(Movie Poester Designer)
Sepehr Mikaeilian is an Iranian-born filmmaker living in New York City. He started his studies in performing arts at the Iranian National Radio and Television Academy and later majored in Theatrical Arts at the College of Art and Architecture at the Open University of Iran.
For the past decade Mikailian has been active in various aspects of production in Iranian cinema not only as assistant director and producer, but also as cinematographer, videographer and actor. His production experience exceeds 20 feature films including assistant to Bahman Ghobadi in No One Knows About Persian Cats and Rhino Season and production coordinator for over 15 documentaries for Iranian and international venues such as Aljazeerah English, ARTE and Canal Plus.
Mikaeilian began directing and producing his first documentary upon migrating to the US in 2010. Counting Down the Years (working title) portrays the life in exile of the legendary Iranian actor Behrooz Vossoughi who has been living in the US for the past 30 years.
Mevlut Akkaya is working in various capacities for several independent films and commercials. He wrote and directed the film A JAZZ STORY, featuring jazz legend Gary Bartz. The film has been shown in many International film festivals. He also shot the film KANAKE in Germany that tackles the subject of racism, which screened in such respected festivals as The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, and Sedona Film Festival.
As a producer, he guided in the development of the films FOLLOWING BLISS, REALITY TRAP, LAST LOOKS, and THE DOORMAN. Mr. Akkaya was Supervising Producer for the film TOSS-UP, which won numerous international awards. THE DOORMAN, which Mr. Akkaya co-produced, stars Lucas Akoskin and Peter Bogdanovich, is distributed by Gigantic Release and opened on Village East Theater in July 18th 2008. Mr. Akkaya co-produced a film FIVE MINARETS IN NY, staring Danny Glover, Gina Gershon and Robert Patrick. He co produced, international festival hit, Berlinale Crystal Bear winner, NIGHT OF SILENCE.
Recently, he directed and produced a documentary about American Stand-up comedy, WHEN COMEDY WENT TO SCHOOL with Jerry Lewis, Larry King, Jackie Mason, Jerry Stiller and many other well known artists. The film is distributed International Film Circuit and First Run Features. Besides producing NAKED MIND, a full-length documentary about Buddhism, which explores its practice from East to West and EYE OF THE HURRICANE about Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.
Currently he is finishing futuristic science fiction film EMBERS, which is selected for IFP and the director Claire Carre nominated for the Gotham awards for “Live the Dream”, also he is in a pre production of two feature films.
Koohyar Kalari ‘s interest in cinema naturally began at early age having been born into an artistic family. He followed his father’s path by focusing on the camera and exploring lights. Koohyar earned his photography degree from University of Art and Architecture in Tehran, Iran. Added to family interest, Koohyar started his filmmaking experience by shooting documentaries while he was doing the press-photography for “Cinema Jahan” magazine.
Journalism did not satisfy his thirst for using cameras the way he wanted, so, film industry seemed the only right place to challenge the talent. Koohyar made two documentaries about two Iranian directors: Bahman Farmanara and Masoud Kimiaei. The documentaries brought him independent recognition and he ended up being the youngest award winning cinematographer in Fajr International Film Festival for “Men at Work” (Kargaran Mashghoole Karand) directed by Mani Haghighi.
Koohyar continued walking the path to success by taking up great productions and working with Iranian directors: Abbas Kiarostami, Bahman Farmanara, Dariush Mehrjui, Masoud Kimiaei, Rakhshan Banietemad, and the Academy Award winner, Asghar Farhadi. “Behrouz: A Legend on Screen” is Koohyar’s latest work.
Reza Shirvani is an award winning Iranian film editor living in Toronto, Canada. He was always passionate about cinema and he started his film study at the early stage by attending Radio and TV specialized art school at 14 where he met Sepehr Mikaeilian as a classmate.
Right after graduation from high school, he entered Soureh School of art in Tehran, Iran. He earned his filmmaking degree in 2000. While at university, Reza made a good impression on his editing professor and right after graduation, he started working as editor assistant with Bahram Dehghani. Reza became independent film editor after 4 years of practical experience in the editing room with Bahram. In 2004, Reza was the film editor on Kandeloos Gardens (Bagh-haye Kandeloos) directed by Iraj Karimi.
Reza won best editing award for Barefoot in Paradise (Pa Berahneh Dar Behesht) directed by Bahram Tavakolli in 2007. Reza moved to Canada in 2010 after 10 years of professional experience and he founded REZARA Production with his partner in 2014. The company has made 6 short films in Canada and is specialized in post production services. “Behrouz: A Legend on Screen” is the most recent feature film Reza edited.
Zahra Faraji is an Iranian-Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto. Zahra's interest in acting and stage drama led her to an acting school where she was picked for a role on a play. She met Sepehr and Reza there and under their influence, her focus changed to film industry.
She left drama school to join Reza in film study and she got her Filmmaking degree in 2001 in Tehran. She made 4 short films and participated in dozens of other shorts as a producer, AD (assistant director), script supervisor, videographer, and editor.
Zahra was dazzled by a film but theater stayed with her during film studies. She got a contract with a private high school as drama teacher and she constantly won awards in annual national drama competitions for over 10 years.
Having Reza as friend, she set foot in editing room and she worked as editor assistant between 2001 to 2005. Meanwhile, she continued writing stage plays, directing a few, and being assigned as jury member for drama festivals in Tehran.
Zahra's passion for writing was discovered by Bahram Dehghani in the editing room and Bahram introduced her to Iranian well known producers and filmmakers: Rasoul Sadrameli, Kamal Tabatabayi, Ebrahim Hatamikia, Fereidoon Jeirani and Asghar Farhadi.
Zahra became a full-time script writer in 2005. After years of friendship, Zahra got married to Reza and they moved to Canada where they co-founded REZARA Production in 2014.
Zahra attended a film school in Toronto to refresh her knowledge about the industry and she has made few short films selected for festivals in Toronto, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Ali Shahrokhi "Designer - Entrepreneur" was born in 1975 Tehran, Iran. He has started his design journey back in few decades ago by studying Visual Design at [TV & Art high school]. And he continued his education at "Art Architecture Faculty" and got his BA in Graphic Design Shahrokhi had a very proactive college time by involved with many different art projects such as directing short films and animation, stage and custom design, creating commercial multimedias, photography, make up for movies and theater, and many more mixed visual arts. He finished his program with the final project in multimedia.
His thesis was among the few multimedia projects back then. Shahrokhi's endless passion and hard work towards the community of design has been an inevitable aspect of his successful career path. Right after his graduation his got offers from best design studios in Tehran and he has touched many local and international brands during his involvements with the studios. This wasn't enough for him and to pursue his dreams even further he founded his own studio in 2000 in Tehran. "Tocadr" has created amazing visual solutions for top notch brands till 2012 that Shahrokhi has decided to move to California and taking the direction from there.
Most recently, Shahrokhi and a group of like minded friends has founded ZH platform with goal to connect Iranians artists across the globe and creating an opportunity of showcasing their arts to both Iranian and international community. So far the platform has received amazing engagement and successful towards the original mission. Yet long way to but the team are very excite and proud of the outcome.
Leila Ghasemlou was born in Tehran and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. She graduated with a bachelor degree in electrical engineering in Tehran. Her enthusiasm to art, led her to pursue her passion for painting and photography beside her financial activities.
“Behrouz: A Legend on Screen” is her first professional experience as an associate producer in the film industry.