Magazine article Screen International

Mahnaz Afshar, from Tehran to Heaven

Magazine article Screen International

Mahnaz Afshar, from Tehran to Heaven

Article excerpt

Mahnaz Afshar, whose new feature From Tehran To Heaven, receives its European premiere at IFFR, is a movie star - Iranian-style.

Afshar has 80,000 followers on her Facebook fan page and every new film she appears in is considered an event.

Passing through Rotterdam this week, Afshar reflected on recent changes in Iranian society that are benefitting the film industry.

Speaking about acclaimed director Jafar Panahi, who is no longer under house arrest, Afshar said: "He is in Iran. He is free. The new politics are better for him."

The Oscar-winning success that Farhadi's A Separation enjoyed has given other filmmakers a boost. New President Rouhani is encouraging a more "open" government approach to the film industry.

Afshar was keen to play the lead in From Tehran To Heaven, directed by Abolfazl Saffary, because it is a film about a woman's life in contemporary Iran.

Her character, Ghazal, embarks on a nightmarish journey to try to find her husband who may have stolen secret documents relating to biological weapons. …

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