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Golshifteh Farahani

Golshifteh FarahaniGolshifteh Farahani, (Persian: گلشیفته فراهانی‎) born in Tehran on the 10th of July 1983 is an Iranian international actress currently living in Paris, France.

Farahani is the daughter of actor and theater director Behzad Farahani and Fahime Rahiminia and is the sister of actress Shaghayegh Farahani.

She started studying music and playing the piano at the age of five and at 12 years of age, she entered a music school in Tehran.

Just two years later at the age of 14, she was cast as the lead in Dariush Mehrjui's The Pear Tree for which she won the Crystal Roc for Best Actress in the International Section of the 16th Fajr International Film Festival held in Tehran.

Since then she has acted in over 25 films, many of which have received international awards. For the film Boutique she won the Best Actress award from the 26th Nantes Three Continents Festival in France.

Golshifteh FarahaniIn recent years she has acted in movies by some of Iran's best directors such as Dariush Mehrjui's controversial film Santouri - which tells the story of young couple in which the husband, a musician, becomes a drug addict.

She also appeared in Bahman Ghobadi's Half Moon (winner of the Golden Shell at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival), the late Rasool Mollagholipoor's M for Mother (Iran's nominee for the 2008 Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category, and for which she won the special prize from the jury for Best Actress at the 37th Roshd International Film Festival), and Asghar Farhadi's About Elly (Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival and Best Film at the Tribeca Film Festival).

Farahani is highly involved in environmental causes and also became the ambassador for fighting tuberculosis in Iran. After her involvement in the U.S. film Body of Lies, Ridley Scott's latest movie, in which she starred along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, she reportedly had been prevented by Iranian authorities from leaving Iran, but this was denied by her colleagues and she later appeared at the Body of Lies premiere in the United States.

Golshifteh FarahaniIranian actress Golshifteh Farahani has left for the United States, a colleague was quoted as saying Tuesday, denying reports that she faced a travel ban.

"This trip took place last Thursday and she has gone to the United States on a personal visit," casting director Mohammad Reza Sharifinia, who has worked on a number of films with Farahani, told the Fars news agency in Tehran.

"These are all rumours and her trip proves these rumours wrong," Sharifinia said of the reported ban, which sparked criticism in several Iranian newspapers.

However, reports said Farahani had insisted in her contract on wearing the Islamic headscarf or a wig in the film in order to respect Iranian law, which requires every young woman to cover their hair and bodily contours when in public. Body of Lies tells the story of a CIA agent sent to Jordan to track down an Al-Qaeda leader, marked the first time that an actress living in Iran appeared in a Hollywood production. Prior to that the Iranian actor Homayoun Ershadi had starred as Baba in the 2007 Hollywood adaptation of the best-selling novel The Kite Runner.

Golshifteh FarahaniIn the last film she did in Iran, she appeared in About Elly directed by Asghar Farhadi. The film was selected at the Tribeca Film Festival and won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Farahani now lives in Paris, France with her husband Amin Mahdavi. Since moving to Paris, she has worked with well respected directors including Roland Joffe, Hiner Saleem and Marjane Satrapi.

While still in Iran, Farahani was part of an underground rock band named Kooch Neshin (Nomads) which won the 2nd Tehran Avenue underground rock competition. Since leaving Iran, Farahani has been able to continue her music career as well. She has teamed up with another exiled Iranian musician Mohsen Namjoo and their new album Oy was released in October of 2009 and they also began an international tour with 2 concert appearances in Italy.

Since Farahani moved to Paris she has been working with directors Roland Joffe, Hiner Saleem and Marjane Satrapi. She has also been a member of the international jury at the 63rd Locarno Film Festival. Her upcoming movie is Rumi's Kimia, a film in development which is directed by Dariush Mehrjui, based on a novel and starring Farahani.

Golshifteh FarahaniIn January of 2012, Farahani was banned from returning to Iran after posing nude in the French magazine, Madame Figaro. The publication of the photo coincided with the Iranian film A Separation being awarded a Golden Globe as the Best Foreign Film of the Year and a government crackdown on the film industry, which has seen the authorities shut the House of Cinema institute in Tehran.

Farahani has appeared in many of the films made by Asghar Farhadi, the director of A Separation, which has also been nominated for an Oscar this year. She also starred in the César Award's video for Most Promising Actors.

She was told by a Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guide official that"Iran does not need actors or artists like you. You may offer your artistic services somewhere else." The picture in question posted on her Facebook page garnered over 14,000 likes and 1,500 shares, initiating a lively debate about her behavior. She also appeared topless in a short black-and-white film by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, called Corps et Âmes (Bodies and Souls).

Golshifteh FarahaniHer actions have been criticized for both in posing nude and that in playing such anti-feminist characters in Western films it has been detrimental for women’s rights in Iran, arguing that in her attempts to gain notoriety in the West she has exploited her position as a famous Iranian actress. Meanwhile, others applaud her for being an artist who is trying to fight conservatism in the Islamic Republic. The controversy arises due to the nature of the Iranian films she acted in as opposed to the western roles she has portrayed in Hollywood films. The Iranian films supposedly about strong self-reliant women and the western films placing her in roles subservient to leading male characters.

I see little validity in this controversy as the patriarchal attitudes that exist within Islam are hardly what you could call liberating for the women.


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year title role note
1997 Derakht e Golabie (The Pear Tree) Mim Best Film at Chicago Film Festival & Best Actress from International Section of Fajr International Film Festival & Best Cinematography at Fajr Film festival
2000 Haft Parde (Seven Acts) The Angel (banned in Iran)
2001 Zamaneh (Times) Zamaneh
2002 Jayee Digar (Somewhere Else) Raha
2003 Deux fereshté (Two Angels) Azar (banned in Iran), Selected for the Semaine de la Critique at Cannes Film Festival
Boutique Eti Best Actress at Nantes Three Continents Festival & Critic's Choice and Best First Film at Fajr International Film Festival & Best Actress at House of Cinema Festival (Tehran)
2004 Ashk-e Sarma (The Tear of the Cold) Ronak Best Film and Best Actress at Kazan International Film Festival & selected at Fukuoka International Film Festival (Japan) & Best Actress at House of Cinema Festival (Tehran)
Bab'Aziz: Le prince qui contemplait son âme Noor (banned in Iran) Best Film at Muscat Film Festival & Best Film from the Spiritual Section of the Fajr International Film Festival
2005 Mahi-ha Ashegh Mishavand (Fish Fall in Love) Touka Selected at Rotterdam Film Festival
Be Nam-e Pedar (In the Name of the Father) Habibeh Best Film at Fajr International Film Festival
2006 Gis Borideh Mariam
Niwemang Half Moon Niwemang (banned in Iran) Best film & Best Photography at San Sebastian Film Festival & People's Choice at Istanbul Film Festival & selected at Toronto Film Festival & at Tribeca Film Festival
2007 Mim Mesle Madar - M for Mother Sepideh Best Film at Rome International Festival of Cinema and Religion & Best Actress at Kazan Film Festival
To Each His Cinema (short film) Self (banned in Iran) shown at Cannes Film Festival
Santouri (Santouri The Music Man) Hanieh (banned in Iran) People's Choice at Fajr International Film Festival
2008 Shirin Self shown at Venice Film Festival
Hamisheh Paye Yek Zan Dar Miyan Ast (There's Always a Woman in Between) Mariam People's Choice at Fajr International Film Festival
Divar (The Wall) Setareh Best Photography at Fajr International Film Festival & selected at Tokyo Film Festival & at Taormina Film Festival
Body of Lies Aisha Directed by Ridley Scott, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe
2009 About Elly (Darbareye Elly) Sepideh Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlin Film Festival & Best Film at Tribeca Film Festival & Best Director and People's Choice awards at Fajr Film Festival
2010 Si Tu Meurs, Je Te Tue (I'll Kill You If You Die) Siba Directed by Hiner Saleem (in production) with Jonathan Zaccai
2011 There Be Dragons Leila Directed by Roland Joffe (in production) with Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Dougray Scott and Olga Kurylenko
Chicken With Plums (Poulet Aux Prunes) Iran Directed by Marjan Satrapi with Mathieu Amalric and Isabella Rossellini
2012 Just Like a Woman Directed by Rachid Bouchareb with Sienna Miller
2012 The Patience Stone Directed by Atiq Rahimi
2013 My Sweet Pepperland

Awards and nominations

year event award film
1997 Fajr International Film Festival Best Actress from the International Section Derakhte Golabi (The Pear Tree)
2003 Three Continents Festival (Nantes, France) Prix d'Interpretation Feminine Boutique
2004 Fajr International Film Festival Nominated for Best Actress Ashk-e Sarma (Tear of the Cold)
House of Cinema Festival (Tehran) Best Actress Ashk-e Sarma (Tear of the Cold) & Boutique
2005 Fajr International Film Festival Nominated for Best Supporting Actress Mahiha Ashegh Mishavand (Fish Fall in Love)
2006 Kazan International Film Festival Best Actress Ashk-e Sarma (Tear of the Cold)
2007 Roshd International Film Festival (Tehran) Special Prize for the Best Actress Mim Mesle Madar (M for Mother)
Kowsar Film Festival (Mashhad) Best Actress Mim Mesle Madar (M for Mother)
2008 Fajr International Film Festival Nominated for Best Actress Divar (The Wall) & Hamishe Paye Yek Zan Dar Miyan Ast (There's Always a Woman in Between)
Kazan International Film Festival Best Actress Mim Mesle Madar (M for Mother)
2009 Asolo Film Festival (Italy) Eleonora Duse Award International Recognition for a Prominent Figure in Theater or Cinema
Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominated for Best Actress Darbareye Elly (About Elly)


year play role note
2003 Mariam And Mardavij Mariam
2004 The Black Narcissus (workshop)
2005 Mofatesh (The Inspector) Firoozeh (banned in Iran)
2013 A Private Dream Toured north America (March-April 2013)Stage1 Production


date venue note
11/09/09 Lido, Venice With Mohsen Namjoo, during the Venice Film Festival
08/10/09 Sala Verdi, Milan Conservatory With Mohsen Namjoo, presentation of the new album "Oy"

Dance Scene from Just Like a Woman with Golshifteh Farahani


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