Known for her documentary films on spirituality and mysticism, Aryana Farshad is an award-winning international film maker. Over the past decade she has been commissioned to make several films for different non-profit foundations in US, Iran, London, Turkey and India. Fluent in English, French & Persian, Aryana is the recipient of “Audience Favorite Award”, “Telly Award”, and “Davey Award”. In addition, she received the prestigious ABU Award for editing a documentary film entitled “Immigrant Birds.” Aryana is a still photographer and her work was exhibited at LACMA, and Einsen Gallery. She also has the distinction of being the first Iranian/American interviewed on KCET (PBS Los Angeles) BY VAL ZAVALA. Previously, Aryana worked at COLUMBIA and MGM (see IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0268583)
Currently, Aryana lectures at major universities, museums, and various non-profit organizations. She has lectured at: The British Museum of Arts, LA County Museum of Arts, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Fes Sacred Music Festival in Morocco, Parliament of the World Religions in Barcelona, and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. For her latest project “Longing for the Soul; A Quest for Rumi”, she received a “Bijan & Soraya” Grant. Filmed entirely in US, Iran, Turkey & Afghanistan will be available for distribution by October 2015.
Education and career
She moved to Paris, France and studied French language and literature at The Sorbonne, prior to receiving her degree from the Institut Des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques in film production and editing. She returned to her native country of Iran for a few years where she worked with major Iranian and western film makers. She moved to Los Angeles, attending USC film department and later joined the Editor's Guild and worked for major Hollywood studios, including MGM Studios and Columbia Pictures in television post-production. In 2000, she travelled back to her native country Iran and returned footage which was used in creating the award winning documentary film Mystic Iran, the Unseen World. Her second documentary film on Iran, Age of Awakening, is narrated by Omid Djalili. Mystic Iran went on to be acknowledged and awarded at many film festivals and won the "Audience Favorite Award" at the 2008 Noor Film Festival. Her current project, Longing for the Soul is about Rumi and in production.
- 2013-2015 “Longing for the Soul”- Feature-length documentary film based on the legacy of Persian mystic poet, RUMI. The Project received partial funding from the “Bijan & Soraya” Grant.
- 2013 40 minute documentary film on “Spirit of India” (currently in post.)
- 2012 Short documentary film; Commissioned by “Arasteh Foundation”.
- 2010–2012 “Title protected”. Full hour documentary film; Commissioned by “ Hady, LLC”.
- 2007 “A Time to Reconcile”. Parker Media.
- 2006–2007 “Myths & Kings”; Unfinished project.
- 2003–2005 "Age of Awakening”; Premiered at British Museum followed by LACMA along with several screenings at various universities throughout the United States.
- 2003 “Encyclopedia Iranica”; Short Corporate Film.
- 2000–2002 “Mystic Iran” (2002): Full hour documentary film shot entirely in Iran. World premiere broadcast on US PBS Channels as well as 500+ international television channels. Kevin Thomas at Los Angeles Times: "An exemplary documentary...beautiful, stirring film", Mare Mazer at KCET: “A stunning look at a culture few westerners understand."
- 2001 “Title protected”; Full hour documentary film shot entirely in Iran. Will be released in 2013-2014
- 1997 “Lymphoma Foundation”- by Women in Film.
- Mystic Iran is narrated by Academy Award nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, and
Cesar winning French actress Fanny Ardent.
- Age of Awakening, is narrated by Omid Djalili.
- April 2008 Audience Choice Award for Mystic Iran at Noor Iranian Film Festival
- May 2008 Telly award for directing and editing short film.'
- Iran Heritage Foundation
- OCPC Magazine (December 2007) Cover story: Aryana Farshad - Her journey through the 'unseen world'.
- LACMA, Mystic Iran, The Unseen World to screen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
"PSA Poetry group will have a screening of the much anticipated documentary by Aryana Farshad called "Mystic Iran, The Unseen World"
- Spirituality & Practice, Film Review By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
- Mazalien, Mystic Iran - The Unseen World
- Asia Society, Mystic Iran: The Unseen World
- Noor Film Festival screening of Mystic Iran
- "Guest: Aryana Farshad". irandokht.com. 8 January 2005. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Aryana Farshad". Eclectic Woman. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008.
- "Interview with Aryana Farshad Writer/ Director / Producer". Iranian Hotline. November 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Bam 6.6 sweeps the awards at Noor Film Festival 2008". Payvand's Iran News. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Mystic Iran: The Unseen World" (PDF). Persian Student Association, Stanford University. Retrieved 21 May 2013.