Shabnam Tolouei

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Shabnam Tolouei while getting interviewed by VOA Persian Service

Shabnam Toluie (also spelt Toloui, Persian: شبنم طلوعی‎), born in Tehran, Iran, is an Iranian actress, theatre director and playwright. She is currently forbidden from working in Iran by the government because of her religion, the Bahá'í Faith. Since December 2004 she is living in Paris, France.[1] and became naturalized French citizen in 2019.


She has studied in the field of filmmaking in Tehran, in Bagh-Ferdos Film School and has her B.A. in Theatre Studies from Université Paris X, Nanterre, France. She has been writing short stories for cultural magazines since 1990, acting on stage since 1993, and writing plays since 1994. Since 2002 she has also taught the bio-mechanic method and acting for camera at Kranameh cultur and Art Training Institute in Tehran.

Experiences in Iran[edit]

Theatre in Iran[edit]

  • Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare (Directed by Ali Raffi)
  • The one thousand and first night (Written and Directed by Bahram Bayzai)
  • Blood wedding, lorka (Directed by Ali Raffi)
  • Shazde Ehtedjab, Hooshang Golshiri (Directed by Ali Raffi)
  • The Maids, Jean Genet (Directed by Ali Raffi)
  • Bizhan and Manizhe (Epic play based on Ferdowsi's Shahname) directed by Pari Saberi
  • Kiss you and Tears, Charmshir (Directed by Mohammad Aghebati)
  • Roya's room, Foroozand
  • On the Earth, Foroozand
  • Hamzad, Amir Dejakam
  • Cries and demands by the city wall, Tankred Dorst, Directed by Hassan Majouni
  • Tomorrow (*)
  • Morad (*)
  • The 7th Act (*), 1995
  • Bitter Coffee (*) (Social drama, published in 2003)
  • Bahman Baghdad (*)(a Romance based on Iran–Iraq War), 2003
(*): Plays written and directed by Shabnam Tolouei with Farda Theater Group in Iran.


  • My Dear Actor (Bazigar-e aziz-e man) (Cheshmeh Publication, ISBN 964-362-035-2), 2002

Acting in feature films in Iran[edit]

Acting in TV series in Iran[edit]

  • Hamsafar, Ghasem Jafari
  • Inspector shamsi and madame, Marziye Boroumand
  • Bedoone sharh, Mehdi Mazloumi
  • A field where reeds grow (Neyestan), Mohamad Mokhtari

Acting in short films in Iran[edit]

  • No one talks to no one (Hich kas ba hich kas harf nemizanad), Bonakdar& Alimohammadi
  • Love is alone (Eshgh tanhast), Bonakdar & Alimohammadi
  • Desert of the mirrors (Kavir-e ayeneha), Bonakdar & Alimohammadi

Awards in Iran[edit]

  • The Best Actress in 14th International Fajre Theatre Festival, Iran, 1996
  • The Second Best playwright in 14th International Fajre Theatre Festival, Iran, 1996
  • The Second Best Actress in 15th International Fajre Theatre Festival, Iran, 1997
  • The Second Best Director in 21st International Fajre Theatre Festival, Iran, 2003
  • The Best Actress in 22nd International Fajre Theatre Festival, Iran, 2004

International Theatre Performances[edit]

  • Autumn Dance (director/playwright/actress) performed in Bing Studio Theatre, Stanford University 2017
  • Autumn Dance, Stockholm, 9th Women Playwrights International Conference, 2012
  • Autumn Dance (director/playwright/actress) performed in Persian and French language in paris/prague/stockholm/toronto/jonkoping 2011-2013
  • Bitter Coffee, Silk road theatre festival in Ruhr, Mulheim, Germany, 2003
  • Kiss you and Tears, Far and Near east festival in Berlin, German, 2004
  • Kiss you and Tears in Freiburg, Germany, 2004
  • Kiss you and Tears, Silk road theatre festival in Ruhr, Mulheim, Germany, 2004
  • Kiss you and Tears, Sharjah festival, Sharjah, UAE, 2005
  • Kiss you and Tears, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Germany, 2006
  • Kiss you and tears, Berlin, 2006

Experiences outside Iran[edit]

Film Making[edit]

  • Les étoiles, a documentary about women and violence (as filmmaker and editor) editing in progress, USA and France 2018-2019
  • Dust-Flower-Flame a documentary about the life of Tahirih Qurratul Ayn (as filmmaker and editor) France 2015. The film is screened in different cities in the world like Paris, New York, London, Washington DC, Berkeley, Stanford University, Toronto, Montreal, Arizona, UCLA University, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. and was broadcast by BBC Persian TV in March 2017
  • Etre pionnier dans la foie Baha'ie(as director and editor)
  • Take one (BARDASHTE YEK)/(as director and editor)/ short web documentaries about the followers of Bahai faith in France 2011-2012

Film Acting[edit]

  • Mitra/Kaweh Modiri/Baldr Film Production/ 2019... (ongoing project)
  • Red Rose/Sepideh Farsi/ feature film/ 2013
  • Women Without Men/ Shirin Neshat/ feature film/ 2009[2][3]
  • La torture blanche (Arash Naimian/ short film) 2009
  • Munes (Shirin Neshat/ Video installation) 2007
  • Au dernier recours (Nazmjou) Paris, 2006


  • Tarabnameh (Actress) by Bahram Beyzaei, performed in Stanford University 2016
  • Bahman-bagdad (playwright and dictor), Krefeld, 2010-2012[4] for Krefeld city theatre in German Language with german actors 2010-2012
  • Autumn Dance (director/playwright/actress) performed in Persian and French language 2011-2017
  • L'entretien (as director and actress )/a Persian play by Mohammad Rahmanian, performed in French language /Lilas En Scène/ Paris 2006
  • Louvre vue d'ailleurs, musical performance, in Louvre Museum / teamwork /Paris 2005

Radio Programs in Persian Language[edit]

  • Tasvir 2006-2007 for Payamedoost radio
  • Beresad be daste to 2008/ Payamedoost radio
  • Sahba and me(pavaraghihaye mano sahba) 2009/ Payamedoost radio
  • Album 2012-2013 /Payamedoost Radio


  1. ^ "The Iranian Stars Forced to Go Abroad". Iran Press Watch. February 29, 2016.
  2. ^ Burr, Ty (June 30, 2010). "Women Without Men-Women seek freedom in mystical plot of Iran".
  3. ^ "Movie review: A dark 'Women Without Men'". Washington Post. April 30, 2010.
  4. ^ "Bahman-Baghdad Plays in Krefeld - Krefeld, Germany". Retrieved 10 October 2010.

External links[edit]