Celebrate Iranian Women Filmmakers at First-Ever Festival in London


The festival opened with a screening of 10 short films on Friday, 23 June, at the Curzon Cinema in London’s Victoria, followed by a VIP reception for guests including the Iranian-German actress Nicole Ansari Cox. Ms. Ansari was joined by Festival director Jesse Cooper, Persia Educational Foundation’s Executive Team, dozens of VIP guests and a prominent group of artists, fans, diplomats, academics, civil society actors, business leaders and changemakers.

The reception was also attended by independent journalists and media personalities from Kayhan Life, The Independent, and BBC. Featured as ‘the top event of the week’ by fashion and culture magazine Hunger, it was opened with welcoming remarks by Persia Educational Foundation co-founder Nazenin Ansari. Festival Director Jesse Cooper then gave a brief history of this powerful new initiative. Persia Trustee Dori Dana-Haeri welcomed special guest Nicole Ansari Cox, who remarked on the high degree of creativity and talent demonstrated by female Iranian filmmakers. She also said she hoped to continue her collaboration with the festival in the near future to spotlight the short films, but also help raise more funds through Persia’s scholarships for Iranian students studying at UK universities.

Given the films’ focus on the challenges faced by women in Iran – which have led many to join the Woman Life Freedom movement, or to flee to the West — the second day of the festival welcomed newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers who were filmmakers.

The festival had a diverse range of participants and served as a bridge between those living in Iran and those living outside who are curious to learn more about the country. The promising inaugural event pointed to a bright future for the festival and its upcoming events in London and elsewhere.

The festival welcomes all forms of support and educational and artistic expression around the Woman, Life, Freedom movement as well as relating to the Our Story Is One campaign.

“Having delivered this first-ever event with great success, the festival now also welcomes expressions of interest in terms of partners, sponsors, and film submissions from among the Iranian diaspora,” said Dr. Tahirih Danesh, the Executive Director of Persia Educational Foundation. “Those interested are invited to contact the Foundation at info@persia.education”.

To continue to donate to the Mahsa Jina Amini drive for Persia scholarships, which support Iranian-descent students at UK and internationally recognized universities, please see: www.persia.education/support

Established in 1997, Persia Educational Foundation is a non-governmental UK-registered charity. Persia provides educational support to Iranians worldwide who have the ambition to give back to their communities through the pursuit of public service. To learn more please see: www.persia.education

Certificates of Excellence will be awarded for the following categories:

Best Film
Best Actress
Best Director
Best Screenplay
Best Original Music
Best Cinematography
Best Animation
Best Design
Best Editing


1. PERSIA FEST assumes no propriety of the films selected to the festival. Applicants are free to apply and share their films anywhere at their pleasure.
All entries should be sent via FilmFreeway with a secure online screener.

2. Upon selection, applicants grant PERSIA FEST and FILM BUZZ the right to share limited excerpts and screen captures from their film, including on the public internet, and on platforms such as Youtube and Instagram, in the interest of mutual promotion of the festival and its participants.

3. By submitting to the festival you confirm that you own the rights of the film, including the rights to the music in the film.

4. Films that have had public or private screenings are eligible for submission to PERSIA FEST.

5. Films that have been previously submitted to PERSIA FEST can be re-submitted.

6. Filmmakers may submit multiple entries as long as each film is submitted with its own Entry Form, online screener and paid Entry Fee.

7. All applicants must complete the official festival submission form located on FilmFreeway.

8. PERSIA FEST reserves the right to disqualify any film submitted through these websites without refund of any application fees.

9. The applicant holds the sole responsibility of copyright clearance of any copyrighted material in the film. Films including unauthorised copyrighted material are ineligible.

10. Films not in English must be subtitled in English unless dialogue is minimal and not necessary for the comprehension of the Film.

11. All genres are welcome (narrative, animated, experimental, documentary or music video).

12. There is no minimum running time


1. Multiple versions of the same film will not be considered. Only the first submitted version of a film will be considered for PERSIA FEST.

2. PERSIA FEST is granted the right to share details of the films, proprietors and signatories, with its sister festivals FILM BUZZ, including contact details shared via FilmFreeway.

3. If the submitted film does not play PERSIA FEST staff will make an attempt to contact the applicant based on the contact information supplied at the time of submission in order to obtain a replacement. If a replacement is not available, PERSIA FEST reserves the right to disqualify the film without refunding the submission fees.

4. PERSIA FEST will attempt, but is under no obligation, to view a submission that arrives after the designated deadline without refund of the submission fee.

5. Submitted films that qualify based on the regulations and eligibility requirements stated here will be seen by PERSIA FEST programming staff and be considered equally with all other submissions.

6. PERSIA FEST reserves the right to disqualify any film for non-payment of the submission fee. PERSIA FEST will attempt to contact the applicant based on the contact information supplied at the time of submission in order to resolve non-payment status.

7. Applicants acknowledge that PERSIA FEST reserves the right to change the nature of screenings and events due to circumstances related to public health and welfare or at the direction of local or federal authorities. In such cases no submission refunds shall be issued.

8. PERSIA FEST is under no obligation to provide comments regarding submitted films to any applicant. The festival is not responsible for any internal comments obtained by the applicant regarding their film.