In 2001, with a band of an all-girl crew and cast, Maryam directed her first experimental 16mm film, entitled Sanctuary. This surreal fantasy film about an Arab woman in post-9/11 America traveled to several international festivals and landed Maryam the Steve Tisch fellowship to attend NYU’s graduate film program.
In 2003, Maryam drew on her experience growing up between Iran and the United States to direct her first feature documentary, The Color of Love. An intimate portrait of the changing landscape of love and politics in Iran, the documentary showed at international festivals such as Montreal World Film Fest, Full Frame Doc Fest, MoMA New York, It’s All True (Brazil), among others; it garnered top prizes such as the International Documentary Association’s David L. Wolper Award, Jury Award at DocuDays, and the Full Frame’s Spectrum Award, and has been broadcast internationally.
In 2005, Maryam returned to Argentina, where she had studied Latin American literature at the University of Buenos Aires. There, she wrote and directed the visual essay The Day I Died about an adolescent love triangle in a sleepy Argentine seaside town. The Day I Died has shown in Main Competition at the Slamdance Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Shorts Film Festival, and Berlin International Film Festival. The Day I Died was the only short film at Berlinale to win two awards: the Gold Teddy Best Short Film and the Jury Prize Special Mention. Building on her extensive documentary research in Iran, Maryam’s feature film Circumstance creates a connection between the Middle East and the United States.
Tribeca All Access® | 2006