VOICE of ROXANA / PRODUCER
Mary began her acting career as a child star in Iran. One of her earliest successes
was Octopus, a long running show at the National IranianTelevision where Mary
performed as a teen star in political and satirical skits weekly. Going on to star in
countless television shows,feature films and plays, Mary became one of the
most popular stars in Iran. She was the first actress in the Iranian Motion Picture history
to win the Moscow International Film Festival Best Actress Award for her performance in Dead End, (BonBast)
Mary starred in critically acclaimed award winning films, The Mission, Checkpoint, Price For Freedom, Roxana, Monday Nights at Seven, Samir, Madaran, Homeland, and more. She also co-starred in productions such as the NBC miniseries On Wings of Eagles and produced the MGM release, Mind Games. Among many awards she recently received the prestigious ARPA International Film Festival Foundation Award for her Humanitarian efforts using the theater to mirror the true voices and the stories of the women of the Middle East. Theater has always been Mary’s greatest passion. In 2005, she wrote, directed and produced the politically charged Critic's Choice play Beneath The Veil which was presented in many prestigious venues such as Lincoln and Kennedy Center and Geffen playhouse.
Mary has also created many projects for children, including A Fairy Tale In The Forest and Jewel of The Night, which gives the children of Iranian expatriates a bio lingual fairy tale show and an opportunity to learn about their parents’ culture, language and homeland. Her recent portrayal of the role of the Mother in the movie "I am Neda" received a nomination for the Best Supporting Actress for Mary in 2012 at the World Music and Independent Film Festival. She also worked with Academy Award Winner Robert Redford, Sydney Pollack and Edward James Olmos at the First Sun Dance Institute. She is a Writer, Producer, Director, Composer and an Actor. Her recent project in which she is producing and starring, is the animated feature film Nowrouz. Throughout her adult life, Mary has remained fiercely committed to improving the lives of women and children, especially in the Middle East. Through her work as an advocate for clearing land mines and reducing their use, and appearing as a spokesperson before the U.S. Congress and in all media, Mary remains vigilant and vocal in the pursuit of all freedoms.
Lara is a method actress who derives her craft from the diverse range of cultural
elements in her surroundings. From her early years in Tehran, to her upbringing
in Zurich and now a naturalized New Yorker, she developed a rare synergy that has
endowed her with a unique global perspective. As a polyglot who speaks English,
Farsi, German, Swiss-German and a touch of French and Italian, she has developed
an international portfolio of work as an actress.
After graduating from the Lee Strasberg Institute's two-year conservatory Lara has been working continually in film and TV in New York, Los Angeles, Zurich and in Berlin. She is currently represented by Phoenix Artists as well as Bohemia Talent Group.
for more about Lara, visit:
AMIR / PRODUCER
Eric Etebari was born on December 5, 1969 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), The Infiltrator (2016) and 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003).
FARSI VO of AMIR
Parviz Say'yad, is arguably the best known Iranian actor/comedian of the pre-
revolution era in Iran. He still is a household name among Iranians today.
A showman, actor, talented comedian, writer and producer of many TV shows and
Iranian cinema. He created the character "Samad", a naive innocent country-boy,
mischievous with a heart-of-gold whose views of life around him are simple and to the
point. Samad through his childish take on life, hinted at political/cultural issues of the time.
The character Samad has been compared with Chaplin's Tramp, and as a result, he often is referred to as Charlie Chaplin of Iran.
VOICE of DOCTOR
Vachik Mangassarian is an actor, known for The Stoning of Soraya M. (2008), Remington Steele (1982) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013).
VOICE of JUDGE, SMUGGLER, NEWS REPORTER
As one of the leads of the Oscar qualifying film, 'Madaran' (Mothers), Nick is
an actor who has played and voiced an array of characters for film, television, and
animation. Some of his work includes recurring on NBC's 'State of Affairs', along
side other multiple appearances on television shows and movies like 'Hawaii 5-O',
'S.W.A.T.', and 'Sicario 2: Day of The Soldado'. He can also be heard voicing
"Auntie Uncle" & "Artichoke", on the 2 time Emmy nominated Netflix series,
'Buddy Thunderstruck', along with a handful of other interactive and animated series including the popular 'Dying Light' interactive saga, 'Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens', and 'Skylanders: Trap Team', as the voice of "Fling Kong". Nick's inspiration to perform was ignited in the 4th grade when his physical education teacher discovered his ability to morph in and out of the personas of faculty members through comedic impressions. His teacher would then be compelled to urge the school principal to throw together an assembly where within a few hours, Nick would find himself on stage ready to share publicly for the first time, his hidden talent.
VOICE of GUARD and MOTHER
Nina Nayebi is an actress and producer, known for Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior(2011), The X-Files (1993) and 60 Seconds of Distance (2006).
ORIGINAL SCORE / CLARINET
Hailed as a “Virtuoso” and “Intensely Soulful” by the New York Times and
“Spellbinding” by the New Yorker, and “Incredibly Rich Sound” by the CBC.
His utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him
international recognition as clarinetist and composer. Kinan was recently named
composer-in-residence with Classical Movements for the 2017-2018 season.
Kinan has been touring the world as soloist, composer and improviser. Notable
appearances include: Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow;
Carnegie Hall and the UN’s general assembly, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon,
Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and the Damascus opera house for its opening concert in his native Syria.
He has appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra among others.; and has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Marcel Khalife, Aynur, Daniel Barenboim and Jivan Gasparian.
His compositions include several works for solo, orchestra, and chamber music; film, live illustration, and electronics. His discography include three albums with his ensemble Hewar, several soundtracks for film and dance, a duo album with pianist Dinuk Wijeratne and an album with his New York Arabic/Jazz quartet the Kinan Azmeh CityBand. He serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music form the Arab world. His is a frequent guest faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and is on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble with whom he was awarded a Grammy in 2017.
Kinan is a graduate of New York’s Juilliard school as a student of Charles Neidich, and of both the Damascus High institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering in his native Syria. Kinan earned his doctorate degree in music from the City University of New York in 2013.
For more about Kinan, visit:
Shahin Najafi is a musician, poet, singer, and social activist. He was born
in 1980 to a middle-class family in Bandar-e Anzali, Iran, the youngest of
eight children. He started writing poetry and learning to play classical and
flamenco guitar in his teens. He turned to rock music, often performing as an
As a young activist, Shahin's lyrics often conveyed strong and controversial
messages about Iranian society. This attracted the disapproval of Iranian authorities
and in 2004, the threat of persecution forced him to leave Iran.
In 2005, Shahin moved to Germany. Dubbed the "angry bard", he continued to write and perform music that was critical of conditions in Iran: poverty, oppression of women, homophobia, censorship, ideological dogmas, violence and cultural taboos. For a time, his career veered into rap and hip hop, bringing him fame among young fans back in Iran. These days, Shahin's music fuses rock, jazz, and blues with lyrics that demand change.
In 2012, Shahin released his most controversial song: Naghi. In it, he exhorts a Shiite Imam named Naghi to help solve some of the problems plaguing Iran. But religious hardliners called the song an insult to Imams, a crime severely punished in Iran, and used Fatwas (religious edicts) to demand his death. Around the world, politicians, scholars, musicians, and devoted fans rose to Shahin’s defence, propelling him into the limelight as a proponent of free speech.
In 2013, Shahin Najafi's book Wenn Gott Schläft (When God is Asleep) was published. This collection of his original poems, lyrics and observations tell of his personal struggles with religion and provide searing insights into the true nature of Iranian society.
Shahin Najafi lives in Germany, and is still at odds with Iranian authorities. He remains a dedicated and defiant artist who refuses to be silenced, delivering his message to enthusiastic audiences wherever he tours. His fan base continues strong in Iran and has spread around the world.
Shahin has had many concerts in different places around the world, from the European countries, to the United States of America and Canada. His first performance in the Middle East _after leaving Iran_ became under the spotlights as Aviv Geffen from the well-known rock band Blackfield, invited Shahin to perform as special guest artist in their big concert on March 2nd, 2017 in Tel Aviv, Israel. This event which was aimed to send out the Peace message, got a lot of attention over the world. Local and international media such as Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Times, NBC, The Times Israel and Jerusalem Online covered the concert and they reported Shahin's presence as an historical moment. By the end of his performance, which had excited 6000 audience, Shahin addressed the politicians around the world to stop dividing people before it's too late. He said "we are here to say No walls in any part of the world".
When God Sleeps _taken from his first book_ is also the name of a documentary film which tells the story of Shahin Najafi. This Love Story in the Age of Terror is directed by the German-American filmmaker Till Schauder. The movie has so far _and before being completed_ received the Most Valuable Documentary of the Year Award from the Cinema for Peace Foundation. When God Sleeps will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca International Film Festival.
In an industry that often rewards mindless entertainment, Shahin stands apart as a musician who brings both catchy riffs and revelations to every performance -- as he says, "a pitcher of cold water poured on a slumbering society".
For more about Shahin, visit: