Bahman Maghsoudlou: Biography

A man with a white hair in a black background

Film scholar and critic Bahman Maghsoudlou is the recipient of Iran’s prestigious Forough Farrokhzad literary award for writing and editing a series of books about cinema and theater. These include the widely acclaimed Iranian Cinema, which was published in 1987 by New York University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Maghsoudlou’s activities involving international cinema further include participation as panelist, juror and lecturer at a wide variety of film festivals, as well as serving as president of the jury at the 2012 Ibn Arabi Film Festival (IBAFF) in Spain and the Montreal World Film Festival, 2014. As a filmmaker, he wrote, directed and produced the short documentary film Ardeshir Mohasses and His Caricatures (1972), which was shown at the Leipzig Film Festival in 1996, Ahmad Mahmoud: a Noble Novelist (2004), Iran Darroudi: the Painter of Ethereal Moments (2010), and Ardeshir: The Rebellious Artist (2012), an extended update of his original film about Mohasses. His two latest films, Abbas Kiarostami: A Report (2013) and Razor’s Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses (2016), the latter about women’s role in the Iranian film industry before the revolution, are the first two parts of a series on Iranian cinema. Both films had their premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival and have been shown at numerous other festivals since. The latest in the series, Bahram Beyzaie: A Cultural Legend, will be released in 2019. Having organized the first-ever Iranian Film Festival in New York in 1980, Maghsoudlou originated the International Short Film Festival: Independent Films in Iran, which was held in October 2007 at the Asian Society in New York.

As a producer Maghsoudlou’s films have been selected for more than 100 major film festivals and garnered many awards, and include The Suitors (Cannes, 1988), Manhattan by Numbers (Venice, Toronto, London, Chicago, 1993), Seven Servants with legendary actor Anthony Quinn (Locarno, Montréal, Toronto, 1996), Life in Fog (1998—the single most awarded short documentary film in the history of Iranian Cinema, and Silence of the Sea, winner of six prizes, selected for more than 20 other film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival in 2004.

Maghsoudlou is currently producing and directing a feature-length documentary on The Life & Legacy of Mohammad Mossadegh.

Maghsoudlou’s latest book, following such well-received titles as Iranian CinemaLove & Liberty in Cinema and This Side of the Mind & the Other Side of the Pupil, is Grass: Untold Stories, a definitive account of the making of Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, the groundbreaking documentary filmed by Merian Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison in Iran in 1924. He is a member of Pen American center.

A graduate in cinema studies from the City University of New York with a PhD from Columbia, Maghsoudlou lives in New York.

Bahman Maghsoudlou: Filmography


1. Ardeshir Mohasses & His Caricatures (W/D/P, Documentary, Iran, 1972)

Shown at various film festivals, including the 1996 Leipzig Film Festival.

2. Life in Fog (Executive Producer, Short Documentary, Iran /USA, 1998).

Featured in more than thirty international film festivals throughout 1999-2000, including Clermont-Ferrand. Winner of fifteen international awards, this film is the most awarded short/documentary film in the history of Iranian Cinema.

3. The Other Side of the Broken Wall (Producer, Fiction, Iran/USA, 2006)

Selected for International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran, NY, 2007

4. SmoQing (Producer, Fiction, Germany/USA, 2007)

Dir: Daryush Shokof

Selected for International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran, NY, 2007


As producer

1. Manhattan by Numbers (Executive Producer, USA, 1993)

Dir: Amir Naderi

Premiered at New Films/New Directors at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1993. Also Venice, San Sebastian, London, Toronto, Chicago, Thessaloniki, Montreal, and Cairo.

2. Seven Servants (Producer, Germany/USA, 1996)

Dir: Daryush Shokof

Premiered at the Locarno Film Festival (Grand Pizza) 1996. Also Toronto, Kiev, Thessaloniki, Montreal, Cairo, India, etc.

3. Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet of Liberty (Producer, Iran/USA, 1998)

Selected for MESA ‘1999 (The Middle East Studies Association of North America) SIRA 2000, ISIS 2000, Iranian Diaspora Film Festival in New York, 2002.

4. Surviving Paradise (Producer, USA, 1999)

Dir: Kamshad Kushan

Premiered at the Cairo International Film Festival and International Film Festival of India, New Delhi.

5. Ta’zieh in Another Narration (EP, D, Iran/USA, 2001)

Dir: Parviz Jahed

Premiered in New York at the NYU Arab/Iranian Film Festival, 2001. CIRA, MESA 2001, ISIS 2002, the Popoli Film Festival, Italy 2003, and the Tiburon Film Festival, USA, 2004.

6. Silence of the Sea (P/EP, Iran/USA, 2003)

Dir: Vahid Mousaian

Selected for more than twenty international film festivals, including Sundance 2004. Winner of Ecumenical Prize at the Mannheim Film Festival 2003, Best Film and Best Screenplay at the Croatia Film Festival 2004, and Best Music at the Asian/Pacific Film Festival.

7. Asudem (Associate Producer, Germany/USA, 2007)

Dir: Daryush Shokof

All are Documentaries

1. Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist (W/D/P, 55 min. Iran/USA, 2004)

Premiered at the Berlin Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2004. MESA Film Festival, 2004. The 15th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, UCLA Film & Television Archive Film Festival, USA, 2005.

2. Iran Darroudi: the Painter of Ethereal Moments (D/P, 54 min., Iran/France/USA, 2010)

Leipzig Film Festival, Germany, 2010. Ibn Arabi, Spain, Film Festival, 2011

3. Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist (D/W/P, 59 min. Iran/USA, 2012)

Selected for the Palm Beach Film Festival, 2013. Selected for MESA Film Festival, 2013

4. Abbas Kiarostami: A Report (W/D/P, 88 min., Iran/USA,2013)

World Premier, Montreal World Film Festival, 2013. EPOS, the International Art Film Festival, 2014. Iranian San Francesco Film Festival, 2014. Cineteca Natinonale, Rome, Italy, 2014. MESA Film Festival, Washington DC, 2014. Film & Anthropology, Boston University, 2015

5. Razor’s Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses (W/D/P, 127 min., Iran/USA, 2016)

World Premier, Montreal World Film Festival, 2016. MESA Film Festival, Washington DC, 2016. Festival International DU Film D’Histoire, (Competition) Pessac, France, 2016. Visions Du Reel Library Film Festival, 2017. Tirgan Festival, Toronto, 2017

6-Bahram Beyzaie: A Cultural Legend (W/D/P, 2019)


1. The Suitors (Actor, USA, 1988)

Dir: Ghasem Ebrahimian

Screened for the director’s fortnight at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, and selected for other prestigious film festivals.

See Short Biography

Recent Events

Dr. Bahman Maghsoudloo at the Iran Center London: Kiarostami, a report

دکتر بهمن مقصودلو در کانون ایران لندن: کیارستمی، یک گزارش

Ardeshir Mohasses, Rebellious Artist—Paris

Ardeshir Mohasses, Rebellious Artist—Paris

Ardeshir Mohasses, Rebellious Artist — Toronto

Ardeshir Mohasses, Rebellious Artist — Toronto

Los Angeles Film Center: Iran Droudy

کانون فیلم لس آنجلس: ایران درّودی


Moscow Film Festival—2002

Moscow Film Festival—2002

St. Pertersburg Festival — 2000: Jury Member

St. Pertersburg Festival — 2000: Jury Member

Cairo Film Festival—1999: Surviving Paradise

Cairo Film Festival—1999: Surviving Paradise

Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival—1999: Life in Fog

Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival—1999: Life in Fog

Locarno Film Festival—1996: Seven Servants

Locarno Film Festival—1996: Seven Servants

Pesaro Film Festival—1990

Pesaro Film Festival—1990


Abbas Kiarostami — A Report (Trailer)

Abbas Kiarostami — A Report (Trailer)

Bahram Beyzai playwright

Bahram Beyzaie: A Mosaic of Metaphors

Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist

Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist

Razor's Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses (Trailer)

Razor’s Edge: the Legacy of Iranian Actresses — Official Trailer