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Asghar Farhadi Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 1972Isfahan, Iran

Mini Bio (1)

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 Dramatic Arts in 1998 and his Masters in Stage Direction from Tarbiat Modarres University a few years later. During these formative years, Farhadi made six shorts and two TV series for Iran's National Broadcasting Corporation (IRIB) of which "A Tale of a City" is most noteworthy.

In 2001, he debuted in professional cinema by co-writing the script for Low Heights (2002) (Ertefae Past), a post-911 political farce chronicle of Southwest Iran, with famed war film director, Ebrahim Hatamikia. The film was met with both critical and public success. The following year, Farhadi made his directorial debut, Dancing in the Dust (2003) (Raghs dar Ghobar), about a man forced to divorce his wife and go hunting snakes in the desert in order to repay his debts to his in-laws. The film earned recognition at Fajr and Moscow International Film Festivals and a year later, Beautiful City (2004) (Shahr-e-Ziba), a grave work about a young man condemned to death at the age of sixteen, received awards from Fajr and Warsaw International Film Festivals. His third film, Fireworks Wednesday (2006) (Chaharshambe Soori), won the Gold Hugo at the 2006 Chicago International Film Festival. His fourth film, About Elly (2009) (Darbareye Elly) was called "a masterpiece" by film critic David Bordwell and won the Silver Bear for Best Director at 59th Berlin International Film Festival as well as Best Picture at Tribeca Film Festival. It was also Iran's official submission for the Foreign Language Film competition of Academy Awards in 2009. His most recent film, A Separation (2011) (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), became a sensation. It got critical acclaim inside and outside of Iran; Roger Ebert called it "the best picture of the year," and it was awarded the Crystal Simorgh from Fajr Film Festival, Golden Bear and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury from Berlin International Film Festival, and also won Best Foreign Language Film from The Boston Society of Film Critics, Chicago and Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review, Golden Globes, César Award, Independent Spirit Award, and ultimately the Academy Award in the 'Best Foreign Language Film of the Year,' making him the first Iranian filmmaker ever to win an Oscar. His Oscar acceptance speech at the 84th Academy Awards, a message of peace in tens political times in his country, made him an instant hero amongst Iranians. His film also received nomination for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award in the best 'Film Not in the English Language' category and for an Academy Award in the 'Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen' category. A few days after receiving an Oscar, Farhadi signed with the United Talent Agency (UTA).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Parisa Bakhtavar (1990 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (11)

First Iranian filmmaker to receive a nomination for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award (Best 'Film Not in the English Language,' A Separation (2011)).
Father of Sarina Farhadi who played Termeh, the 11-year-old Daughter of Nader and Simin, in A Separation (2011).
His film A Separation (2011) is the first Iranian movie to win an Oscar.
On March 12, 2012, Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance prevented a ceremony that was arranged by Iranian directors and producers to honor Farhadi's Oscar accomplishment upon his arrival in Iran.
First Iranian Director to be nominated for academy awards in any other category except Best Foreign Language Film.
One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World (2012).
First Iranian Director to be nominated for two academy awards.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Attending the Golden Globes for his Best Foreign Language nominated film, "A Separation." [January 2012]
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Attending the 84th Academy Awards along with director of photography, Mahmoud Kalari, and actors Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, and Sarina Farhadi for their Best Foreign Language nominated film, "A Separation". [February 2012]
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in 2012.
Shot his first 8-mm and 16-mm films as a teenager, and had already made five short films by the time he went to Tehran University and got his Bachelor and Master degree in theatre directing.

Personal Quotes (18)

I feel it's important to talk about the complex issues affecting us. I think it's insulting to an audience to make them sit and watch a film and then give them a message in one sentence.
It was in the theater that I learned how it is that you can work with actors. To give an example, I have a character in the film [A Separation (2011)] who's supposed to be a religious woman. Once the script is finished, I didn't find her and say 'You're going to be a religious character. This is what you should do'. In the few months remaining before shooting she would actually turn into a religious person. I asked her to pray promptly every day, meaning five times. I asked her to wear a chador which is the traditional long veil. I asked her not to use her personal car... to restrict her rapport with any men who were not known to her. And after a while of rehearsing this way she actually started to behave like a religious person. Don't worry, as soon as the film is over, she turned back into her former self.
Classical tragedy was the war between good and evil. We wanted evil to be defeated and good to be victorious. But the battle in modern tragedy is between good and good. And no matter which side wins, we'll still be heartbroken.
[on how Iran could consider submitting "A Separation" (2011), which deals with marital breakup in a Muslim family, for Oscar consideration] It's not a discussion that's linear - the government is this way, the people are that way. Within the government there's diversity of thought and taste. Some among them are much more open-minded, others are very closed. Perhaps what you're asking is, given the image that we have of the government which is so hard and full of censorship, how can you make such a film? That question would be like if you ask someone living in a desert, how is it that you can live, given the heat?
I like storytelling movies and more than that I like historical movies; and I think someday I'll definitely make a movie about the past 50 years history.
[Award acceptance speech after receiving the Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category for "A Separation" (2011) at the 84th Academy Awards] At this time many Iranians all over the world are watching us, and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award, or a film, or a filmmaker, but, because at a time of talk of war, intimidation, and aggressions exchanged between politicians, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture; a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country; the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.
[on being asked that if not being free while making a movie can help improve the creativity in a society] I would preferring not to blame the absence of creativity on the presence of freedom.
Each person makes their own choice, but my spirit is meant to stay in Iran, especially with the work that I do, and with the emotional connection I have with the country - with all its difficulties, this is why I stay.
I like storytelling movies and more than that I like historical movies, and I think someday I'll definitely make a movie about the past 50 years history (Iran's history).
I feel it's important to talk about the complex issues affecting us.
I gained a great deal from the period during which I worked in theater and I value those things a great deal.
I feel that it means a lot to the people of Iran that my film is represented at the Oscars, and it makes me happy to bring them that joy, that I'm representing them and that I'm able to give them that element of pleasure to be the envoy from Iran. It's a very pleasant thing.
I tend to jot down moments, lines, interactions that don't really make any sense. I try and explain these scattered notes to my close friends, and they become more and more logical. I see screen writing as a bit like a math equation which I have to solve.
[on whether he will make films outside Iran] It will depend on the stories that comes to me. I won't decide to go make a film in a country and then find a story; I will wait for the story to tell me where to go.
[on his writing process] All my stories are written in a non-linear way. They don't go from point A to point B. I always have several stories developing simultaneously and they come together during a shared situation.
I believe that the world today needs more questions than answers. Answers prevent you from questioning, from thinking.
[on why he focuses on family issues] When I base a story on a family it gives me a large possibility. Spectators all over the world have experience of families so this brings them one step closer to my films.
If you give an answer to your viewer, your film will simply finish in the movie theatre. But when you pose questions, your film actually begins after people watch it. In fact, your film will continue inside the viewer.

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