Those who think Iranian cinema begins and ends with Abbas Kiarostami should swing by the Iranian Film Festival, which offers plenty of Middle Eastern films worthy of discussion during a post-screening latte at Starbucks. This year, the kiddies will be able to get in on the viewing action, as the 13th annual fest will screen the cartoon short Babak and Friends: A First Norooz at its newest venue, the Children's Museum of Houston. The more serious fare will be screened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Rice Media Center. Many of the films, such as Killing Mad Dogs, The Unwanted Woman and Abadan, involve women who go on suspenseful journeys of self-discovery, where the possibility of danger and/or desire looms at every turn. Animated fun for the kids and raw drama for the adults betcha didn't think Iranians could bring it like that on the big screen, huh? Festival runs through Sunday, January 29, at various venues. For a full schedule and tickets, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $1 to $6.
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