Mohammad Shirvani is an Iranian alternative filmmaker. He was born in 1973 in Tehran; he quit painting to follow his passion for cinema. Shirvani has escaped from military service to make his first short film "The Circle" in 1999. This film was selected for the Critics' Week International Cannes festival in the same year. As of 2013[update], Shirvani has made 18 films; the last one "Fat Shaker" won the Golden Tiger for the best film in Rotterdam Film Festival. His films have been screened in more than 500 international events where he won many prices, such as; Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Locarno, Toronto, Tribeca and Busan. Although he could not screen them widely in his homeland.
In 2014, Shirvani published 18 films which he produced on his personal website as a protest against censorship in Iranian cinema. A month later his website was banned and making new films became temporarily forbidden for him. However, since 2012, he has been trying to keep Iranian alternative cinema movement alive and fresh by improving young talents through his "Alternative Cinema Workshop".