Film - Spotlight Filmfest 2023


Directed by Maryam Keshavarz


Director: Maryam Keshavarz
Section: Spotlight
Country: USA
Year: 2022
Language: English, Farsi
Version: Original version with German subtitles, Original version with English subtitles
Cast: Layla Mohammadi, Niousha Noor, Kamand Shafieisabet, Bijan Daneshmand, Bella Warda
18+ (no age rating)


A mix of culture-clash comedy and family drama that confidently dances across boundaries and finds reconciliation in unexpected places.

Having grown up in an Iranian-American family, Leila is used to chaos and competing influences. Completely new to her, however, is the idea that her mother was once a young woman with aspirations and complexes of her own. This tragicomedy, which received the Audience Award at Sundance, unfolds into a cross-generational journey of discovery, at the end of which everything is a little different and at the same time unexpectedly familiar

Meet the director


Maryam Keshavarz

Maryam Keshavarz was born in New York City in 1975, but as a child spent many summers and some of her school years in Shiraz, Iran. She later attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Her short film THE DAY I DIED (2006) received a dozen awards. Her first feature film, CIRCUMSTANCE (2011), about two 16-year-old Iranian girls who struggle with the traditional image of women, earned the coveted Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Her second feature film, VIPER CLUB, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018. Keshavarz returned to Sundance in 2023 with her third film, THE PERSIAN VERSION, where she again received the Audience Award. Keshavarz is also a producer; her production company MaraKesh Films specifically aims to promote films made by women and minorities.


Screenplay: Maryam Keshavarz
Director of Photography: André Jäger
Film Editor: Abolfazl Talooni, Joanne Yarrow, A.C.E
Composer: Rostam Batmanglij
Production Designer: Firat Yünlüel
Costume Design: Burcu Yamak
Sound: Javier Farina
Producer: Maryam Keshavarz, Anne Carey, Ben Howe, Luca Borghese, Peter Block, Cory Neal
Production Company: Marakesh Films
Executive producer: Nyla Hazratjee, Amy Nauiokas
World Sales: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions
Distributor: Sony Pictures Germany