Date Showing Showing On 12, 14, 15 August
Time Showing Monday 6pm, Wednesday 4pm and Thursday 6pm


PG 1hrs 31mins
comedy | 2023, USA | English, Dari, Cantonese

Donya, a lonely Afghan refugee and former translator, spends her twenties drifting through a meager existence in Fremont, California. Shuttling between her job writing fortunes for a fortune cookie factory and sessions with her eccentric therapist, Donya suffers from insomnia and survivor's guilt over those still left behind in Kabul as she desperately searches for love.


Mild themes and occasional coarse language

Babak Jalali
Original Review
Wendy Ide, Guardian and Matthew Toomey, The Film Pie
Extracted By
Ed Beswick
Anaita Wali Zada, Gregg Turkington, Jeremy Allen White

Watch The Trailer

FREMONT | Official Trailer | In Select Theaters August 25

Storyline (warning: spoilers)

Fremont is the fourth film from Iranian-English director Babak Jalali and it is an utter delight: a wry musing on the human connections and possibilities that spark in the most unexpected places. The film centres on beautiful and troubled 20-something Donya, a former Afghan translator who emigrated to California eight months ago and now works in a Chinese fortune cookie factory in the city of Fremont. It’s a lonely existence. She resides in a tiny apartment, survives on a meagre income, and has no family around her. Her only friend is a chatty work colleague and she spends her days composing enigmatic and inspirational statements to be enclosed in a crunchy sugar casing. She’s one of the lucky ones, but Donya can’t help feeling that her own fortune is a blank slip, her hopes for the future erased by her exile. As her fortunes are read by strangers, Donya’s smouldering longing drives her to send a message out to the world, unsure where it will lead.
Jalali's direction is understated yet powerful, allowing the film's quiet moments to speak volumes. The narrative is driven by character interactions and small, intimate scenes that reveal the complexity of Donya's inner world. The inner workings of the fortune cookie company provide some comic relief as Donya interacts with a semi-deluded boss, an elderly lady who can barely use a computer, and a broken coffee machine. Laughs are also drawn from her appointments with a quirky, book-loving therapist (Turkington) who reluctantly prescribes sleeping pills to help with her insomnia.
It’s admirably understated and authentic film-making, that deftly captures Fremont's mundane beauty and the sense of isolation felt by its residents in high contrast black and white. A sparse, loose-limbed jazz score adds to the film’s gauche charm. Fremont is more than just a story of immigration; it’s a universal tale of finding oneself in unfamiliar places and the quiet resilience of the human spirit. It leaves audiences with a subtle but profound reminder of the power of empathy and the importance of small connections in a vast, often indifferent world.

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