The Iranian Film Festival returns this week, giving Brisbane cinephiles a chance to experience the most exciting contemporary Iranian films.

Now in its sixth year, the festival will spotlight 13 feature films from Iran’s most prolific filmmakers, and aims to strengthen ties and forge cultural understanding between Australia and Iran.

Festival co-director Anne Demy-Geroe says the event will give cinema buffs a chance to discover important new voices in contemporary international cinema.

“The new political era continues to heavily influence Iranian cinema, and this year’s films are bursting with creativity and new energy as a result,” she says.

“In 2016, we’re hoping that audiences are interested in learning more about this exciting industry and will join us in celebrating both Iranian films and the Iranian culture as a whole.”

Festival co-director Armin Miladi says the program has been curated to showcase a range of diverse talent from Iran’s film industry.

“We open the Festival with one of this year’s most compelling international dramas, Life and a Day; the debut film from Saeed Roostaei and winner of nine coveted Simorgh Awards at this year’s Fajr International Film Festival,” he says.

“Starring Navid Mohammadzadeh, Life and a Day tells the story of a young woman from South Tehran torn between familial obligations and expectations and a greater personal calling. It’s a stunning debut from Roostaei and a taste of brilliant things to come.”

Miladi points to Reza Dormishian’s latest film, Lantouri, a drama about contemporary social issues affecting Iran’s young people, as another highlight of the festival.

“In addition, 11 other highly acclaimed films make up our jam-packed Festival program, including the award-winning Daughter, Festival favourite The Salesman, and Sound and Fury, from award-winning director and Festival regular Houman Sayedi.”

The Iranian Film Festival will run from Thursday 20 October to Sunday 23 October at New Farm Cinemas. For more info and tickets, visit iffa.net.au.