Experiencing Interruptions?


“ATOUSA” is the story of a young Iranian woman whose childhood begins in the ashes of the bloody Iran/Iraq war. Her journey takes her to the USA where ironically she becomes a “prisoner” in her own home. Much of her story is told to us from the security of a “safe house.” Now, Atousa is determined to help other women who find themselves in the same situation from which she ultimately freed herself.

  • Laurel Adler
    The Harder Way, Nada's Gift, American Who, Shosholoza, Driving By Braille, A Dog Named Christmas
  • Atousa Seyedan
  • Laurel Adler
    The Harder Way, American Who, Shosholoza, Nada's Gift, Driving by Braille, A Dog Named Christmas
  • Atousa Seyedan
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 5, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Iran, Islamic Republic of, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Action on Film Festival
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    United States
    August 24, 2017
    North American Premiere
    Best Documentary Short
Director Biography - Laurel Adler

Laurel Adler was originally trained as an actor, but discovered she preferred to have more control over her work than being an actor allowed. She directed numerous stage plays before moving towards the media of film and TV.
She produced several educational videos during the 2000’s. But her first foray into directing and producing a film was in the late 1990s, with “Young Astronauts”, a largely unseen documentary about a former Green Beret who started a program for low-income kids to help them learn science, through designing items for a space station. The experience, confirmed Laurel’s desire to direct and produce films about remarkable people who are unknown to most of us.
Her landmark film, “Shosholoza”, depicting the struggles of post Apartheid South Africa’s rural villages, was awarded Best Political Statement Movie at the 2013 Action on Film Festival. Laurel’s film “American Who”, was nominated in 2015 for Best Documentary, and Telly Award Winner in Social Documentaries. In 2014, her project “Nada’s Gift” was Runner-up for Best Documentary –Political at AOF. Other documentaries include: “Just Like Us”, (2009), broadcast on regional PBS stations; “They Are All our Children” (2010), Telly Award winner in Social Documentaries; and an advisor for “Salvage” (2013).
Laurel was Executive Producer for the feature film, “Driving By Braille” (2011), and Associate Producer on the children’s film, “Zombeo and Juliecula (2013)”, plus visual effects for “Continuity” (2010).
Laurel is also a visual effects artist, having worked on several Hallmark Hall of Fame films, including Visual Effects Producer for Hallmark’s 2009 film, “A Dog Named Christmas.” She also worked on two seasons of the AOL web series “Little Women Big Cars” (2012, 2013, Vuguru Productions).
Laurel’s latest film, “The Harder Way” was awarded Best Documentary-Political at the 2016 AOF International Film Festival and Best Documentary Short in the Impact Film Awards. The story features 3 self-made millionaires, who had all failed the Chinese national exams, and were denied entrance into high school, being deemed by the test, as not “smart enough” to be a success.
Her 2017 film, ATOUSA, was recently named Best Documentary Short at the 2017 International Action on Film Festival in Las Vegas.

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Director Statement

The conditions of our birth - our race, our language, our gender, our nationalities, our religions, our economic circumstances, our politics, our desires – They all mask the truth that our “humanness” is what we have in common.
But we kill over our differences.
I want to challenge the audience to ponder this notion:

While the people in my films come from everywhere in the world, all of them have battled and triumphed over what seem insurmountable obstacles. What is most important to me, is to produce compelling stories - that challenge audiences to experience glimpses of a world that is very different from their own daily lives – glimpses that nudge their points of view.