Portrait-B-BMs. 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. In 1995 Ms. Maleknasr directed wrote and acted in her first feature film: The Common Plight which has turned into a cult movie amongst Iranians youth. She has also acted in other Iranian films However, it wasn’t until she returned to her first calling that she found her true passion in making documentaries.

Fluent in English, Farsi, and Dari, Ms. Maleknasr portrays the many facets of the East to the West. Her diverse subjects include the children of lepers, the poetry of Rumi, and the devastation of the ancient city of Bam and others. In 2002 she travelled more than 3,000 miles by land in Afghanistan to portray the hope and desires of women and artists of the country for a better future following the Taliban regime.

Her current documentary, Women of the Silk Road, is an exploration of four women’s lives today in Middle East and Asia along the ancient trade route. At present she has three other projects in post-production

Ms. Maleknasr uses her camera to illuminate the hearts and minds of all people across cultural divides. It is her wish that her films promote understanding between the East and West.