Women. Life. Freedom. X Vogue, 2022
Production design, Short film

WOMEN. LIFE. FREEDOM. is a film about the protests unfolding in Iran in the wake of the death of Mahsa Jina Amini. She was accused of wearing her headscarf “incorrectly” and died on 16 September 2022 after sustaining fatal injuries in police custody. The Iranian government has cracked down on protestors, many of whom have been shot, beaten, and killed. Sarina Esmailzadeh, Asra Panahi, Hadis Najafi, Hananeh Kia, Minoo Majidi, Mahsa Mougouyi and Nika Shakarami are featured in this video and are just some of the people who have been killed in the protests so far. The current death toll is reported to be over 300, with tens of thousands arrested or pending trial.

Featuring the voices of Golshifteh Farahani @golfarahani, Shirin Neshat @shirin__neshat & Paria Farzaneh @pariafarzaneh

Vogue article: https://www.vogue.com/article/women-life-freedom-short-film-roxy-rezvany

Director’s statement:

The film was commissioned by Vogue, who approached me to make a film for their platforms to raise awareness about the protests taking place throughout Iran. The concept behind the film was "life interrupted". A TV playing to an empty room, an unfinished game of backgammon on the floor, a half finished meal laid out on a sofreh. Iranians have long been used to living a life caught halfway, whether that be for those in diaspora who have been displaced or exiled, or those who have had to suspend everything to take to the streets to fight for their rights to be recognised in their own homeland.

To develop the concept, I worked with fellow Iranians Creative Producer Saba Kia and Production Designer Rana Fadavi who worked tirelessly alongside me to get the film across the line. I delved into my own family's archive, and worked with Priscillia Kounkou-Hoveyda, founder of the Collective for Black Iranians, and Roxanne Farahmand, co-founder of Baesianz, to gather archive for the film that would depict Iran's racial diversity and showcase the many identities of Iranians. For the sets, we specially designed props to honour the message of the movement: “Women. Life. Freedom.” including the translations in Kurdish, Farsi, Baluchi, and Azebaijani to show a unified stance in our solidarity. It is from the Kurdish Independence movement that the slogan emerged, a group who have been fighting for their own rights and recognition within Iran. Equally, Balochistan has seen a disproportionate number of deaths as an ethnic minority during these protests but this fact is not reflected in mainstream media's reporting. Azeris have formed such a key part of Iran and its culture, but go unacknowledged in many portraits of the country.

We spoke to Golshifteh Farahani, Shirin Neshat, and Paria Farzaneh to give context to what is happening. They are all Iranian artists who have been using their platforms extensively to raise awareness. We hope everyone strives to keep themselves informed and bear witness to the human rights abuses taking place so the Iranian people's fight for freedom does not go unheard or unseen.

Winner of the Young Arrow Awards 2023

Director: Roxy Rezvany @roxyrezvany
Creative Producer: Saba Kia @saba_kia
Director of Photography: Linda Wu @lil.wontons
Production Designer: Rana Fadavi @ranafadavi

Editor: Eden Read @edenraeread
Assistant Director: Cindy Cheng @cindycheng97
Assistant Producer: Martina Amoretti @ma_rtina_amo
Focus Puller: Stephen Ofori @essofori
Camera Trainee: Isaac Bokoko @kokes_tv
Gaffer: Ana Krkljus @kirklejuice_
Spark: Josie Rafter Redfern @josieeeredfern
Art Director: Max Stranger @max.stranger22
Graphic Designer: Corinne Ang @corinne_ang_

Edit Producer: Joshua Gochez @joshahwawa
Colourist: Tim Smith c/o No.8 @timotheous
Composer: Matt Huxley @circledancerecs
Sound Mixer: Joe Munday c/o OPM @joe__munday
Compositor: Lee Watson @leew_vfx

Commissioned by Vogue Magazine @voguemagazine
Production Companies @somesuchandco & Dark Wave Film

For Vogue: @billiejdporter @rahelllllyeah @nicolapardy

Special Thanks to @priscillia_pkh @collectiveforblackiranians @roxanne_farahmand @baesianz @adilbaluch24 & Theo Wright

With support from @panavisionofficial @greenkitlondon @balticldn @the_assembly_rooms @opm.london @no8ldn & @superhireprops

#mahsaamini #womanlifefreedom#womenlifefreedom #iran#iranprotests #nikashakarami

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