What Is Appropriate Behavior?

September 16, 2015 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm8:00 pm

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

What Is Appropriate Behavior?

Desiree Akhavan in conversation with Patricia White

Desiree Akhavan

Filmmaker, Screenwriter, Actor
Winner, 2014 San Diego Asian Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Appropriate Behavior

Patricia White

Professor of Film and Media Studies, Swarthmore College

Desiree Akhavan arrived on the scene with her popular web series The Slope. She has since appeared on the award-winning TV series Girls and written, directed, and starred in her debut feature film Appropriate Behavior. An indie comedy of the life, love, and identity troubles of a Persian-American bisexual Brooklynite, Appropriate Behavior premiered at Sundance in 2014 and has since catapulted Akhavan to international attention. She is also the writer and director of the short film Nose Job.

Join us for this very special evening with Ms. Akhavan, who will discuss her work with Patricia White, professor and chair of film & media studies at Swarthmore College. White is the author of the new book Women's Cinema, World Cinema, which explores the intersection of feminism and film in the 21st century. She is also the author of Uninvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Respresentability. A screening of Appropriate Behavior will follow their discussion.


Appropriate Behavior (dir. Desiree Akhavan, 2014, 86 min.)

Follow the life, love, and identity troubles of Shirin, an Iranian-American bisexual Brooklynite, in this indie comedy. Watch trailer

Desiree Akhavan, whose work often explores the interplay of belonging and identity, sexuality and culture, won the Grand Jury Prize at the San Diego Asian Film festival for Appropriate Behavior, and was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for the film's screenplay. And, for their work on The Slope, both she and Ingrid Jungermann were named among the 25 new faces of independent film by Filmmaker Magazine.

Akhavan was born in upstate New York to Iranian-American parents. She studied film and theatre at Smith College, and film directing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She also spent a year studying film at Queen Mary, University of London's School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, where she met Cecilia Frugiuele, Appropriate Behavior's producer.

Patricia White, a scholar of feminist film, received her PhD in the History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her BA in Film Studies from Yale University. She has been actively involved in independent feminist and LGBTQ media distribution and exhibition through service with nonprofits, film festivals, and cultural journals. These include the feminist film organization Women Make Movies, the feminist film journal Camera Obscura, and the New York International Festival of Lesbian and Gay Film. She is also an adivsory editor for Film Quarterly.