Ms. Yassamin Maleknasr is the first Iranian woman filmmaker to graduate from the University of Southern California in Film and Television. In 1993, she won the Best Supporting Actress Award at Tehran’s Fajr Film Festival for her debut role in Dariush Mehrjui’s film, Sara”. Her first feature film The Common Plight has turned into a cult movie amongst Iranians youth. Although an award-winning actress, she found purpose behind the camera as a director of documentary films. She has worked on a wide variety of subjects in Middle East and Central Asia including the children of lepers, the impact of Rumi and earthquake of the ancient city of Bam. Her acclaimed film, “Afghanistan, the Lost Truth”, the result of a 3,000 miles journey by land post 9/11, was screened internationally including at Screen Actors Guild, United Nations, World Bank, and the United State Senate.
Her recent lyrical documentary, “Women of the Silk Road”, depicts the lives of four women from four countries of the Silk Road in Middle East and Central Asia.
Her new film, currently in post-production, “Symphony in the Dark” is the story of a blind composer who created the first woman folklore orchestra in Iran.
Ms. Maleknasr, an Iranian-American, a bi-cultural artist fluent in English, Farsi, and Dari, can easily gain access and communicate with all people across cultural and religious divides. It is her wish that her films contribute to better understanding between the East and West.