The Bestest Challenge Ever
The One You've Been Waiting 4
Since Before You'd Ever Heard of
Any of These Weird Far-Off Countries
The Official Iran/Central Asia Challenge!!!
Watch (and discuss, and rate, and rank, and fight about) films from Iran and Central Asia.
The map above, duh. Oh, don't like maps? Names too small and perhaps, like your host, not very bright when it comes to re-sizing stuff? Here's the list:
MORE DETAILS ABOUT ELIGIBILITY - mostly written by sol, thanks
For films to qualify for this Challenge, they need to have an eligible country listed as a production country on the film's IMDb page (Soviet productions aside). If you've seen something that you strongly believe should be eligible and isn't, please submit a correction to IMDb and you can include the film as soon as IMDb accepts your correction. Films by ex-pat directors (e.g. Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows) are not eligible unless they meet the IMDb country listing requirement. I know it isn't ideal that I have put in hard and fast rules like this, but you wouldn't believe some of the random stuff that participants have tried to include in previous years without such guidelines in place.
A number of Central Asian countries were part of the former Soviet Union and these films tend to be listed as USSR only on IMDb. For the purposes of this challenge, you can include any such films, but when listing them you must specify which modern day country they belong to. USSR on its own is not an eligible country for this challenge. That said, we have had eight USSR/Russian challenges over the past ten years in which Soviet Era films from Central Asia were eligible, so I would encourage you to explore modern output from these countries during this challenge rather than the same films that have been eligible during the past eight USSR Challenges.
A number of Iranian, Central Asian and Mongolian films are co-productions with non-eligible countries. Please use some common sense to determine whether these films really represent Iranian, Central Asian or Mongolian cinema. As a general guide, a film that has both France and Iran as production countries but which is filmed in Farsi with an Iranian cast and crew is eligible; a film that has Armenia listed as a third production but is filmed in English with a mostly Anglophonic cast and crew isn't eligible. I am happy to provide advice for any borderline cases. In most cases, co-productions are eligible unless the involvement of the listed production country is insignificant (I'm thinking of Brian De Palma's Passion).
- Each feature film (over 40 minutes) counts as one entry.
- 80 minutes of short films or miniseries/TV episodes counts as one entry.
- Films must be watched one at a time and at single speed (not sped up).
- Rewatches are allowed and are good for the soul.
- Please include year of release when listing your viewings.
- Please indicate each film's country when listing your viewings otherwise your score will NOT be included in the leaderboard. Your host's preference (not required, but try to make him happy, ok?) would be for viewings to be logged as such:
Film title (original+English is good, but in any case enough so that I know what specific film you watched - it should go without saying that there are lots of films titled "Mother" for example, including multiple ones eligible for just this challenge; director(s); date; country(s) - please list all countries of production. If you don't give me enough info to know what film you watched, it will not count.
Example: و ایران ، ایران تا کنون دور / And Iran, Iran So Far Away (Omar Omarsson, 2025, Iran/Turkey/Sweden)
Film Magazine's Best Iranian Films
Tom Vick's Asian Cinema #s 579-637
The Former Soviet Republics, Afghanistan and Mongolia:
Tom Vick's Asian Cinema #s 792-807
UNESCO's Memory of the World #s 519-552
Crystal Simorgh Award Winners
Iranian Submissions for the AA Best Foreign Film (through 2014)
Kenji's Essential Iranian Films
The Iranian Film 50
CFB Greatest Movies by Country #321-340 Iran
Cinema of Hayastan (Armenia) All lists in one (Armoreska)
Tbilisi Intermedia's 12 Best Georgian Movies of All Time
Cinema of Kazakhstan All Lists in One (Armoreska)
Uzbeksitan UNESCO (Armoreska)
Documentary Films of Central Asia
Central Asian Cinema According to David Cook
Melvelet's links to lists of films from each country available online with subs
More lists welcomed and needed! I will add more as I find them or am directed to them.
Most of the eligible countries for this challenge have submitted films to the Oscars and those listings can be found on Wikipedia, but they haven't been duplicated as icheckmovies lists - yet. Again, I will add them if/when they are available.
None for this specific challenge. I ran a challenge just for Iran in May 2019; top 3 were your humble host with 54, 72allincallme with 45, and jeroeno with 42; there were a mere 20 participants. Surely we can beat that this time!
Bonus Challenge - Watch the Whole Region
Three people have completed the country-cycle as of July 29, in order
*Post immediately following reserved for answers to eligibility questions*