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Iranian-American screenwriter and director Maryam Keshavarz's feature film debut which she wrote, premiered in the U.S. Dramatic section at the 27th Sundance International Film Festival in 2011, was shot on location in Lebanon and is a USA-Iran-France co-production which was produced by Karin Chien, Melissa Lee and Maryam Keshavarz. It tells the story about Atafeh, a 16-year-old student who lives in a wealthy family in Tehran with her father Firouz, her mother Azar and her older brother Mehran who has recently returned home from a rehab. Atafeh spends most of her time with her orphaned best friend Shireen who lives with her uncle. Atafeh and Shireen share a dream about leaving Tehran to become singers and they are becoming more than just friends, but then Atafeh's brother meets Shireen and falls in love with her.
Finely and acutely directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Maryam Keshavarz, this finely paced fictional tale draws a moving and intimate portrayal of a forbidden romance between two somewhat rebellious 16-year-old girls. While notable for it's naturalistic and atmospheric urban milieu depictions, fine production design by production designer Natasha Kalfayan, cinematography by cinematographer Brian Rigney Hubbaro and costume design by costume designer Lamia Choucair, this character-driven and dialog-driven coming-of-age indie depicts two dense studies of character and contains a prominent score by Indian-American multi-instrumentalist and composer Gingger Shankar.
This romantic and engaging drama about identity and the freedom of love, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, subtle character development, entwined stories, multiple viewpoints and the commendable acting performances by Pakistan-born Canadian actress Níkohl Boosheri and French actress Sarah Kazemy in their debut feature film roles and Iranian-born stage director, writer and actor Soheil Parsa. An empathic and mindful love-story which gained, among other awards, the Audience Award-Dramatic at the 27th Sundance International Film Festival in 2011.
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