New York. In 2023, she joined the Brooklyn-based Transmitter gallery as a co-director. Her research and curatorial practice are focused on reimagining approaches to histories from the Middle East/Southwest Asia North Africa (SWANA) and Central Asia regions in an effort to counter narrative revisionism and collective amnesia. Recent curatorial projects include: “Conjuring Flames,” Arsenal Contemporary, New York, (2023); “Now That We Have Established A Common Ground” within Protocinema’s Emerging Curator Series, (2022);  “A Few In Many Places, New York,” Protocinema, Governors Island New York, (2021); “I open my eyes and see myself under a tree laden with fruit that I cannot name,” Center for Book Arts, New York (2020).

She received a B.A. in History from Scripps College, California; and an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from N.Y.U., New York. She was a QAYYEM 2019 Curatorial Fellow, was among the inaugural participants of the 2018-2019 Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program in New York and participated in ICI’s 2018 Curatorial Intensive in Bangkok.

Hanif Sadr is chef and co-founder of Komaaj Food Group, a northern Iranian restaurant group in the Bay Area. Chef Sadr grew up in Tehran and spent summers on his grandparents’ farm in northern Iran, where he developed a lifelong love of exploring nature and learned about tradition foraging, farming, and animal husbandry from the people working the land. After earning a college degree in materials science in Iran, he went to work in his country’s large oil and gas fields. He came to the United States in 2012 for a graduate program on renewable energy at San Jose State University and was asked to become a cook despite having no previous knowledge. His family’s longtime cook in Iran, Baaji Khanoom, became his tutor. He has become a fixture of the Bay Area food scene, from his wildly popular pop-ups to his farmers’ market appearances. As co-founder and head chef for Komaaj Food Group, he oversees operates four projects: Komaaj restaurant and wine bar, Komaaj Catering, and Komaaj Preservation Lab – all in San Francisco, and Komaaj Mazze Bar at Calabash Market in Oakland.

From the Event

Presented With

+ Get Tickets


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available


Feb 29, 2024
7:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
+ Google Map

Presented with

Arte East
View Organizer Website

Support UnionDocs’ next phase and new building by becoming a member

Peek in the window of our bustling building in NYC and tune into the ideas and energy bubbling up from the UNDO Center.

Tune into cutting-edge, powerful and poetic documentary programs and connect to conversations with the artists and thinkers passing through.

Now available at the Apple Store.



Unlimited access to all of our monthly offerings for the price of two espressos.



Keep it simple and save. Unlimited access to our sweet offerings for a reduced, annual fee and receive some added benefits.



In the neighborhood, a working artist, student or senior? This membership is for you. Fill out a quick form for a discount code to an annual membership.



Get all of the benefits of the Annual UNDO Membership plus an annual subscription to UnionDocs Editions, a set of publications, merchandise or special objects.

UnionDocs is grateful for support from:

New limited editions out now!
Featuring the work of the UNDO Fellows.

FORMS OF ERRANTRY delves into the mesmerizing and haunting films of Miryam Charles and is edited by Lakshmi Padmanabhan. GEOLOGIC LISTENING centers the monumental and expansive work of filmmaker Deborah Stratman and is edited by Sukhdev Sandhu.

Pod Pod 2023 Group 02

Pod Pod is now accepting applications.
Apply today!

Calling all AUDIO MAKERS looking for a bit of motivation, peer support, collective production and a dose of inspiration for your personal project —  join us for 3 months this Fall!