Bahman Maghsoudlou

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Bahman Maghsoudlou (born in Gorgan, Iran) is a film scholar, critic,[1] author[2] and independent film producer/director.[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 2013 at the Palm Beach International Film Festival.

The next addition to the series was 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 and was also featured at the 2016 Festival International du Film d'Histoire in Pessac, France, in a special section dedicated to Kiarostami. This was Maghsoudlou's first feature-length documentary, and as well as being an entry in the Renowned 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.

Maghsoudlou's next feature documentary, released in 2016, was called Razor's Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses. This film, like the Kiarostami film, served as the next entry in both the Iranian Cinema series and the Renowned Iranian Artists series. Through copious interviews with the most prominent actresses of the pre-Revolutionary period (including Pouri Banayi, Susan Taslimi, Irene Zazians (a.k.a. Iren) and Shohreh Aghdashloo) and an abundance of rare clips from their films, the documentary examines the role of women in Iranian cinema from both cultural and artistic standpoints. In an article in Asharq Al-Awsat, journalist Amir Taheri wrote that the film "contains a number of exciting surprises," also noting that the interviews with the actresses "[shed] light on a chunk of Iran's contemporary history" and "[remind] us that it was always difficult to be a woman in Iran even under the Shah, and that being a film actress was even more of a gamble."[6]

The next film, which will be the third to represent both series, will focus on filmmaker, critic and playwright Bahram Beyzai.

As a producer, Mr. Maghsoudlou's films have been to more than 100 film festivals worldwide. 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[7] with a PhD from Columbia University, Maghsoudlou lives in New Jersey.[citation needed]

He became a member of the prestigious list of PEN American Center in 2011.[8]

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 Ibn Arabi International Film Festival (IBAFF) (held March 5 through 10th in Murcia, Spain), serving alongside a group of notables of the Spanish film scene, including Alberto Elena.[9] 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.[10]


Year Film
1972 Ardeshir Mohasses & His Caricatures (producer/director/writer)
1988 The Suitors (actor)
1990 Angels are Wired (producer)
1993 Manhattan by Numbers (executive producer)
1996 Seven Servants (producer)
1999 Zendegi dar meh (Life in Fog) (executive producer)
1999 Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet of Liberty (producer)
2000 Surviving Paradise (producer)
2001 Ta'zieh: Another Narration (executive producer)
2004 Silence of the Sea (producer)
2004 Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist (producer/director/writer)
2007 Asudem (associate producer)
2009 Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments (producer/director/camera)
2011 Golchehreh (executive producer)
2013 Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist (producer/director/writer/camera)
2013 Abbas Kiarostami: A Report (producer/director/writer/camera)
2016 Razor's Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses (producer/director/camera)
2019 Bahram Beyzaie: A Mosaic of Metaphors (producer/director/camera)


  1. ^ "Festival 2002: Faith on Film: Moral Dilemmas; Panellist biographies". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Bahman Maghsoudlou: Biography".
  4. ^ "Ayandegan, February 18, 1975".
  5. ^ "Ettelat, February, 1975".
  6. ^ "Iran: Blacklisted Stars Make a Comeback". Asharq Al-Awsat English Archive.
  7. ^ "College of Staten Island Alumni Association Announces their 2002 Hall of Fame Awardees" (Press release). 30 September 2002.
  8. ^ "Maghsoudlou Inducted into PEN American Center". Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2012-03-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Awards of the World Film Fest". MONTREAL 2014, World Film Festival. Retrieved 2016-03-09.

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