Bahman Maghsoudlou

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Bahman Maghsoudlou (born in Gorgan, Iran, 1946) is a film scholar, critic,[1] and independent film producer/director.[2][3]


Bahman Maghsoudlou is the recipient of Iran's Forough Farrokhzad literary award for writing and editing a series of books about cinema and theater (1975), including Iranian Cinema (1987, New York University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies). He was presented this award at the fourth Forough Farrokhzad awards ceremony, held at the Central Palace for Young Adults in February 1975.[4][5]

Maghsoudlou wrote, directed and produced a short documentary on artist Ardeshir Mohasses called Ardeshir Mohasses & His Caricatures in 1972. This would turn out to be the first in a series of films on Iran's most important artistic figures, the Great Iranian Artists series, although the follow-ups would not be produced for many years afterwards. In 1998, he produced Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet of Liberty which was subsequently followed by Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist in 2004 and Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments in 2009. Maghsoudlou served as director for the latter two of these films, as he has for all but one of the films in the series.

A 2013 addition to the series was an update to his earlier film on Mohasses, entitled Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist. Maghsoudlou had long wished to update his earlier film on his friend and the inspiration came after two occurrences in 2008: a long overdue retrospective of Mohasses's work at the Asia Society in New York City and the artist's untimely passing. The new film features interviews with prominent critics and friends from around the world and emphasizes the eternal truth in Mohasses's struggles with censorship. The film had its world premiere in April of 2013 at the Palm Beach International Film Festival.

The most recent addition to the series thus far is 2013's Abbas Kiarostami: A Report, a look at the work of acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, examining the themes and techniques that have run through his body of work, with a particular focus on his debut feature, The Report. The film had its world premiere at the Montreal International Film Festival. This was Maghsoudlou's first feature-length documentary, and as well as being an entry in the Great Iranian Artists series, it is also the first installment in another series, Iranian Cinema, Searching for the Roots. This new series, as planned, will have ten parts.

As a producer, Mr. Maghsoudlou's films have been to more than 100 film festivals world wide. These films include:

The Suitors, selected for the Cannes in 1988; Manhattan by Numbers (by Amir Naderi), selected for Venice and Toronto 1993; Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof, selected for Berlin, Toronto and Locarno 1996, and Silence of the Sea, selected for the Mannheim Film Festival 2003.

Along with Iranian Cinema, Searching for the Roots, Maghsoudlou is also working on another long-term documentary project, The Life and Legacy of Mohammad Mossadegh.

Having organized the first ever Iranian Film Festival in New York in 1980, he organized the International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran, which was held in October 2007, in New York. In 2009, Maghsoudlou authored the book Grass: Untold Stories which detailed the background stories related to the making of the 1925 silent movie, Grass. A major part of the movie had been filmed in Maghsoudlou's native Iran.

A graduate in cinema studies from the College of Staten Island with a PhD from Columbia University, Maghsoudlou lives in New Jersey.

He recently became a member of the prestigious list of PEN American Center in 2011.[6]

Maghsoudlou has served as a jury member for a number of prestigious international film festivals. He had the honor of being the lone non-Spanish member of the jury for the 3rd Edition of the IBAFF, International Film Festival (held March 5 through 10th in Murcia, Spain), serving alongside a group of notables of the Spanish film scene, including Alberto Elena.[7] And most recently he served as president of the jury for the Zeniths for the Best First Fiction Feature Films section of the 2014 Montreal World Film Festival.[8]


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