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Dir. Babak Jalali
91 min

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About the Film

Each morning Donya (Anaita Wali Zada) leaves her tight-knit community of Afghan immigrants in Fremont, California. She crosses the Bay to work at a family-run fortune cookie factory in San Francisco. Donya drifts through her routine, struggling to connect with the culture and people of her new, unfamiliar surroundings while processing complicated feelings about her past as a translator for the U.S. government in Afghanistan. Unable to sleep, she finagles her way into a regular slot with a therapist (Gregg Turkington) who grasps for prospective role models. When an unexpected promotion at work thrusts Donya into the position to write her own story, she communicates her loneliness and longing through a concise medium: the fortunes inside each cookie. Donya’s koans travel, making a humble social impact and expanding her world far beyond Fremont and her turbulent past, including an encounter with a quiet auto mechanic (Jeremy Allen White) who could stand to see his own world expanded. Tenderly sculpted and lyrically shot in black-and-white, Babak Jalali’s Fremont is a wry, deadpan vision of the universal longing for home.

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Film Details

Program: New Releases
Release Year: 2023
Runtime: 91 min
Country/Region: USA
Language: English, Dari, Chinese (Cantonese)
Print Source: Music Box Films
Tags: Comedy, Culture & Society, Drama, Dramedy, Family Drama, Immigration


Director: Babak Jalali
Executive Producer: Lata Krishnan, Neda Nobari, Nickhil Jakatdar, Akash Nigam
Producer: Marjaneh Moghimi, Sudnya Shroff, Rachael Fung, George Rush, Chris Martin, Laura Wagner
Cinematographer: Laura Valladao
Screenwriter: Carolina Cavalli, Babak Jalali
Editor: Babak Jalali
Composer: Mahmood Schricker
Principal Cast: Anaita Wali Zada, Jeremy Allen White, Gregg Turkington, Hilda Schmelling, Avis See-tho, Siddique Ahmed, Taban Ibraz