International Short Film Festival 2007, Independent Films on Iran

Selection Committee

The selection committee for the First International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran was made up of three people, all of whom have been educated in the US in various fields of cinema: Ghasem Ebrahimian, Farhad Zaman and Bahman Maghsoudlou.

Ghasem Ebrahimian

image of Bahman MaghsoudlouGhasem Ebrahimian is an award-winning writer and director. He came to the US in 1974 to study cinema and graduated from SUNY Purchase in 1979. His thesis film, Willie, earned him a student Academy Award and was shown in festivals around the world and on Public Television’s Independent Focus.

He formed Ebrafilms with Coleen Higgins in 1980 and the company produced over forty documentaries for Italian and French television among other commercial productions. His feature film, The Suitors, was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Camera d’Or. The Suitors was theatrically released in the US and was shown on Germany’s WDR and UK’s Channel 4.

In 1997 he began his collaboration with Shirin Neshat on a number of filmed video installations. Their first collaboration, Turbulent, won the first international prize at the 1999 Venice Biennale. The following installations, Rapture, Soliloquy, Possessed, Fervor, Pulse, and Mahdokht have been shown in museums and galleries around the world. Ebrahimian also wrote and directed the film portion of Logic of the Birds, a multi-disciplinary theatrical piece in collaboration with Sussan Deyhim, Ms. Neshat and Shoja Azari. Logic of the Birds premiered in New York at Lincoln Center. In 2002, Logic of the Birds was presented at the Union Chapel by ArtAngel in London.

Ebrahimian has worked with Susan Shaw on a number of documentaries for the South Bank Show, the longest running arts program in the UK, including “Cinema of Fire: Iranian Cinema,” which focuses on the works of Bahram Beyzai, Abbas Kiarostami, Darius Mehrjui and Jaffar Panahi.

His short film The Sacred, The Absurd premiered at Victoria and Albert Museum in London and was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Ebrahimian has taught a course on Directing for Film at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Farhad Zamani

image of Bahman MaghsoudlouIranian-American filmmaker Farhad Zamani studied film as an undergraduate student at Montclair State University before earning his Master's Degree from Columbia University's School of the Arts in New York City. For more than a decade he has made a number of films that have been screened at various film festivals around the United States and Europe, including Googoosh: Iran's Daughter, which marked his feature-length directorial debut. He currently works for the renowned NYC-based, independent film distributor First Run Features.

Bahman Maghsoudlou

image of Bahman MaghsoudlouFilm scholar and critic Bahman Maghsoudlou has been a participant in the world cinema scene in many capacities. He has served as a panelist, juror and lecturer at a wide variety of film festivals, including the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Tri-Continental Festival at Nantes, France, the Margaret Mead Festival in New York City, the St. Petersburg “Message to Man” Festival and others.

As an author he was the recipient of the Forough Farrokhzad literary award in Iran (1975). His books include the widely acclaimed Iranian Cinema (1987), published by New York University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, which is used around the world as a resource on the history of Persian films.

Maghsoudlou wrote and directed the short documentary film Ardeshir Mohasses and His Caricatures, (1972) which was shown at the Leipzig Film Festival in 1996. As a producer his films have been selected for more than one hundred prestigious films festivals from all around the world. They include The Suitors (Cannes, 1988), Manhattan by Numbers (Venice, Toronto, 1993), Seven Servants (Locarno, Toronto, 1996), starring Anthony Quinn and David Warner, and Life in Fog (1998), the single most awarded short/documentary film in the history of Iranian Cinema

Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist (2004), his second directorial documentary, is about an important Iranian novelist and part of a series about renowned Iranian artists. The film premiered at the Berlin Asian Pacific Film Festival, and was selected for ISIS and MESA, 2004 and the 15th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema at the UCLA Film & Television Archive Film Festival, 2005.

His latest feature film as producer, Silence of the Sea, won the Ecumenical Prize at Mannheim Film Festival 2003, Best Film and Best Screenplay at Croatia Film Festival 2004, Best Music at Asia/Pacific Film Festival, and was also selected for more than twenty film festivals, among them the Sundance Film Festival 2004.

Maghsoudlou is currently producing and directing a long documentary on the history of Iranian Cinema entitled Iranian Cinema: Searching for the Roots (1900-1979) and a historical documentary, The Life and Legacy of Mohammad Mossadegh.


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