Golshifteh Farahani

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Golshifteh Farahani
Golshifteh Farahani Césars 2014 2.jpg
Golshifteh Farahani in 2014 at the 39th César Awards ceremony.
Born Rahavard Farahani
(1983-07-10) July 10, 1983 (age 31)
Tehran, Iran
Alma mater Azad University
Occupation Actress, musician, singer
Years active 1997–present
Height 1.69m
Weight 55kg
Spouse(s) Amin Mahdavi (2003–present)
Relatives Behzad Farahani (Father)
Shaghayegh Farahani (Sister)
Official website

Golshifteh Farahani (Persian: گلشیفته فراهانی‎, born 10 July 1983) is an Iranian actress, musician and singer. She currently lives in Paris, France.

Early life[edit]

Golshifteh Farahani was born on 10 July 1983 in Tehran, the daughter of Behzad Farahani, a theater director and actor, and Fahimeh Rahim Nia. Her sister is actress Shaghayegh Farahani. Golshifteh, who started studying music and playing the piano at the age of five, later entered a music school in Tehran.

At 14, Golshifteh was cast as the lead in Dariush Mehrjui's The Pear Tree. For that work she won the Crystal Roc for Best Actress from the International Section of the 16th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran.


Golshifteh Farahani

Golshifteh has acted in over 25 films, many of which have received international recognition. For Boutique she won the Best Actress award from the 26th Nantes Three Continents Festival (France). In recent years she has acted in movies by some of Iran's most well-known directors. The movies include Dariush Mehrjui's Santouri (The Santoor Player), Bahman Ghobadi's Half Moon (winner of the Golden Shell at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival), and the late Rasool Mollagholipoor's M for Mother (Iran's nominee for the 2008 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category). Golshifteh won Best Actress at the 37th Roshd International Film Festival.

Following her acting in the U.S. film Body of Lies, she reportedly had been prevented by Iranian authorities from leaving Iran.[1] However, this was denied by her colleagues and she later appeared at the movie's premiere in the U.S.[2]

Golshifteh's last film performance in Iran was in About Elly directed by Asghar Farhadi. The film won Best Picture at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival; it won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Besides acting, Golshifteh is involved in environmental activities; she has also become an ambassador for fighting tuberculosis in Iran.[4]

In Iran, Golshifteh was part of an underground rock band named "Kooch Neshin" (Nomads), which won the 2nd Tehran Avenue underground rock competition. Since leaving Iran, she has continued her music career as well, teaming up with another exiled Iranian musician, Mohsen Namjoo. Their new album Oy[5] was released in October 2009.

Golshifteh now lives in Paris, France with her husband Amin Mahdavi.[6] Since moving to Paris, she has worked with directors including Roland Joffe, Hiner Saleem and Marjane Satrapi. She has also been a member of the international jury at the 63rd Locarno Film Festival.

One of her upcoming movies is Rumi's Kimia.[7] Still in development, it is directed by Dariush Mehrjui and is based on the novel "Kimia Khatoon", by Saideh Ghods. Golshifteh also starred in a 2012 César Award's video in the Most Promising Actors category.

The movie The Patience Stone (2012), directed by Atiq Rahimi from his novel, has received a majority of positive reviews[8] upon its release.


In January 2012, it was reported that Golshifteh would not be welcome in her homeland after posing nude in the French Madame Figaro.[9]

Britain's Daily Telegraph reported that government officials told Golshifteh that "Iran does not need actors or artists like you. You may offer your artistic services somewhere else."[10] A picture from the shoot on her Facebook page initiated a lively debate about her behavior.[11] She also appeared topless in a short black-and-white film by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, called Corps et Âmes, or Bodies and Souls.[12]

Golshifteh Farahani had become famous through the Islamic Republican institutions, and had learnt her craft through its development programs. She was in all senses of the word "the Golden Child" of Iranian Cinema.[citation needed] She was hand-picked to play significant parts which brought her to the attention of Hollywood directors.

Many of her roles she was picked to play whilst in Iran dealt with the day to day struggles of an independent Iranian Woman (be it a single-mother raising a disabled child on her own in Mim Mesle Madar; a wife dealing with a drug addict husband in Santoori; or a woman trying to make it as a motorcycle trick rider in the Islamic Republic in Setareh) a considerable number of her roles, help present an image of a strong, Intelligent woman.

Conversely, however most of the movie roles she has been type cast to play so far in Western cinema present her as a woman dependent on her male counterparts. She has so far played the role of the damsel in distress (Body of Lies), or the submissive wife (There Be Dragons) in contradiction to the strong feminist heroine character types she was picked to play on the big screen of Iranian cinema.

Some people have as such said her actions (both in posing nude and in playing such anti-feminist characters in Western films) have been detrimental for women’s rights in Iran, arguing that in her attempts to gain notoriety in the West she has exploited her position as a famous Iranian actress. Meanwhile, others applaud her for being an artist who is trying to fight conservatism in the Islamic Republic.


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Derakht e Golabie (The Pear Tree) Mim Best Film at Chicago Film Festival
Best Actress from International Section of Fajr International Film Festival
Best Cinematography at Fajr Film festival
2000 Haft Parde (Seven Acts) The Angel (banned in Iran)
2001 Zamaneh (Times) Zamaneh
2002 Jayee Digar (Somewhere Else) Raha
2003 Deux fereshté (Two Angels) Azar (banned in Iran), Selected for the Semaine de la Critique at Cannes Film Festival
Boutique Eti Best Actress at Nantes Three Continents Festival
Critic's Choice and Best First Film at Fajr International Film Festival
Best Actress at House of Cinema Festival (Tehran)
2004 Ashk-e Sarma (The Tear of the Cold) Ronak Best Film and Best Actress at Kazan International Film Festival
selected at Fukuoka International Film Festival (Japan)
Best Actress at House of Cinema Festival (Tehran)
Bab'Aziz: Le prince qui contemplait son âme Noor (banned in Iran) Best Film at Muscat Film Festival
Best Film from the Spiritual Section of the Fajr International Film Festival
2005 Mahi-ha Ashegh Mishavand (Fish Fall in Love) Touka Selected at Rotterdam Film Festival
Be Nam-e Pedar (In the Name of the Father) Habibeh Best Film at Fajr International Film Festival
2006 Gis Borideh Mariam
Niwemang (Half Moon) Niwemang (banned in Iran) Best film & Best Photography at San Sebastian Film Festival
People's Choice at Istanbul Film Festival
selected at Toronto Film Festival & at Tribeca Film Festival
2007 Mim Mesle Madar (M for Mother) Sepideh Best Film at Rome International Festival of Cinema and Religion
Best Actress at Kazan Film Festival
To Each His Cinema (short film) Self (banned in Iran) shown at Cannes Film Festival
Santouri (Santouri The Music Man) Hanieh (banned in Iran) People's Choice at Fajr International Film Festival
2008 Shirin Self shown at Venice Film Festival
Hamisheh Paye Yek Zan Dar Miyan Ast (There's Always a Woman in Between) Mariam People's Choice at Fajr International Film Festival
Divar (The Wall) Setareh Best Photography at Fajr International Film Festival
selected at Tokyo Film Festival & at Taormina Film Festival
Body of Lies Aisha Directed by Ridley Scott, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe
2009 About Elly (Darbareye Elly) Sepideh Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlin Film Festival
Best Film at Tribeca Film Festival
Best Director and People's Choice awards at Fajr Film Festival
2010 Si Tu Meurs, Je Te Tue (I'll Kill You If You Die) Siba Directed by Hiner Saleem (in production) with Jonathan Zaccai
2011 There Be Dragons Leila Directed by Roland Joffe (in production) with Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Dougray Scott and Olga Kurylenko
Chicken With Plums (Poulet Aux Prunes) Iran Directed by Marjan Satrapi with Mathieu Amalric and Isabella Rossellini
2012 Just Like a Woman Mona Directed by Rachid Bouchareb with Sienna Miller
2012 The Patience Stone Directed by Atiq Rahimi
2013 My Sweet Pepperland Govend Directed by Huner Saleem
2014 Eden Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
2014 Exodus: Gods and Kings Nefertari Directed by Ridley Scott

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Award Film
1997 Fajr International Film Festival Best Actress from the International Section Derakhte Golabi (The Pear Tree)
2003 Three Continents Festival (Nantes, France) Prix d'Interpretation Feminine Boutique
2004 Fajr International Film Festival Nominated for Best Actress Ashk-e Sarma (Tear of the Cold)
House of Cinema Festival (Tehran) Best Actress Ashk-e Sarma (Tear of the Cold) & Boutique
2005 Fajr International Film Festival Nominated for Best Supporting Actress Mahiha Ashegh Mishavand (Fish Fall in Love)
2006 Kazan International Film Festival Best Actress Ashk-e Sarma (Tear of the Cold)
2007 Roshd International Film Festival (Tehran) Special Prize for the Best Actress Mim Mesle Madar (M for Mother)
Kowsar Film Festival (Mashhad) Best Actress Mim Mesle Madar (M for Mother)
2008 Fajr International Film Festival Nominated for Best Actress Divar (The Wall) & Hamishe Paye Yek Zan Dar Miyan Ast (There's Always a Woman in Between)
Kazan International Film Festival Best Actress Mim Mesle Madar (M for Mother)
2009 Asolo Film Festival (Italy) Eleonora Duse Award International Recognition for a Prominent Figure in Theater or Cinema
Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominated for Best Actress Darbareye Elly (About Elly)
2013 Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominated for Best Actress My Sweet Pepperland

Theater performance[edit]

year play role note
2003 Mariam And Mardavij Mariam
2004 The Black Narcissus workshop
2005 Mofatesh (The Inspector) Firoozeh Banned in Iran
2013 A Private Dream Toured North America (March–April 2013)[13]

Music Video[edit]

2014 "Pola" (Jabberwocky )
featuring Clara Cappgli (song writer)[14]


date venue note
11/09/09 Lido, Venice With Mohsen Namjoo, during the Venice Film Festival
08/10/09 Sala Verdi, Milan Conservatory With Mohsen Namjoo, presentation of the new album "Oy"

See also[edit]


External links[edit]