He left for a country where he hardly spoke the language. Yet he was a man who made a living from words: in Iran, he was a respected author. Now, Mister Royani (Mohsen Namjoo, a well-known musician in Iran) is head of programming at Pars Radio, a Persian radio station in San Francisco. In this role, he creates poetic, sometimes even meditative broadcasts for Afghans and Iranians living in the Bay Area. He reads stories, receives guests and discusses topics of interest, such as 'the history of apes in space’.
But on the day that Radio Dreams takes place, a very special event is planned: Kabul Dreams, the first rock band from Afghanistan, is to be in the studio. Later that day, they will jam with the world-famous rock band Metallica. Everyone is excited, except for Mister Royani, for whom everyday life seems to be one big disappointment.
Iranian director Babak Jalali has been marked as a great talent since his feature debut Frontier Blues (2009). With the intimate Radio Dreams, he lives up to these expectations. This painstakingly designed, dryly comic drama is a melancholy reflection on immigrant life, as well as a loving ode to doomed losers (wherever they may hail from) and hopeful rockers who believe that music can change the world. And who believe that Metallica will drop by at this tiny little radio studio. Winner Hivos Tiger Award 2016.