Circumstance, a film shot and set in Tehran, Iran, won the 2011 Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival, the 2011 Outfest Audience Award, the Rome International Film Festival Best First Film and several other awards.
Atafeh and her brother, Mehran, have grown up in a home filled with music, art, and intellectual curiosity. Atafeh dreams of fame and adventure, and she and her best friend, Shireen, explore Tehran’s underground scene with youthful exuberance and determination to be themselves. Meanwhile, Mehran returns home from drug rehab, and renounces his former decadent life with a vengeance. His once obsessive practice of classical music soon finds more destructive outlets.
Having lost his parents’ trust, Mehran is jealous of Atafeh’s loving relationship with their father and tries to find new meaning in his life. He relentlessly watches his family and slowly becomes estranged from them. As Mehran disapprovingly observes a budding relationship between Atafeh and Shireen, he becomes obsessed with saving Shireen from his sister’s influence.
The once close siblings find themselves at dangerous odds with each other. As violence and desire collide, the once safe haven of the family home becomes increasingly claustrophobic and threatening.
MARYAM KESHAVARZ received her MFA from NYU/ Tisch in film direction and has been making award-winning films for 11 years. Maryam’s first feature documentary, THE COLOR OF LOVE, an intimate portrait of the changing landscape of love and politics in Iran, won numerous awards at top-tier festivals and was broadcast internationally. Maryam’s short film THE DAY I DIED garnered top accolades at Mar del Plata, Clermont-Ferrand, New York Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival; and was the only short film at Berlinale to win two awards: the Gold Teddy and the Jury Prize.
Maryam’s first narrative feature fiction film, CIRCUMSTANCE premiered to overwhelming critical acclaim at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, garnering the coveted Sundance Audience Award, leading to Maryam’s inclusion in Deadline.com’s 2011 Director’s to Watch. CIRCUMSTANCE has won over a dozen international awards including Best First Film at the Rome Film Festival and the Audience & Best Actress Awards at Outfest. The Independent Spirit Award nominated film was described by the New York Times as “Swirling and sensuous”, by the Wall Street Journal as “Supremely cinematic”, and by the Hollywood Reporter as “Amazingly accomplished.” The film released theatrically in over a dozen countries in 2012.
Along with frequent collaborator Paolo Marinou-Blanco, Maryam is penning the narrative adaptation of the award winning HBO documentary HOT COFFEE. Maryam is attached to direct the narrative adaptation, entitled The Dissent, with Academy Award nominated producers Anna Gerb, Neal Dodson, and JC Chandor (A Most Violent Year,Margin Call, All is Lost) producing the film in 2017.
Maryam is also developing gender bending genre defying historical epic musical film, THE LAST HAREM. For this insanely ambitious project, Maryam has garnered several high profile awards for the project including the Hearst Screenwriters Grant, the San Francisco Film Society/ KRF Screenwriting Award, the prestigious Creative Capital Fund, and invitation to the Yaddo Writers Residency.
Maryam is alumni of the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Lab, Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access Program. She is the recipient of dozens of grants and fellowships including the French Government’s Fonds Sud, Rotterdam Film Festivals’ Hubert Bals Award, Women in Film Grant, Adrienne Shelley Award, numerous Sundance fellowships, multiple San Francisco Film Society grants. She has been a visiting artist at the University of Pennsylvania and guest lecturer at dozens of prestigious international universities. She is an active member of Film Independent serving as a mentor for their Project Involve Initiative and speaking on numerous filmmaking panels.