Makhmalbaf Family Official Website - وبسایت رسمی خانه فیلم مخملباف



Mohsen Makhmalbaf: (1957.Iran) 

Filmmaker, writer, producer, human right activist... 

In his teen years, he fought against the dictatorship in Iran and was injured by bullet shots by the police and spent some five years in prison as a political prisoner. He lost the use of his legs as a result of torture and underwent numerous operations before he could manage to walk again. 

He started story writing whilst in prison and turned to filmmaking following his release. He, however, still continues his fight for human rights. In 2007 the Iranian secret police planted a bomb which exploded at the scene where he was filming in a bid to kill him, but he managed to survive. Those claiming responsibility for the explosion sent him a message: ‘This bomb was in retaliation for taboo-breaking in the two films titled “Sex and philosophy” (Tajikstan2005) and “Scream of the ants” (India2006)’. 

Makhmalbaf has written 27 literary and story books and directed 20 feature films, 4 documentaries and 5 short films in ten countries: Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Tajikistan, India, south Korea, Israel, Georgia and England. The subject of Makhmalbaf’s works is man and his dreams and agonies. 

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Manhae Peace Award winner in 2014, is also the recipient of the Honorary Doctorate in Literature by St Andrews University in Scotland 2010, Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Cinema from Nanterre University in France 2010 as well as more than 50 international awards including Marshall of Art and Literature from France in 1998, Sergei Parajanov Awards from Armenia in 2006, Francois Truffaut prize from Italy in 2002, Federico Fillini Honour from UNESCO in 2001, Freedom to Create Prize for artistic creation from England in 2009, Alhambra Award from Spain in 2007, Grand Human Right award from Nuremberg in Germany in 2009 and Rome Courage & Bravery Award in 2006. Pusan Film Festival, the most important Asian film festival, acclaimed him as the best Asian film director in 2003 and he was elected as the Dean of Asian Film Academy in 2007. 

Kandahar (Afghanistan), the winner of the Grand Prize from Society of Churches of the World in Cannes film festival 2001, was chosen as one of the best 100 films in the history of world cinema in 2001 by Times magazine and broke the record for the best selling Asian film in the history of cinema in Italy and was simultaneously screened in 107 Italian cinemas in 2001. 

The Cyclist (Pakistan – Iran) won the best film award in Rimini – Italy in 1989 and the best Hawaii – America film in 1991, which is amongst the most adored films of Makhmalbaf in the world cinema.

Salam Cinema (Iran) as a critic of authority was praised in Cannes Film Festival 1995, winner of the best film in Munich International Film Festival, Germany 1996 is now taught globally at schools of cinematic arts as a novel technique in documentary & social cinema filmmaking. 

Gabbeh (Iran), poetical film in official section of Cannes film festival 1996, was elected by Times magazine as one of the best ten movies of the 90’s. It was also chosen as the best Asian film in Singapore Film Festival in 1997 and the best Tokyo Artistic Film (Japan 1996), and the winner of the International Critics Award and the best director at Sitguess Festival in Spain, 1996. 

Silence (Tajikistan), poetical film screened in Venice 1997, the winner of Human, Art and Nature Award and also the winner of Golden Prize of Italian Parliament at Venice Film Festival. 

A Moment Of Innocence (Iran), praise for non-violence, is one of the ten best films of the 90’s as chosen by the heads of the world Film Festivals in 2000 and the winner of Special Jury Award and the Locarno Festival Youth Golden Award in 1997. 

Time of Love (Turkey), Screened in uncertain regards section of Cannes film festival 1995, is the story of a married woman’s love, a film that caused months of conflict between right wing papers and Makhmalbaf in Iran. This film has been banned in Iran since then. The Iranian enthusiast audiences who only had one chance for watching the film at the festival had to queue for two days and nights. With the banning of the film, the book titled ‘Time of Love’ was reprinted thirteen times and more than 100,000 copies were sold. This was in a country where a book is published in no more than 3000 copies. 

The Afghan Alphabet (Iran – Afghanistan), documentary, was the winner of the best film at Document Art Film Festival in Germany as well as the winner of the Thessaloniki Honorary Humanitarian Award in Greece. This film succeeded to change the law in favour of Afghan children refugees in Iran who were banned from attending schools and finally following the release of this film during the presidency of Khatami, the democratic president of Iran, school doors were opened to half a million Afghan children after eight years and some 1200 young Afghan refugees were accepted in Iranian universities. Makhmalbaf explains: “The movie, Afghan Alphabet, proved that the cinema can lead to great social upheavals and had I been born to make just this one film, it would have been worth it.”

Makhmalbaf in addition to filmmaking lived in Afghanistan for a period of two years and succeeded in carrying out 82 human rights projects. This included the building of schools in the towns of Herat and Zaranj and the teaching of cinema, as well as helping to set up the Afghan cinema, which had been totally destroyed during the Taliban regime. 

Makhmalbaf’s books are written in Persian, and some of them have been published in various languages, such as ‘The Crystal Garden’, which is a critic of the post revolutionary state of Iranian women, in English, French, Italian, Greek and Persian...and ‘Buddha was not demolished in Afghanistan, it collapsed out of shame’ about the tragic events in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime in Japanese, French, Portuguese, Korean, Hindi, Italian, Greek, English and Persian… 

Makhmalbaf taught cinema to his family. Boston University awarded him with the prize of the Museum of Fine Arts for his novel technique. He was also awarded the Prize of The Golden Cycle at Vesoul Film Festival in France. The top festivals in the world such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin endorsed what he had taught. 

Samira Makhmalbaf at the age 17 broke the record in the history of cinema as the youngest director in the world participating in the official section of Cannes Film Festival with her film titled ‘The Apple’ (Iran, 1998). She received the Special Jury Award of the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival twice successively at the ages of 20 and 22 for her films titled ‘The Black Board’ (Iran, 2000) and ‘At Five in the afternoon’ (Afghanistan, 2002). In 2003 Samira was selected as one of the forty best directors of the world by Guardian newspaper. 

Hana Makhmalbaf dazzled at the age of 13 with her documentary titled ‘Joy of Madness’ in Venice Film Festival in 2003. At the age of 18 she was awarded the “Crystal Bear” from Berlin and San Sebastian’s “Grand Jury Award” for her film titled ‘Buddha Collapsed out of Shame’ in 2007. 

Marziyeh, Makhmalbaf’s wife, stood out at Venice Film Festival with her two feature films tilted ‘The day I became a woman’ in 2000 and ‘Stray Dogs’ in 2003. 

Films by the Makhmalbaf family have been screened in all over the globe and have taken some 120 international awards. Since 2009, all films and books of Makhmalbaf family are banned in Iran.

In 2005 when Ahmadinejad came into power, Mohsen Makhmalbaf left Iran as a protest against the Iranian dictatorship and at present lives in exile with his family. He has been living in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, India and France in recent years.

  1. The Gardener (By Mohsen Makhmalbaf) 2012.
  2. Joy Of Madness (By Hana Makhmalbaf) 2003.
  3. The Testing Democracy (By Makhmalbaf ) 1999.
  4. A Moment of Innocence (By Mohsen Makhmalbaf) 1995.
  5. Salam Cinema (By Mohsen Makhmalbaf) 1994.
  6. Close-up (By Abbas Kiarostami) 1989.
  7. Marriage of The Blessed (By Mohsen Makhmalbaf) 1988.
  1. Two-legged Horse (Directed by Samira Makhmalbf) 2008
  2. Sex & Philosophy (2005).
  3. At five in the afternoon (Directed by Samira Makhmalbf) 2002.
  4. September 11 (Directed by Samira Makhmalbf) 2001.
  5. Kandahar (2001).
  6. The Afghan Alphabet 2002.
  7. The Testing Democracy (2000).
  8. The Blackboard (Directed by Samira Makhmalbaf) 1999.
  9. Silence (1997).
  10. The Apple (Directed by Samira Makhmalbaf) 1997.
  11. The School Blown Away by Wind (1997).
  12. A Moment of Innocence (1995).
  13. Gabbeh (1995).
  14. Salam Cinéma (1994).
  15. Stone and Glass (1993).
  16. The Actor (1992).
  17. Images From the Ghajar Dynasty (1992).
  18. Once Upon a Time, Cinema (1991).
  19. The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood (1990).
  20. Time of Love (1990).
  21. Marriage of The Blessed (1988).
  22. The Cyclist (1987).
  23. The Peddler (1986).

(Used by other filmmakers)

  1. Two-legged Horse (Directed by Samira Makhmalbf) 2008.
  2. Poet of the waste (Directed by Mohammad Ahmadi) 2004.
  3. At five in the afternoon (Directed by Samira Makhmalbf) 2002.
  4. Why the votes were Canceled (Directed by Babak Payamy) 2001.
  5. The Day I Became a Woman (Directed by Marziyeh Meshkini) 1999.
  6. The Blackboard (Directed by Samira Makhmalbaf) 1999.
  7. The Apple (Directed by Samira Makhmalbaf) 1997.
Set Designer: 
  1. Silence, 1997.
  2. Gabbeh, 1995.
  3. The Cyclist, 1987.
  1. Sex & Philosophy, 2005.
  2. Kandehar, 2000.
  3. The Day I Became a Woman, 1999.
  4. The Blackboard, 1999.
  5. The Apple, 1997.
  6. Silence, 1997.
  7. A Moment of Innocence, 1995.


  • A- Novels & Stories
  1. The Crystal Garden: (Novel) 1986.
  2. Hoze Sultan: (Long Story) 1984.
  3. Shame: (Collection of 12 stories) 1980.
  • B- Play
  1. Death of Another: (Collection of 3 plays) 1982.
  • C- Script
  1. The Door 2001.
  2. Kandahar 2001.
  3. A Moment of Innocence 1997.
  4. Hail the Sun 1994.
  5. Time of Love (Story and Screenplay) 1990.
  6. The Cyclist 1988.
  7. Marriage of The Blessed 1987.
  8. Rajayi School 1985.
  9. Birth of an Old Woman 1985.
  10. The Bells 1984.
  • D – Essays
  1. The Buddha Was Not Demolished in Afghanistan; Collapsed Out of Shame
  • E - Selected Works:
  1. To See And Not To See (One Volume)selected works of 1997 to 2002.
  2. Life is Color (One Volume) Selected works of 1991 to 1996.
  3. The Dumb Man’s Dream (Three Volumes) Selected works of 1981 to 1991.
Books Published In Other Languages: 
  1. The Buddha Was Not Demolished in Afghanistan; It Collapsed Out of Shame (English, French, Greec, Korean, Portugaise, Russian, Italy, Japanese, Deutch...) Article.
  2. Silence (English) Screenplay.
  3. The Day I Became a Woman (English) Screenplay.
  4. The Blackboard (English-Japanese) Screenplay.
  5. The Apple (English) Screenplay.
  6. The Door (English) Screenplay.
  7. Surgery on the Soul (English) Short Story.
  8. Maharajah (English) Screenplay.
  9. Beloveds of the Night (Italian, English) Short Story.
  10. Three Pictures (Italian) Screenplay.
  11. Gabbeh (English, French) Screenplay.
  12. Death of Another (Kurdish, English, Urdu) Play.
  13. Hoze Sultan (Turkish) Long Story.
  14. The Crystal Garden (English, French, Greec, Italy) Novel.
Books Written On: 
Mohsen Makhmalbaf & His Works
  1. "Makhmalbaf Film House" by: Gulnara Abikeyeva, ( in Russian) 2013
  2. "Mohsen Makhmalbaf: From Discourse to Dialogue" (Review and Study) by: Fernando González García, 2008.
  3. " Makhmalbaf at Large" (Review and Study) by: Hamid Dabashi, 2008.
  4. "The Films Of Makhmalbaf (Cinema, Politics & culture In Iran)" by: Eric Egan, 2005.
  5. "Makhmalbaf" by: Hamid Dabashi translated by: Ichiyama, (in Japanease) 2006.
  6. "Salaam Cinema, Films of Makhmalbaf Family" by Pusan International Film Festival, 2000. 
  7. Makhmalbaf’s Broken Mirrors: (Review and Study) Compiled by: Lyrid Dijeon (in English), 2000.
  8. Mohsen Makhmalbaf: (Review and Study) Compiled by: Alberto Barbara (in Italian), 1996.
  9. Silence: (Photographs with along Screenplay) Photography by: Maysam Makhmalbaf, 1998.
  10. Gabbeh: (Photographs with along Screenplay) Photography by: Mohammad Ahmadi, 1996.
  11. Salam Cinema: (Screenplay, Interviews, Reviews, and Study) Compiled by Amir Khosravi, 1996.
  12. The Peddler: (Director’s interview, Screenplay, Reviews, and Study) Compiled by Ebrahim Nabavi, 1989
  1. HEAD OF JURY: Haifa International Film Festival (Israel) 2015.
  2. HEAD OF JURY: Sakhalin " On The Edge" Film Festival (Russia) 2015.
  3. HEAD OF JURY: Hong Kong (HK) 2015.
  4. HEAD OF JURY: War On Screen (France) 2014.
  5. HEAD OF JURY: Tokyo FILMeX (Japan) 2013.
  6. HEAD OF JURY: Moscow (Russia) 2012.
  7. HEAD OF JURY: Tbillisi (Georgia) 2012.
  8. Etiuda & Anima (Poland) 2008
  9. HEAD OF JURY: Molodist (Ukraine) 2007
  10. Europe Asia (Kazakhstan) 2006.
  11. Venice (Italy) 2006.
  12. Clermont-ferrand (France) 2006.
  13. HEAD OF JURY: Dushanbeh (Tajikistan) 2004.
  14. Osian's – Cinefan (India) 2004.
  15. Crala (India) 2001.
  16. Singapore (Singapore) 2000.
  17. Bahrein (Bahrein) 2000.
  18. Pusan (South Corea)1998.
  19. Taormina (Italy) 1998.
  20. Torino (Italy) 1996.
  21. Sao Paulo (Brazil) 1995.
  22.  Locarno (Switzerland) 1994.
International Awards: 
  1. " Golden Hugo " for "The President" as the best film from Chicago International Film Festival, Uited State, 2014
  2. " Audience Award " for "The President" as the Best Film from the 15th TOKYO FILMeX International Film Festival, Japan, 2014
  3. " Société Générale Award " for "The President" as the Best Feature Film by the audience vote from the 14th Beirut International Film Festival, Lebenan, 2014
  4. Winner of "Manhae Peace Award", 2014
  5. Special Maverick Award (Independent Art) for "The Gardener", Motovun Film Festival, Croatia, 2013
  6. Golden Award for "The Gardener", From Beirut International Film Festival, Lebanon, 2012
  7. "Special Award for a life time activity for human right through art and cinema" Sao Paulo Festival (Brazil) 2011
  8. Honorary Degree of Doctor of Cinema From Nanterre Univercity, France, 2010
  9. Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature From St Andrew Univercity, Scotland, 2010
  10. "Freedom to Create Prize" for his human right activity and promoting social Justice through his art, Art Action, England, 2009
  11. "Grand Human Right award" for his life time achievement and activity for human right through his art and actions from Nuremberg Human Right Film Festival, Germany, 2009 
  12. "Golden Dinosaur" award for establishment of Makhmalbaf film school ETIUDA&ANIMA International Film Festival, Poland, 2008
  13. "Alhambra" award for his artistic and humanitarian films, CINES DEL SUR International Film Festival, Spain, 2008
  14. "Golden Stag" award for life time achievement through his works and career as an outstanding artist, 37th Kyve (Molodist) International Film Festival, Ukraine 2007
  15. Jury Special Mention Award for "Scream of the Ants" and life time achivement as a filmmaker, The Granada Film Festival CINES DEL SUR, Spain, 2007
  16. "Clermont-Ferrand Medallion", the city medallion granted to the legendary Mohsen Makhmalbaf , France, 2006.
  17. Sergei Parajanov Awards for outstanding Artistic contribution to the world cinema, Yerevan Film Festival, Armenia, 2006
  18. Sex & Philosophy,Tica Film Mediale International Film Festival, Italy,2005
  19. Kandahar: "Best Film" Fiprachi Critics From Thessaloniki (Greece) 2001 
  20. One Of "The Best Hundred Films" Of History Of Cinema, Choosen By Times, (USA) , 2005
  21. The 2003 Asian Filmmaker Award from Pusan Film Festival ,(South Korea) 2003.
  22. The Afghan Alphabet:"Best Film Award"from Document ART International Film Festival, (Germany) 2002.
  23. Collection of Works: “Francois Truffaut prize”, Giffoni Film Festival in Italy 2002.
  24. Thessaloniki 4th festival , Honorary Humanitarian Award (Greece) 2002
  25. Kandahar:"Best Director Award" from Riga International Film Forum Arsenals,Latvia 2002
  26. Kandahar: "Public Prize" from Festival des Cinemas du Sud, (France) 2001
  27. Kandahar: The best movie from Ajaccio Film Festival, (France) 2001 
  28. Kandahar: “Federico Fillini Honor” from UNESCO in Paris, 2001 (France)
  29. Kandahar: Grand prize from Society of churches of world, Cannes 2001 (France)
  30. Marshall of Art and Literature, (France) 1998.
  31. Collection of Works: “Ville d'yssingeaux”, France 1998.
  32. Silence: Human, Art and Nature Award - Venice Festival (Italy) 1997.
  33. Silence: Golden Prize of Italian Parliament - Venice Festival (Italy) 1997.
  34. A Moment of Innocence: Among Top Ten Films of the Decade – Awarded by International Festival Directors and Critics 1999.
  35. A Moment of Innocence: Youth Golden Award - Locarno Festival (Switzerland) 1996.
  36. A Moment of Innocence: Special Jury Award – Locarno Festival (Switzerland) 1996.
  37. Gabbeh: Best Asian Feature Film – Singapore Festival (Singapore) 1997.
  38. Gabbeh: Special Critics Award - Sitguess Festival (Spain) 1996.
  39. Gabbeh: Best Director – Sitguess Festival (Spain) 1996.
  40. Gabbeh: One of 10 selected films by critics – Times (USA) 1996.
  41. Gabbeh: Best Artistic Film – Tokyo Festival (Japan) 1996.
  42. Salam Cinema: Best Film – Munich Festival (Germany) 1996.
  43. Collection of Works: Press Award – Sao Paulo Festival (Brazil) 1995.
  44. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Special Jury Prize - Istanbul Festival (Turkey) 1993.
  45. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Director – Karlovy vary Festival (Czechoslovakia) 1992.
  46. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Film – Fiprachi Critics - Karlovy vary Festival (Czechoslovakia) 1992.
  47. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Film – Karlovy vary Festival (Czechoslovakia) 1992.
  48. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Film - Taormina Festival (Italy) 1992.
  49. The Cyclist: Best Film - Hawaii Festival (USA) 1991. 
  50. The Cyclist: Best Film - Rimini Festival (Italy) 1989.
Iranian Awards: 
  1. Mohsen Makhmalbaf: Selected as the best filmmaker after the revolution by readers of cinema publications, 1988.
  2. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Editing – Fajr Film Festival, 1991.
  3. Marriage of The Blessed: Iranian Critics Award, 1990.
  4. The Cyclist: Iranian Critics Award, 1990.
  5. The Cyclist: Set Design – Fajr Film Festival, 1988.
  6. The Cyclist: Best Director – Fajr Film Festival, 1988.
  7. The Cyclist: Best Screenplay – Fajr Film Festival, 1988.
Retrospective of Works: 
  1. International Film Festival Of India ( Goa), India 2014
  2. Motovun International Film Festival, Croatia 2013
  3.  Tbilisi International Film Festival, Georgia, 2012
  4. DocuFest International Film Festival, Kosovo, 2014
  5. Cine Del Sur International Film Festival, Spain 2008
  6. Munich International Film Festival, Germany 2006
  7. Bulgaria, 2002
  8. Bosnia, 2002
  9. Daka, Bangladesh 2002 
  10. Madras,Banglore,Viji Vada,Haydarabad , India 2001
  11. Montreal Cinémathèque (Canada) 1997.
  12. Ontario Cinémathèque (Canada) 1997.
  13. Toronto Cinémathèque (Canada) 1997.
  14. Vancouver Cinémathèque (Canada) 1997.
  15. Pacific Archives in Berkley (USA) 1997.
  16. Boston Museum of Modern Arts (USA) 1997.
  17. New York Museum of Modern Arts (USA) 1997.
  18. UCLA (USA) 1997.
  19. Cleveland Cinémathèque (USA) 1997.
  20. Vienna Festival (Austria) 1997.
  21. The Netherlands Cinémathèque (The Netherlands) 1997.
  22. Tokyo Festival (Japan) 1997.
  23. India Festival (India) 1997.
  24. Beirut Festival (Lebanon) 1996.
  25. Chicago Festival (USA) 1996.
  26. Singapore Festival (Singapore) 1996.
  27. Turin Festival (Italy) 1996.
  28. Istanbul Festival (Turkey) 1996.
  29. Sao Paulo Festival (Brazil) 1995.
  30. Tesaloniki Festival (Greece) 1995.
  31. La Rochelle Festival (France) 1991.
  32. Bonn Cinémathèque (Germany) 1991.
  33. Hong Kong Festival (Hong Kong) 1991.
  34. Rotterdam Festival (The Netherlands) 1989.
  35. Iranian Film Festivals (France) 1989.
Works That Were Banned In Iran: 

Since 2009, all films and books of Makhmalbaf family are banned in Iran.