International Cinema & Global Perspectives:
In conversation with filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi

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TUESDAY 05 OCTOBER | 18.00 - 19.00 BST

Join WFTV and Cheltenham International Film Festival for a conversation with Iranian filmmaker and women’s rights activist, Mahnaz Mohammadi.


In conversation with film critic Anna Smith, Mahnaz will be sharing her journey in the industry and experience working as a writer, producer and director across documentaries, feature films and TV series.


Mahnaz will also be discussing her most recent project and directorial fiction-feature debut, Son-Mother, sharing behind the scenes insight to the making of the film.


Mahnaz Mohammadi is an Iranian filmmaker and women’s rights activist born in 1975. She wrote and directed her first film in 2003, Women Without Shadows, depicting the lives of homeless and abandoned women in a state-run shelter; the film has been shown and acknowledged with awards at several international film festivals.


Mahnaz has written, directed and produced a number of documentaries, including Travelogue an award-winning film that was shown in 2010 during A Day in Tehran organised by the Cinematheque in Paris.  The film was shot on board a train travelling between Teheran ad Ankara; the director met and questioned passengers about their reasons for leaving their home country.


After the film was released, Iranian authorities refused Mahnaz permission to leave the country, even when she was invited to the Cannes Film Festival to attend the screening of Wedding Ephemerals directed by Reza Serkanian, in which she played the main role. Famously, the Greek director, Costa-Graves, read out a message at the time from Mahnaz to the Cannes Film Festival audience which read “I am a woman and filmmaker, two reasons to be guilty in my own country”.


In 2009, Mahnaz contributed to celebrated filmmaker Rakshan Bani-Etemad’s documentary We Are Half the Iran's Population portraying the demands of Iranian women in the disputed presidential elections of 2009, which gave Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office. In 2011 the film was screened at the Vienna film festival This Human World.


Mahnaz directed her first narrative feature film Son-Mother in 2019 which premiered at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival.  The film received The Amnesty Award of Febio Fest Film Festival in Prague, The Audience Award at Istanbul Film Festival and Special Jury Award at the Rome Film Festival in 2020.


Son-Mother has also screened at numerous international film festivals: Zurich Film Festival, CPH:PIX in Copenhagen, AFI FEST Los Angeles, Glasgow Film Festival, Edinburgh Iranian Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, Göteborg International Film Festival and Cheltenham International Film Festival.


Mahnaz has been active in the women’s movement for many years and was awarded the freedom of speech awards, George 2015, from Austria.



Anna Smith is a prominent British film critic and broadcaster and the former President of the UK Critics’ Circle. She is a regular film expert on radio and TV, having presented the BBC News Film Review and appeared on the official UK Academy Awards broadcast on Sky. Anna started her journalism career as an editor of music and women’s magazines, before devoting herself to film and becoming a regular contributor to The Guardian, Sight & Sound, Time Out London, Deadline Hollywood and Metro UK Newspaper. She presents the acclaimed feminist film podcast Girls On Film, which she co-founded with Hedda Archbold of HLA Agency. Over the years, she has hosted hundreds of Q&As with actors and filmmakers and has sat on many juries including the British Independent Film Awards and the EE BAFTA Film Awards. She tweets from @annasmithjourno.



Event Schedule:

17:55: Please join the webinar waiting room

18:00:  Anna Smith in conversation with Mahnaz Mohammadi 

18:45: Attendee Q&A opens

19:00: Finish

How will the online event work?
This event will be live streamed via 

Attending participants will not be visible to others and will be muted throughout the session. After the talk, there will be an opportunity for audience members to ask their questions to the panel by using the Q&A feature.

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