Private Project

Whose Dream Are You Living ?

Whose Dream Are You Living? follows the inspiring journey of Hanif, a musician and supermarket owner who defies the odds to pursue his passion, despite the prohibition of rock music in Iran. For years, he couldn't get the state-mandated license for his art, and therefore could not perform. But, now, for the first time in 40 years, the announcement of the first ever national music competition ignites an unfulfilled dream. Surprisingly, this experience finally leads him to respect his
own daughter’s dreams. Throughout the film, we observe as the competition finally reveals the main cause of his failures all these years: a truth that was never spoken in Hanif’s family. Along the way, he confronts the challenges of running his supermarket, being a father, a husband, and friend, and of course a band leader. The film sheds light on the power of art and the complexities of human relations, especially those between father-daughter. Whose Dream Are You Living? is a
story that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to break free from societal norms and is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. As we approach the final stages of production, we eagerly anticipate the aftermath of the band's disqualification from the competition and the subsequent revelation of the secret political decision behind itl. The final shoot will be a performance in Turkey alongside a Turkish band that will occur soon, and for which we urgently need financial support!

  • Mohammad Tabarsa
  • Mohammad Tabarsa
  • Mahnaz Tafaghi
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    biographical, social issue, music and art, adventure, political, personal journey, educational
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 2, 2024
  • Production Budget:
    400,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Country of Filming:
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Language:
    English, Persian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Hotdocs Pitching Forum
  • Close-up Mentorship

  • Medimed talent forum

Distribution Information
    Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Mohammad Tabarsa

Mohammad Tabarsa was born in 1975 in Gorgan, one of the northern cities of Iran. In 2010, He quit teaching mathematics, a career he had been pursuing for 17 years, to pursue a master's degree in cinema at Art Tehran University and pursue his passion. In the province where he lives, he is the first person to have a master's degree in cinema. He has a history of teaching cinema and filmmaking at Gorgan University and Art Centers. After meeting Mehrdad Oskouei, a famous Iranian documentary filmmaker, he became very interested in documentary cinema and making feature documentaries.

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Director Statement

I deeply resonate with Hanif and his unwavering pursuit of his dreams. His journey mirrors my own path in becoming a filmmaker, and his determination serves as a powerful motivation for me to take action. Having experienced a similar struggle during my years, I understand the challenges of pursuing art and creative interests in a society that often undervalues and even deems them harmful. Financial considerations and societal perceptions have delayed my own filmmaking aspirations, making Hanif's story all the more inspiring and thought-provoking as I reflect on my own path. Hanif's circumstances are particularly challenging, living in a country where the promotion of music is forbidden and residing in a city where rock music is strictly prohibited. The prospect of engaging in public and continuous musical activities carries the risk of being unjustly labeled as a demon worshiper and a heretic, leading to potential arrest and imprisonment. While these restrictive rules may not be formally documented, their strict enforcement poses a significant obstacle to artistic expression, paralleling the challenges faced in the realm of filmmaking. Despite the adversity he faces, Hanif bravely decides to reunite his band after enduring consecutive defeats and setbacks, all in pursuit of participating in the first competition of Iranian music bands. This opportunity presents a potential milestone, offering them a chance to showcase their talents and music in Tehran. Hanif's wry use of the name "Noch" for his band speaks to their resilience in the face of seemingly permanent failures, yet also hints at the hope they carry in transcending these obstacles. In essence, Hanif's journey embodies the indomitable spirit of an artist striving to break free from societal constraints and realize his creative vision. His story serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of artistic freedom and the resilience required to overcome the barriers that society places on those seeking to express themselves through art and music.