offside-jan-7thIt is a qualifying game for the 2006 World Cup and Iran is playing Bahrain at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium, but there’s no admission for females. An unconnected group of young women decide to dress as men/boys in order to see their team play, despite the risk of arrest and punishment. One by one they are rumbled by the authorities and taken to a detention pen. Here the raw military recruits find that the women put up a spirited and passionate resistance. Panahi was able to access the Azadi stadium in order to make this film, and his cast of non-professional actresses gives wonderfully naturalistic and humorous performances exposing the absurdities of this authoritarian society with great wit. (Cert PG)
Dir: Jafar Panahi 90 mins Iran 2006

Programme Notes

Iran 2006 93mins Cert PG

This comedy sports drama, from acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (This Is Not a Film (2011), The Circle (2000), The White Balloon (1995)) focuses on a group of young women who love football. However, under the Islamic Republic of Iran’s laws, women are not allowed to attend football games. Therefore the girls decide to disguise themselves as men to attend a World Cup qualifier match at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. Will they be caught by the authorities, or will they be able to enjoy the match in peace with the other spectators?

Panahi let the actors choose their own disguises, being given only a brief guide as to how they should dress themselves if they were to appear as men. Despite the film being banned in his native Iran, Panahi gained international success, including winning the Silver Bear award at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival, where the film tied with Pernille Fischer Christensen’s A Soap. The actors also picked up Best Actress awards at the 2006 Gijón International Film Festival.

“Exhilarating, exuberant and drolly funny” Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

First Girl – Sima Mobarak-Shahi
Smoking Girl – Shayesteh Irani
Soccer Girl – Ayda Sadeqi
Girl with Tchador – Golnaz Farmani
Girl as a Soldier – Mahnaz Zabihi
Young Girl – Nazanin Sediq-zadeh

Director – Jafar Panahi
Producer – Jafar Panahi
Screenplay – Jafar Panahi, Shadmehr Rastin
Music – Yuval Barazani, Korosh Bozorgpour

To be screened with
UK 2014 15mins Cert 15

Nominated for Best British Short at the 2014 British Independent Film Awards, this family drama features a bereaved headmaster fighting the titular reptile. Its director, Gaëlle Denis, won the Canal+ Award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.



“Tense – kept you involved.”

“A bit disjointed in places but the stellar sound design held your attention throughout, even if the ending was a bit Roald Dahl.”

“Man kills crocodile – crocodile kills man ?? Was it all a dream? I’m confused.”


“Slightly dis-satisfying”

“Not to my liking”

“A very poor watch for the [illegible], I’m afraid!”

“No tears need be shed about this!”

“A sorry tail!”

OFFSIDE (feature)

“Brilliant double bill! Two intelligent films.”

“Yet another brilliant film that got us into the heart of Iran.”

“Wonderfully subversive”

“Tough at first on the women but could be game changer”

“A warm-hearted comedy that took its time to forefront the female characters, whilst encapsulating the spirit of football during the process.”

“At last, a comedy worthy of the name”

“Amusing film, with a telling message for the western footballing world”

“An opportunity for everyone to let go!”


“Very off-side”

“Mad Iranian girl football fans”

“Wow – all about a football game! 50% of the world doesn’t care about football and the rest are crazy for it.”

“Easily the best football match I’ve ever watched.”

“That was the most interesting football match I’ve ever seen!”

“Great film but what if Iran had lost?”

“Tedious film – just like the game”


A:18, B:13, C:6, D:2, E:0 to give 80%