NEXT Innovator Award
Sundance Film Festival
Audience Award ~ Festival Favorites
South by Southwest
Crystal Globe ~ Best Film
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Honest and hopeful. An ode to the universal beauty and restless pull of human connection.



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. She 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.

“A cross-cultural comedy that explores the freedom of being lost and the exhilaration of finding oneself.” - Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“A drama with a spare, wry tone that belies its earnest and ample substance. Zada, a journalist in her first movie role, endows her character with pensive depths and a shudder at what they contain.” - Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Not to be missed. A coolly deadpan comedy. It takes nothing away from Jalali's distinctive filmmaking voice to say that the economy and sorrowful humor of Fremont is reminiscent of Aki Kaurismaki and Jim Jarmusch.”
- Amy Taubin, Artforum

“Quietly magical. A black-and-white portrait shot with Jarmuschian streaks of droll humor.” - David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“Charming, thoughtful, and carefully crafted. There is a zen-like quality to its confidence and considerate composition Anaita Wali Zada is a true breakout star.”
- Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“An honest, hopeful and tranquil film about alienation and isolation. Played perceptively by the real-life refugee Anaita Wali Zada. Jalai's central character is a captivating screen presence throughout this sophisticated fable, shot in a serene black-and-white palette. Ultimately, Fremont is an ode to the universal beauty and restless pull of human connection.” - Tomris Laffly, Harper's Bazaar
Not Rated
Drama, Comedy, Women and Film
Babak Jalali
Carolina Cavalli, Babak Jalali
Anaita Wali Zada, Jeremy Allen White, Gregg Turkington, Hilda Schmelling, Avis See-tho, Siddique Ahmed, Taban Ibraz
Nominee, NEXT Innovator Award, Sundance Film Festival
Nominee, Audience Award ~ Festival Favorites, South by Southwest
Nominee, Crystal Globe ~ Best Film, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Winner, Best Director ~ International Competition, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

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