April 2, 2017, 6:30 P.M.

The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112, George Lucas Building lobby, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Outside the Box [Office], USC Persian Academic & Cultural Student Association (PACSA), and The Cinema Guild, invite you and a guest to a special screening of

Starless Dreams


Written, Directed, and Produced by Mehrdad Oskouei

6:30 P.M. on Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Winner: Amnesty International Film Prize, 2016 Berlin International Film Festival
Winner: Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award, 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Winner: Pare Lorentz Award, 2016 International Documentary Association
Winner: True Vision Award, 2016 True/False Film Fest
Winner: Best Documentary Feature, 2016 BFI London Film Festival
Winner: Best Documentary Feature, 2016 Asia Pacific Screen Awards

Official Selection: Human Rights Watch Festival, New York
Official Selection: BFI London Film Festival
Official Selection: Camden International Film Festival
Official Selection: Middle East Studies Association FilmFest
Official Selection: RIDM

About Starless Dreams

A stark testimonial of the previously unseen and unheard, award-winning Starless Dreams plunges us into the lives of young teenage girls sharing temporary quarters at a rehabilitation and correction center on the outskirts of Tehran. An unforgettable cinematic portrayal of restored innocence and humanity Starless Dreams is the last installment of the groundbreaking documentary trilogy Youth Behind Bars: The Iran Trilogy.

Considered one of Iran’s most prominent filmmakers, Mehrdad Oskouei spent seven years securing access to a female juvenile rehabilitation facility on the outskirts of Tehran. The result is Starless Dreams, a haunting portrait of stolen childhood, and a stark testimonial of the previously unseen and unheard.

Starless Dreams plunges into the lives of seven young teenage girls (Khatereh, Masoumeh, Ghazal, Somayeh, Nobody, Hasrat and 651) sharing temporary quarters at the rehabilitation center. As the New Year approaches, the girls bond. In intimate and layered interviews with Oskouei, the girls reveal with disarming and often playful honesty the circumstances and acts that resulted in their incarceration. Masoumeh, along with her sister and mother, killed her abusive father. Nobody explains that she was arrested for “adultery, armed robbery, the brothel.” 651 declares her name from the number of grams of cocaine she was found carrying. Outside the prison walls, danger is everywhere, even within their own families (virtually all of the girls have been “bothered” by male relatives). Such is the case for Khatereh, who feels her tumultuous life has aged her to the point where she longs for death.

Inside, the girls seek solace and comfort with each other and wonder about the coming year. Some wish to reunite with their families--Ghazal yearns to be with her infant daughter. Others wish to escape their families and form surrogate families within the center’s walls and a sisterly bond brings the girls to sing and dance with hope. It also allows them to share their tears. With incredible empathy, Starless Dreams delivers an unforgettable cinematic portrayal of restored innocence and humanity.

Exploring questions of crime and delinquency among Iranian youth, Starless Dreams follows It’s Always Late for Freedom (2008) and The Last Days of Winter (2011) in Oskouei’s award-winning documentary trilogy. While Starless Dreams portrays the female experience in Iran’s juvenile justice system, the first two installments focus on boys behind bars.

Provided courtesy of The Cinema Guild. Not rated. Running time: 76 minutes.

Visit the Official Website:


About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

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About the USC Persian Academic & Cultural Student Association (PACSA)

PACSA is a nonprofit, nonreligious and nonpartisan association of Iranian students at University of Southern California. Our mission is to explore and promote academic and cultural aspects related to Persian community and raise awareness about it at USC.

Visit PACSA online at:

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:00 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago