FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 'IRANIAN TABOO'; exposing the Islamic regime's attacks against the followers of the Baha'i Faith in Iran

February 10, 2012

‘IRANIAN TABOO’, A DOCUMENTARY BY REZA ALLAMEHZADEH
Exposing the Islamic regime’s attacks against the followers of the Baha’i Faith in Iran

Los Angeles, CA, February 10, 2012 – Iranian Taboo, a documentary by Reza Allamehzadeh, will begin screening in Los Angeles from February 24 to March 1 at Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills and in DC, San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, Montreal, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco and Seattle in the following days.

Reza Allamehzadeh, an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker banned from entering his homeland, enlisted the aid of friends who clandestinely filmed inside Iran in order to explore this century old taboo.

Iranian Taboo tells the story of an Iranian Baha'i woman, Nadereh and her 14-year-old daughter who decide to sell all of their belongings and leave their homeland, to take refuge in the West.

Iranian Taboo takes us across continents from Turkey to Israel, and from the U.S. to Iran and gives us a unique insights into the persecution of Baha'is in Iran -from the underground Baha'i University (BIHE) to the oppressed Baha'i peasants of the Eival village in the northern province of Mazandaran. The film includes never seen before interviews with some of the most respected Iranian scholars, authors and politicians, speaking about the persecution of Baha’is in Iran.

All scenes within Iran were shot undercover by local contacts of the filmmaker.

PRESS SCREENING:
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 – 10 a.m.
Royal Theater (Laemmle)
11523 Santa Monica Blvd. West Los Angeles, CA
Media inquiries welcome.

To view the trailer and more information about screenings schedule, visit the film’s official website at www.IranianTaboo.com

Director’s Statement:
I have made several challenging documentaries during my long career as a filmmaker. Films like "Speak out Turkmen!" on the bloody war between well organized army of the newly established Islamic regime of Iran (1979) and poorly organized Turkmen tribe in the northern Iran. "Holy Crime" on State terrorism of the Islamic government in Europe, which resulted in assassination of more than 80 well-known dissidents, in just one decade.

But none of them was as difficult to make as the ‘Iranian Taboo’. In spite of the fact that I'm banned to enter my homeland, I managed to film deep inside Iran, with the help of devoted friends who risked their lives to film the footage that I needed for this film. Organizing and obtaining access to the vast range of the interviewees in this film, from Shirin Ebadi to Abolhassan Banisadr was another challenging point that I managed to overcome.

‘Iranian Taboo’ is the most personal documentary that I have ever made!

FILMMAKERS

REZA ALLAMEHZADEH (Director) is an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, film critic and writer based in the Netherlands since 1983. Allamehzadeh was born in 1943 in Sari, Iran. He studied film directing at the Tehran Academy of Film and Television from 1966 to 1969. Alongside with filmmaking he is regularly writing and publishing children’s books, novels and short stories.
He teaches film and TV courses at various universities around the world, including Hollins University in Virginia (U.S.), Leeds Metropolitan University (U.K.) and International R/TV Training Center in the Netherlands. Some of his films include:
‘The Trap’ (1973); awarded Grand Prix at the 12th International film festival for Children and Youth in Gijon, Spain, ‘A Few Simple Sentences’ (1986); awarded the Best Short at the 1986 Stockholm International Immigrant Film Festival, Best Children’s Film at Tomar 1987 International Festival of Cinema for Children and Youth and the Best Children’s Film by the jury of the International Centre of Films for Children and Youth (CIFEJ) at International Moscow Film Festival in 1987, ‘Guests of Hotel Astoria (1988); feature length, selected for the Venice, Moscow, Montreal and Chicago Film Festivals and ‘Holy Crime’; a controversial documentary on State terrorism of Islamic government of Iran in European countries.

BIJAN SHAHMORADI (Producer) started his film career in 1979 by partaking in the Iranian Art Atelier film editing classes under the direction of Reza Allamehzadeh. Prior to his political imprisonment in 1982, he was the editor and assistant director in a number of short movies. He also assisted in dubbing a number of foreign films, one of which was "Pedagogy", a film well received by many Iranians.
In 1986, after his release from prison, he immigrated to the United States. In addition to building a career as a civil engineer, Bijan also started the production company Take 7 Productions and continued his work in movie production and distribution. “Guests of Hotel Astoria”, which was the first film produced by this company, received much recognition and acclaim in major film festivals, including festivals held in Venice, Moscow, Montreal and Chicago. Other films, such as "Night After the Revolution" and "Holy Crime" were jointly produced by Take 7 Productions and Holland Television.
The theatrical play "Mossadegh" was produced by Take 7 Productions and Bijan Shahmoradi in 2006-2007 and performed in more than 20 cities in Europe and the United States. In addition to co-producing “Iranian Taboo”, Bijan has made significant contributions to editing the film.

MANSOUR TAEED (Producer) emigrated from Iran to the U.S. at the age of 16. After receiving his Master’s degree in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, he attended Colombia University in New York to further his education at which time he realized that he does not need a PhD in Physics to be a thespian; his first passion.
He started his acting career in 1981 by performing in “Shahr Ghesseh” (City Full of Stories) by Bijan Mofid. In 1985, Mansour founded Darvag Theater Company along with other Bay Area artists. In 1986 he wrote and directed his first play, “Raghsy Incheneen” (Such a Dance) and subsequently he wrote, directed and acted in more than 40 plays for Darvag Theater Company and other Bay Area theater companies. Among his recent works, he played the role of Sinbad in “The Eight Voyage of Sinbad” by Bahram Bayzaee, and Babak in “From Satellite with Love” by Houshang Touzie and a brief role in the movie, “The Kite Runner”. Currently he has been touring his one man play called “Ma Jassoos Neesteem” (We Are Not Spies) in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia.

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