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ASGHAR FARHADI (Director / Writer) was born in 1972. He made his first short film at age 13 in a youth cinema club and had made five short films before going to the University of Tehran in 1991 to study theatre, a choice that would influence his filmmaking style significantly. He defended Harold Pinter's work and the function of silence and pause in Pinter's plays for his bachelor thesis. After he graduated, he continued his studies in stage direction at Tarbiat Modares University in 1996. There, he started writing radio plays and television series. After obtaining his master's degree in stage direction, he started writing and directing television series, "A Tale of City" ("Dastane yek sharh") being one of them.

In 2002, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Dancing in the Dust (Raghss dar ghobar). The film won the Best Actor award at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival and the Russian Society of Film Critics' Best Film award, as well as Best Screenplay and Best Director at the 48th Asian Pacific Film Festival. A year later, Asghar Farhadi made Beautiful City (Shahre Ziba), a social genre film, which was a rarity at the time. It describes the conflict between two families, one of a murderer sentenced to death, the other of his victim. The victim's family hold the fate of the 18-year-old murderer in their hands, having the power to revoke his death sentence. The film was released in France in 2012 and attracted attention in local and international festivals, winning several awards, including the Grand Prix at the Warsaw International Film Festival.

Farhadi's following film was Fireworks Wednesday (Chahar shanbe souri) in 2005, which shone an uncompromising light on the stressed lifestyle of a middle-class Iranian family through the eyes of the maid and illustrated the double life of a family in society. Two years later, Farhadi directed About Elly (Darbareye Elly), a film about a close group of young friends who go on vacation in the north of Iran. When one of them goes missing, it puts the group in a complicated situation and sets in motion an exciting drama. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and Fajr Film Festival in Tehran simultaneously. It won the Silver Bear for Best Director in Berlin and the Crystal Simorgh for Best Directing in Fajr. In 2009, About Elly was released in France and had over 100,000 admissions.

After the success of About Elly, Farhadi started to write A Separation (Jodaeiye nader az simin), which he shot in 2010. Once more, the film focuses on a middle-class couple, whose marriage is on the rocks, and who, despite having a child, decide to get divorced. A Separation premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, with the film taking the Golden Bear for Best Film, the Silver Bear for the ensemble of the actresses and the Silver Bear for the ensemble of the actors. This was only the beginning of a long list of over 70 awards internationally, including the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, the Cesar for Best Foreign Film, and finally, the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

A Separation was an international success, unprecedented by any Iranian film. In France alone, the film reached one million admissions, the most widely-viewed Iranian film in that country, and was released in 250 theatres. The film was released in December 2011 in the United States, becoming one of the most successful releases for a film in a foreign language. The same year, Farhadi was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Other awards won by A Separation: Best Foreign Language Film at the Durban International Film Festival, Best Feature Film and Best Screenplay at the Asia Pacific Film Festival, Best Film at the Sydney Film Festival.

Farhadi and his family then moved to Paris so he could start work on the screenplay of The Past, a story that takes place outside of Iran. The main character, Ahmad, returns to Paris after a four-year absence to finalize the legal aspects of his divorce from Marie. Ahmad's presence in Marie's life after all this time creates a complicated situation for them, and forces them to dig into their common past. The Past was released in 2013 in France during the Cannes Film Festival and again it had around one million admissions. It won the Best Actress Award at Cannes Festival and was nominated for the Golden Globes and the Cesar.

Farhadi returned to Iran in 2015 to shoot The Salesman. The film was completed in 2016 and selected in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where Asghar Farhadi won Best Screenplay while Shahab Hosseini, the lead actor, took home Best Actor. The Salesman was released in France that fall as well as in Iran where it became Asghar Farhadi's biggest success. In February 2017, he won his second Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language.

A few months after, Farhadi kicked off his following project for which he reunites on screen Penelope Cruz and Javier Barden. All shot in Spain and in Spanish, EVERYBODY KNOWS also stars the Argentinean actor Ricardo Darín. The film is selected as the 71st Cannes Film Festival's opening film while also being in competition. It's the third time that Asghar Farhadi competes for the Golden Palme. EVERYBODY KNOWS is also third film directed by Asghar Farhadi and produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy and the sixth to be distributed by him. They first met in Berlin in 2009, where Alexandre Mallet-Guy had just discovered About Elly.


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