Sepideh Farsi was born in Tehran in 1965 but left Iran in 1980 and went to Paris in 1984 to study mathematics. However, eventually she was drawn to the visual arts and initially experimented in photography before making her first short films. Her first two features Dreams Of Dust and The Gaze premiered at Rotterdam in 2006.
Farsi was a Member of the Jury of the Locarno International Film Festival in Best First Feature in 2009. She won the FIPRESCI Prize (2002), Cinéma du Réel and Traces de Vie prize (2001) for Homi D. Sethna, filmmaker and Best documentary prize in Festival dei Popoli (2007) for Harat.
One of her latest films is called Tehran Bedoune Mojavez/ Tehran Without Permission. The 83-minute documentary shows life in Iran's crowded capital city of Tehran, facing international sanctions over its nuclear ambitions and experiencing civil unrest. It was shot entirely with a Nokia camera phone because of the government restrictions over shooting a film. The film shows various aspects of city life including following women at the hairdressers talking of the latest fads, young men speaking of drugs, prostitution and other societal problems, and an underground rapper called “Hichkas” who performs discreetly because he is banned by the government from giving concerts. The dialogue is in Persian with English and Arabic subtitles. In December 2009, Tehran Without Permission was shown at the Dubai International Film Festival.
Khabe Âb / Water dreams (Iran/ France, 1997)
Donya khaneye man ast / The world is my home (Iran/France, 1999)
Homi D. Sethna, Film-maker (60´, India, 2000)
Mardan-e Atash/ Men of Fire (56´, Iran/France, 2001)
Safar-e Maryam/ The journey of Maryam (Iran/France, 2002)
Le voyage de Maryam (80´, France, 2003)
Khab-e khak/ Dreams of Dust (82´, Iran/France, 2003)
Le regard/ The Gaze (83´, France, 2006)
Harat (France/Iran, 2007)
If it were Icarus (2008)
Tehran bedoune mojavez/ Teheran without Permission (83´, Iran/France, 2009)
The House Under Water (92', Iran, 2010)
Mardan-e Atash (Orig.) / 2001 / France, Iran / 56 min
An insight into today's Iran, through a simple device: following a group of firemen in Tehran. We shall see the country in its critical moments, when tongues untie, when gestures are more spontaneous, and doors open more easily.