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Circumstance (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Circumstance -- A wealthy Iranian family struggles to contain a teenager's growing sexual rebellion and her brother's dangerous obsession.


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Maryam Keshavarz (written by)
View company contact information for Circumstance on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 October 2011 (Netherlands) See more »
A wealthy Iranian family struggles to contain a teenager's growing sexual rebellion and her brother's dangerous obsession. | Add synopsis »
11 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Love is... See more (45 total) »


  (in credits order)

Nikohl Boosheri ... Atafeh Hakimi

Sarah Kazemy ... Shireen Arshadi

Reza Sixo Safai ... Mehran Hakimi
Soheil Parsa ... Firouz Hakimi
Nasrin Pakkho ... Azar Hakimi
Amir Barghashi ... Mohammed Mehdi
Fariborz Daftari ... Shireen's Uncle

Keon Alexander ... Joey (as Keon Mohajeri)

Sina Amedson ... Hossein
Amir Hossein Soleimani ... Payam (as Amir Soleimani)
Siro Fazlian ... Shireen's Grandmother
Elie Njeim ... Club Drug Dealer
Joseph Fadel ... Taxi Merci Driver
Milad Hadchiti ... Yusef
Ghina Daou ... Party Girl

Hadi Tabbal ... Molesting Taxi Driver (as Hady Tabbal)
Rita El-Achkar ... Maid
Ele Khater ... Young Addict
Amanda Nawfal ... Fatima
Paul Bweiz ... Good Looking Boy
Layale Harfouche ... Club Model
Nay Harfouche ... Club Model
Neila Salameh ... Club Model

Directed by
Maryam Keshavarz 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Maryam Keshavarz  written by

Produced by
Maryam Ataei .... associate producer (as Maryam Azadi)
Karin Chien .... producer
Antonin Dedet .... co-producer
Nathan C. Dee .... co-executive producer
Derek T. Fears .... co-executive producer
Hossein Keshavarz .... associate producer
Maryam Keshavarz .... producer
Melissa M. Lee .... producer (as Melissa Lee)
Carla Roley .... associate producer
Pierre Sarraf .... line producer
Audrey Saunders .... co-executive producer
Christina Won .... executive producer
Original Music by
Gingger Shankar 
Cinematography by
Brian Rigney Hubbard (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Andrea Chignoli 
Casting by
Lara Chekerdjian  (as Lara Chekedjian)
Production Design by
Natacha Kalfayan 
Costume Design by
Lamia Choucair 
Makeup Department
Stéphanie Aznarez .... key makeup artist (as Stéphanie Asnarez)
Kasia Bohos .... assistant makeup artist: reshoot unit
Joanna Kamar .... makeup assistant
Therese Moukarzel .... key hair stylist
Michael Peter .... additional hair stylist
Anna Piskoulian .... key hair stylist: reshoot unit
Anna Piskoulian .... key makeup artist: reshoot unit
Production Management
Jimmy Dib .... assistant unit production manager
Abla Khoury .... unit production manager
Bassam Madi .... unit manager
Amanda Nawfal .... unit manager
Joseph Rusin .... unit production manager: reshoot unit
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nagham Abboud .... third assistant director
Kit Bland .... first assistant director
Reine Razzouk .... second assistant director
Art Department
Jessica Abi Nassif .... assistant art director (as Jessica Abinassif)
Scott Enge .... production designer: reshoot unit
Alicia Peterson .... set dresser: reshoot unit
Christina Weston .... art director: reshoot unit
Sound Department
Karine Bacha .... boom operator (as Kareen Bacha)
John Bires .... additional audio
Robert Deschaine .... adr mixer
Paul Flinchbaugh .... digital assistant
Paul André Fonarev .... sound mixer: reshoot unit (as Paul Fonarev)
Michael Gassert .... sound mixer
Darlene Gorzela .... additional audio
Arda Gulesserian .... additional audio
Daniel R. Kerr .... additional audio (as Dan Kerr)
Glenn T. Morgan .... supervising sound editor
Robert Rosenthal .... additional audio
Kyle Seo .... additional audio
Hermann Thumann .... sound effects editor (as Herman Thumann)
Rich Toenes .... additional audio
Tami Treadwell .... adr recordist
Mathew Waters .... re-recording mixer
Mathew Waters .... sound effects editor (as Matt Waters)
James Wright .... dolby sound consultant
David Young .... additional audio
Joe Barnett .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Chris Armstrong .... director of animation and visual effects
Christopher Boyd .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Sarah Jane Chin .... visual effects production manager: Academy of Art University
Philip Fadlou .... visual effects artist
Sean Gillane .... visual effects video technician
Nathan Hackett .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Micah Jordan .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Doyoung Kim .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Quan Li .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Patrick Louie .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Patrick Louie .... visual effects supervisor: Academy of Art University
Jeremy A. Parrish .... visual effects technical assistant
Galina Rozina .... visual effects lab manager
Ronald Tacsion .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Catherine Tate .... senior visual effects supervisor: Academy of Art University
Catherine Tate .... visual effects instructor: Academy of Art University
Cheryl Lynn Vanderbilt .... visual effects production consultant
Jeong Won Jang .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Stephanie Woo .... lead compositor: Academy of Art University (as Stephanie G. Woo)
Weihung Yin .... compositor: Academy of Art University
Jad Eid .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Georges Abou Annei .... grip
Toni Abou Haidar .... grip
Johnny Abou Sleiman .... grip
Joseph Abou Sleiman .... grip
Yousseh Aho .... grip
Elie Akl .... camera assistant
Syha Araj .... videographer
Team Bashet .... key grip: reshoot unit
Safa Brahim .... additional key grip
Samir Brahim .... best boy electric
Majed Chaaban .... camera assistant
Sara Elia .... best boy grip: reshoot unit
Sarah Galley .... second assistant camera: reshoot unit
Fernando Gayesky .... first assistant camera
Cecilia Guerrero .... first assistant camera: reshoot unit
Charbel Hadchiti .... grip
Marzouk Helmy .... grip
Rawad Hmaymass .... key grip
Riad Howayek .... grip
Toni Illo .... grip
Hanna Issa .... camera assistant
Mina Jamil .... grip
Scott Johnson .... second assistant camera: reshoot unit
Kinzi Khalaf .... grip
Joseph Khamis .... gaffer
Nader Kneiher .... grip
Tony Mkere .... steadicam operator
Tarek Moukaddem .... still photographer
Joseph Nabhan .... camera assistant
Rami Saad .... camera assistant
Michel Saadeh .... camera assistant
Kenneth Wales .... gaffer: reshoot unit (as Ken Wales)
Marie Warde .... second assistant camera
Vanessa Wolf .... best boy electric: reshoot unit
Casting Department
Nagham Abboud .... casting coordinator
Suha Araj .... casting assistant
Mia Askerlund .... casting assistant (as Mia Askerland)
Jason Knight .... casting assistant
Mahsa Saloor .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rana Ali .... assistant wardrobe manager
Jacqueline Castro .... assistant wardrobe: reshoot unit
Danielle Gilbert .... key wardrobe manager: reshoot unit
Nicole Weinert .... assistant wardrobe: reshoot unit
Editorial Department
J. Cody Baker .... digital intermediate assistant
Dane Bergerson .... digital intermediate assistant
Salvatore Catanzaro .... on-line editor
Mike Chiado .... digital intermediate technologist
Christopher Clausing .... drs artist
Michael Coronado .... drs artist
Alden Delos Santos .... telecine
David Feldman .... digital intermediate director feature sales
Siggy Ferstl .... digital intermediate colorist
Dan Goslee .... digital intermediate assistant
Annie Johnson .... digital intermediate producer
Thomas Kuo .... digital intermediate scan operator
Chocez Peterson .... digital intermediate feature operation manager
Sherry Price .... drs artist
Tristan Rayos .... digital intermediate assistant
Paul Sage .... digital intermediate assistant
Heidi Scheuermann .... editorial intern
Spencer Seibert .... editorial intern
Stefan Sonnenfeld .... digital intermediate executive producer
Rachel Tejada .... additional assistant editor
Vincent Tsu .... assistant editor
Kristin Yawata .... editorial intern
Location Management
Jimmy Dib .... location manager
Jeano Fata .... assistant location manager
Jowe Harfouche .... location coordinator
Marijana Wotton .... location scout: reshoot unit
Music Department
Jas Ahluwalia .... musician: tabla, percussion
Sussan Deyhim .... musician: special guest vocalist
Shahzad Ismaily .... musician: banjo
M.C. Rai .... musician: vocalist
Bahman Sarram .... musician: violin
Gingger Shankar .... musician: vocals, double violin, piano
Janani Shankar .... musician: vocals
Jake Snyder .... musician: guitars
Stevie Snyder .... musician: guitars
Mona T. .... musician: drums, percussion
Chris Votek .... musician: cello (as Christopher Votek)
Gingger Shankar .... music editor (uncredited)
Gingger Shankar .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Ahmad Abkan .... driver
Iskandar Antoun .... driver
Elie Chalhoub .... driver
Abdelrahman El Aley .... driver
Rabih Ghyia .... driver
Nabil Hachem .... driver
Saad Hadchiti .... driver
Jean Saad .... driver
Other crew
Tara Aghdashloo .... script translator
Heather Askew .... script supervisor
Maryam Ataei .... dialogue coach: Persian (as Maryam Azadi)
Maryam Ataei .... script translator (as Maryam Azadi)
Maryam Ataei .... story editor (as Maryam Azadi)
Bassam Bokdashy .... runner
Nicole Compas .... production counsel: Gray Krauss Des Rochers
André Des Rochers .... production counsel: Gray Krauss Des Rochers
Pooria Fard .... additional adr voice
Nadine Haber .... office assistant
Muhamed Kawas .... choreographer
Bassam Madi .... caterer
Jonathan Mastro .... script consultant
Tony Mjaess .... unit helper
Sarah Nasser .... unit helper
Amanda Nawfal .... caterer
Danny Pugh .... end credits
Danny Pugh .... production assistant: reshoot unit
Carole Sawma .... production assistant
Ali Seblini .... unit helper
Spencer Seibert .... production assistant: reshoot unit
Stephan Sesquin .... script translator
Hind Shoufani .... script translator
Jana Wehbe .... production coordinator
Chino Wong .... titles designer
Kristin Yawata .... english subtitles
Atom Egoyan .... very special thanks
Robert Redford .... very special thanks
Alesia Weston .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug use
107 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:MA15+ (2011) | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Québec) | Netherlands:12 | Sweden:11 | UK:15 | USA:R
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Revealing mistakes: Almost all actors and actresses in the movie have strong foreign accent and can't speak Persian fluently.See more »
Zamin SafeSee more »


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17 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Love is..., 17 January 2012
Author: gradyharp from United States

CIRCUMSTANCE is a brave film from the respected filmmaker Maryam Keshavarz who both wrote and directed this film about contemporary mores and cultural taboos in Iran. It is a film that dares to create a story about family, the youth culture of clubs and drugs and all night music, about the Morality Police who carefully guard the standards of public (and private!) behavior, and about same sex liaisons. It is a beautifully photographed study of star-crossed lovers who happen to both be young teenage girls and the manner in which they cope with their love and with the family and world outside the sanctity of their breathtakingly erotic moments together. Because of the lack of sanctions of the themes of the film which is supposedly set in Tehran the film had to be shot in Lebanon: knowing this adds to the impact of the drama the film so carefully exposes.

Since any public expression of passion is forbidden between Keshavarz's two teenage female protagonists, it brings a whole other level of tension and dread to their shared attraction. Atafeh (Nikohl Boosheri) has the resources and security provided by her wealthy family that allows her to live a double life with her friend and eventual lover, Shireen (Sarah Kazemy). In order to fully explore their feelings, the young women escape into their fantasies of living in a more enlightened land such as Dubai, a haven which is tantamount to Oz. The life of teenage love is difficult enough, but it is even more difficult if that love is between two members of the same sex. Apparently Iran is a country where homosexual relationships can be punishable by death. Atafeh lives in a family of wealth and privilege with her parents (Soheil Parsa and Nasrin Pakkho) and brother, Mehran, (Reza Sixo Safai). Shireen is not of the same class: she lives with her Aunt and Uncle after being orphaned by her parents who were killed by the government for their immoral ways. Atahfeh and Shireen are two teenage school girls who begin as best friends and gradually discover that they are in love. The girls are also rebellious to Iran's strict religious and socialist ways, being caught up in Tehran's underground nightclub scene. Mehran, a former musician and drug addict, has become a radical Muslim and informant for the Morality Police, installing cameras in every room of his home to spy on his family, capturing all the comings and goings of each member of the household, including the trysts between Ayafeh and Shireen, and devises a plan with the Morality Police to marry Shireen after she and Atafeh are arrested by the morality police for partying at a night club. The young lovers discover the circumstances that force them into lives away from each other and the decisions they make (or are made for them) form the conclusion of this haunting film.

Apparently there is great resentment from many Persian viewers who feel the film does not project the real situation in Tehran or in Iran as a whole. This may be true, but the film is not a documentary: Keshavarz has taken an idea and molded with certain flavors and spices and delivers this brave little film by introducing the extraordinary beauty of the two leading actresses. The cast is solid and if the script could use some editing or re-sculpting it still delivers a concept about same sex love and the lack of acceptance that seems to be global. We rarely are able to see Persian films and this one is well worth attention. It is not meant to be factual: it is a story exotically told - and memorable.

Grady Harp

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