Successful PERSIAN In Hollywood

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1.
Asghar Farhadi
Writer, A Separation
Asghar Farhadi was born in 1972 in Iran. He became interested in cinema in his teenage years and started his filmmaking education by joining the Youth Cinema Society of Esfahan in 1986 where he made 8mm and 16mm short films. He received his Bachelors in Theater from University of Tehran's School of...
 
2.
Behrouz Vossoughi
Behrouz Vossoughi is one of Iran's most legendary actors. He has over 40 years of experience in the motion picture industry, with featured appearances in more than 90 films. In addition to his work in films, television, radio and theater, Behrouz' performances have earned him recognition at several international film festivals...
 
3.
Abbas Kiarostami
Director, Certified Copy
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30...
 
4.
Golshifteh Farahani
Actress, Body of Lies
Golshifteh started her acting career in theater at the age of 6 and has always kept a strong link with theater, but it was at the age of 14 that she acted in her first film The Pear Tree, for which she won the prize for the Best Actress from the international section of the Fajr film festival, immediately making her one of the stars of Iranian cinema...
 
5.
Amir Mokri
Cinematographer, Man of Steel
 
6.
Navid Khonsari
Raised in Iran and Canada, Khonsari was first introduced to filmmaking through his grandfather's super 8mm films. He developed an appreciation for storytelling from his grandmother, who would recite stories (both fictional and historical) from memory. Khonsari fell in love with video games after playing Pitfall on Atari...
 
7.
Reza Badiyi
Miscellaneous Crew, Hawaii Five-O
 
8.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf is known as one of the most influential filmmakers and founders of the new wave of Iranian cinema in the world today. Many of his films like Salam Cinema, A Moment Of Innocence, Gabbeh, Kandahar and The President have been widely well received across the globe and have brought him over 50 international awards from the prestigious film festivals like Cannes, Venice, Locarno...
 
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Daryush Shokof
Writer, Breathful
Daryush Shokof introduced the methods of "Amenic Filmmaking", in Berlin, Germany in 2011. He made more than 5 feature films under his method of "Amenic" in which he simply explained these films are first finished and screened and then the "script" is written. Babylon Cinemas in Berlin, Germany showed his "Amenic" films in a short festival presentation with Flushers...
 
13.
Sarah Shahi
Sarah Shahi was born Aahoo Jahansouz in Euless, Texas, to an Iranian father and Spanish mother. She is a former NFL cheerleader and a descendant of a 19th-century Persian Shah. She attended Trinity High School and Dallas Southern Methodist University, studied opera and majored in English. As a teenager...
 
14.
Kami Asgar
Sound Department, Zombieland
 
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16.
Nazanin Boniadi
Actress, Homeland
Nazanin Boniadi is rapidly making her mark in both film and television. She co-starred as CIA analyst Fara Sherazi on seasons three and four of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama Homeland, for which she shared a 2015 SAG Award nomination in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series category...
 
19.
Leila Hatami
Actress, A Separation
After finishing high school, she moved to Lausanne, Switzerland and started her studies in Electrical Engineering Dee Lausanne (EPFL). After two years she changed her major to French Literature. She completed her study of French in a couple of years, before moving back to Iran. After a pause of a few...
 
20.
Darius Khondji
Cinematographer, Amour
 
21.
Nima Nourizadeh
Director, Project X
Nima is the son of Dr. Alireza Nourizadeh, who is an Iranian scholar, journalist and a Political Commentator for Voice of America and Deutsche Welle radio channels. Nimas' brother is the music producer, Omid Nourizadeh. Nima got his degree from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design and meanwhile he constituted the art gallery Miller Terrace in London...
 
22.
Nadia Bjorlin
Nadia Bjorlin was born the fifth out of six children. Her parents Ulf Björlin (a Swedish conductor and composer, known to be the worlds most active opera composer during the 20th century) and Fary Bjorlin. Her siblings are Katja, Kaj, Kamilla, Ulf J:r and Jean Paul. (Each sibling have a history of artistic or creative work in their background...
 
23.
Peyman Moaadi
Peyman Maadi was born in 1972 in New York City to an Iranian couple. His father was a lawyer. His family moved back to Iran when he was 5 years old. He graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from Karaj Azad University. Maadi started his film career as a screenwriter in late 2000s. He is the writer of several famous Iranian films...
 
24.
Hossein Amini
Writer, Drive
Hossein Amini was born in Iran, and when he was 11 years old, he and his family moved to England. Amini's first screenplay was for the 1994 TV movie The Dying of the Light, which was directed by Peter Kosminsky. The TV movie covered the murder of Sean Devereux, an aid worker who was murdered in Somalia in 1993 for criticizing arms sales...
 
26.
Bob Yari
Producer, Crash
 
27.
Sheri Davani
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director, Super
 
28.
Shahab Hosseini
Shahab Hosseini was born on February 3, 1974 in Tehran, Iran. He grew up in a family of six and was the oldest child. He earned his high school diploma in Biology. Once a psychology student at the University of Tehran, he dropped out with the intent of emigrating to Canada. Instead, he ended up as a radio host in Iran...
 
29.
Ray Aghayan
Costume Designer, Doctor Dolittle
 
32.
Majid Majidi
Majid Majidi was born on April 17, 1959 in Tehran, Iran to a middle class family. He started acting in amateur theater groups at the age of fourteen. After receiving his high school diploma, he started studying art at the Institute of Dramatic Art in Tehran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, his interest in cinema brought him to act in various films...
 
33.
Omid Djalili
Actor, Gladiator
Omid Djalili is a British Iranian stand-up comedian and actor. Omid had great success performing A Strange Bit of History, which won the Spirit of The Fringe award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994, Omid has since become a fringe favorite with a string of sell-out shows. In 1995 it was with Short Fat Kebab Shop Owner's Son...
 
34.
Bahman Ghobadi
Director, Turtles Can Fly
Bahman Ghobadi was born in 1969 in Baneh, in the province of Iranian Kurdistan, near the Iran-Iraq border. Shortly after graduating from the National Audiovisual School, he made his first short, immediately acclaimed by the local critics. One of these short films, "Life in Fog" (1999) is even considered as the most famous short ever made in Iran...
 
35.
Bahman Ghobadi
Director, Turtles Can Fly
Bahman Ghobadi was born in 1969 in Baneh, in the province of Iranian Kurdistan, near the Iran-Iraq border. Shortly after graduating from the National Audiovisual School, he made his first short, immediately acclaimed by the local critics. One of these short films, "Life in Fog" (1999) is even considered as the most famous short ever made in Iran...
 
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38.
Anthony Azizi
Actor, Eagle Eye
Anthony Azizi started his career many years ago, as a child, acting in plays for the Touchstone Theater run by Bill and Bridget George in Bethlehem, PA. He also started writing and staging his own plays at the age of eight for school and other public venues. He continued in the arts throughout all of his schooling...
 
39.
Marco Khan
Actor, 10,000 BC
Marco Khan(lian) is a true citizen of the world. He was born March 27th of Armenian parents in Tehran, Iran. His father, Levon was born in Lebanon and raised in Iran where he met his wife Anna, born in Babol, Iran. Marco's grandparents (from his mother's side) were a grandfather from Russia and a grandmother from the country of Georgia...
 
40.
Max Amini
Actor, Heroes
Max Amini was born in Tucson, Arizona. He was raised on the East Coast and graduated from UCLA's school of Theater, Film and Television in 2004. As an actor, Max has numerous film and television credits including NBC's Heroes, regular appearances on Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia, Netflix original Real Rob, and leading roles in several feature films...
 
42.
Catherine Bell
Actress, JAG
Catherine was born in London, but moved to California with her Iranian mother at age 2. Her mother still acts as her personal assistant. As a child, she acted in various TV adverts. She went to UCLA to study biology, but dropped out to become a model in Japan. She moved back into acting with a Mexican...
 
43.
Kami Asgar
Sound Department, Zombieland
 
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Darius Khondji
Cinematographer, Amour
 
46.
Nicole Sadighi
Actress, I Am Neda
Nicole, the daughter of two prominent Iranian-American journalists, Nader Sadighi and Shahla Arasteh, grew up in London, England, in a little town called Twickenham, Richmond upon Thames. And it was those early years that she remembers wanting to grow up to be an actress. At the age of nine she auditioned...
 
47.
Bahram Radan
Actor, Barcode
Bahram Radan is an award-winning Iranian actor, referred to in the West as "the Iranian Brad Pitt" He was born on 28 April 1979 in Tehran, Iran. After High School, he started studying Business Management in university.While attending the university, Radan signed up for acting classes. He was later given an opportunity for his first role in the film...
 
48.
Marshall Manesh
Marshall Manesh was born in Iran. He lost his father at an early age and was raised by his beloved mother, whom he feels he got his strength from to make it in show biz. He came to America in the mid "70s" and joined the Persian Theater Group and traveled extensively through out The United States, Canada and Europe for 8 years...
 
50.
Narges Rashidi
Narges Rashidi was born in Iran, settled in 1987 with her family at first in Turkey and a year later to Germany. After graduation she moved to Berlin and studied acting. In 2005 she attended in Los Angeles the Master Class with MK Lewis. In 2007 she received the award for Best Young Actress at the New York International Independent Film Video Festival for her role as Lolita in A2Z...
 
51.
Bobby Naderi
Born in Tehran, Naderi had an cultured childhood having being raised between Iran, Europe, Canada and the U.S. Bobby by sheer chance found his way into the Arts in his early 20s which led him to study with Judith Weston then began working on stage and the indie film. He gained notice for his lead role in Sundance Festival Hit...
 
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53.
Bahar Soomekh
Actress, Saw III
Bahar Soomekh was born on March 30, 1975 in Tehran, Iran, to a Persian Jewish family. She is the daughter of Manijeh and Hamid Soomekh, who owned a women's high fashion company. She has a sister, Saba Soomekh. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1979, to escape the Iranian revolution. She attended a yeshiva...
 
54.
Shaun Toub
Actor, Iron Man
Shaun Toub was born in Tehran, Iran, to a Persian Jewish family. He was raised in Manchester, England. At the age of 14, he moved to Switzerland and after a two year stay, he crossed the Atlantic to Nashua, New Hampshire, to finish his last year of high school. After two years of college in Massachusetts...
 
55.
Adrian Pasdar
Adrian Pasdar was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Rosemarie Pasdar (née Sbresny), who owns a travel agency, and Homayoon Pasdar, a prominent heart surgeon. His father is Iranian and his mother, who was born in Germany, is of German, and some Polish, descent. At the age of 2, his father moved the family to Powelton...
 
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57.
Ali Mosaffa
Actor, Le passé
Mosaffa was born in Tehran, Iran. His father, Mozaher Mosaffa is a renowned Persian poet and professor of Persian literature at the University of Tehran (UT). Mosaffa's mother, Amir Banoo Karimi is also a leading scholar and professor of Persian literature at the University of Tehran (UT) and the eldest daughter of the legendary Persian poet, Amiri Firuzkuhi...
 
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Hossein Amini
Writer, Drive
Hossein Amini was born in Iran, and when he was 11 years old, he and his family moved to England. Amini's first screenplay was for the 1994 TV movie The Dying of the Light, which was directed by Peter Kosminsky. The TV movie covered the murder of Sean Devereux, an aid worker who was murdered in Somalia in 1993 for criticizing arms sales...
 
61.
Max Amini
Actor, Heroes
Max Amini was born in Tucson, Arizona. He was raised on the East Coast and graduated from UCLA's school of Theater, Film and Television in 2004. As an actor, Max has numerous film and television credits including NBC's Heroes, regular appearances on Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia, Netflix original Real Rob, and leading roles in several feature films...
 
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Ramin Niami
Producer, Paris
 
68.
Nicholas Guilak
Nicholas Guilak was born in Houston,Texas and raised in La Jolla, California, moved to Los Angeles in the 90's and received his Bachelors of Arts from USC in Theatre, Humanities and Film. He then studied in London then Scotland were he received two Fringe First nominations for directing and starring...
 
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70.
Jasmin Tabatabai
She played in the woman-band "Even Cowgirls get the blues", which also helped her to play her part in the movie Bandits. She wrote most of the songs for the Soundtrack of "Bandits". On 3rd December 2002, her first child, a girl named Angelina Sherri Rose, was born. Father of the child is the American musician Tico Zamora, who lives in Berlin with Jasmin...
 
71.
Rosie Malek-Yonan
Actress, Rendition
Rosie Malek-Yonan was born on the fourth of July, 1955 in Tehran, Iran. She is an actress, director, producer, published author, documentary filmmaker, a classically trained pianist, composer and a human rights activist. She is a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent Assyrian Christian families from the Middle-East...
 
72.
Parsa Pirouzfar
Parsa Pirouzfar was born in Tehran. During 1984 to 1990 when he was at school he designed comic strips without publishing them. He graduated from high school in 1990 having studied the Maths and Physics major. He began his academic education in painting in 1991 at the University of Tehran's Faculty of Fine Arts; at the same time...
 
73.
Navid Navid
Navid was born in Teheran, Iran. Due to the Iran-Iraq war the four-year old Navid had to escape with his family from his native country. They lived for some time in the USA but since 1985 Navid has been in Germany at home. Navid has grown up trilingual (English, German, Persian). He was 8 years old when he stepped foot on a stage for the 1st time...
 
74.
Taies Farzan
Actress, Argo
Her father's name was Farshid Farzan. Taies Farzan is an iconic figure in Turkish scene of entertainment, and she continues to appear in films both in Germany and in Turkey. Daryush Shokof has mentioned her as the greatest face in German Cinema in a long time, and a talent that compliments her astonishing beauty...
 
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Saman Yaghmai-Aledavoud
Cinematographer, $lowdown
Saman's interest in filmmaking developed in his early teenage years while living in Tehran, Iran. He began working on short films as the cinematographer in his high school years. During this period, he worked on the controversial film, The Marsh, which exposed the secret lifestyle of Iranian youth...
 
79.
Piran Zarifian
Producer, The Red Dress
Piran Zarifian was born on August 28th, 1983 in Tehran, Iran. Being Jewish, he found it difficult to live there. Consequently, just before his 17th birthday, in August of 1999, he emigrated to Vienna where he applied for a U.S Visa and about a year later he arrived in Los Angeles. Shortly after his move...
 
80.
Habib Zargarpour
Habib Zargarpour graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design with Distinction after receiving a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. He started his film career on 3D IMAX films in Los Angeles...
 
84.
Tandees Tanavoli
Tandees' first film was destroyed when the building that housed her film school was hit by bombs in the Iran/Iraq war. She was then 16 years old. After graduating from high school, Tandees and her family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where she continued her studies in media, television and later on film...
 
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86.
Shiva Rose
Actress, David & Layla
Shiva Rose was born in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. An American of Irish and Iranian decent, she was raised in Iran until the age of ten when she and her family were forced to escape to Paris, then to Los Angeles. She began her stage career at 15 at several theaters in Santa Monica. She attended UCLA and then married actor Dylan McDermott...
 
87.
David Golshan
David Golshan is an acclaimed comedic and dramatic actor in film and television as well as a featured stand-up comedian who performs live across the United States and Europe. He featured his over the top sketch comedy characters in Bravo's Millionaire matchmaker and Shahs of Sunset. He also spends much of his time running various entrepreneurial endeavors.
 
88.
Majid Farahani
Cinematographer, Maal Moshahedin
 
90.
Bijan Zaimi
Actor, Bug Off!
Born in Iran, and raised up in Chicago and Salt Lake City, Bijan began stage and commercials at 14, then moved onto classical theater, television and Independent film. He's worked with the Chautauqua Conservetory Theater, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and The Sundance Institute. Bijan holds a BFA from the University of Utah's Actor Training Program.
 
91.
Rafi Pitts
Writer, Soy Nero
Rafi Pitts' films have attained acclaim and awards around the globe. Pitts' first feature, The Fifth Season, premiered in the Venice Film Festival. His second, Sanam was hailed by French critics and compared to The 400 Blows. In 2003, Pitts presented his controversial feature documentary...
 
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Sam Khoze
Producer, Damn Foreigners
Sam Khoze is an award winning international writer, director and producer. Sam's filmmaking resume includes several features shot around Europe, Asia, the United States and the Middle East - most of which are burdened with a heavy focus on human rights, social Issues and circular controversial subjects...
 
95.
Arefeh Mansouri
Costume and Wardrobe Department, What's Your Number?
 
96.
Sheila Vand
Actress, Argo
 
97.
Samira Makhmalbaf
Director, September 11
Samira Makhmalbaf Filmmaker Born on February 15,1980 in Tehran. At the age of eight, she played in "The Cyclist" directed by her father, Mohsen Makhmalbaf the celebrated Iranian filmmaker. At the age of 17, she directed her first feature titled "The Apple" and She went on to become the youngest director in the world participating in the official section of the 1998 Cannes Film Festival...
 
98.
Saye Yabandeh
Actress, 5th & Alameda
Award-winning actress, executive producer and humanitarian, Saye Yabandeh, is the Global Ambassador for the Global Citizen Foundation. The organization reaches out to children and young people who are in need and supports them with education initiatives, community-centered building projects, and sustainable development programs...
 
99.
Babak Shokrian
Babak Shokrian was born in Teheran, Iran in 1965. In 1971, he and his family moved to Los Angeles where Babak attended USC and UCLA, graduating from the latter with a degree in Anthropology, with an emphasis in ethnographic film. After graduating, Babak wrote, produced and directed, his short film...
 
100.
Amir Khalighi
Actor, Drones
Amir Khalighi was born in Tehran Iran. The Iranian Revolution thwarted him out of Iran and into the neon lights of the West. His start in the arts came at the age of 17 with the theatrical lead in the UJ Production of "Our House" then laid dormant until his productions of two successful Los Angeles shows...