The Female Voice of Iran (Working title)

Feature documentary (2020)

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Synopsis: Female Voice of Iran – The Film

An anonymous woman introduces her talisman, a small golden camel called “Negar”, as the storyteller of her deepest wish: “I want my voice to be heard”. She creates an Instagram account to get in contact with female singers inside Iran. Her plan seems impossible – she seeks to organise a gathering of many female voices from all over Iran, who have been isolated until now. They are supposed to meet in a garden in Esfahan, in the very middle of this vast country. To make this vision come true, she finds the help of two travellers, who she invites to only listen – and learn more about the real stories behind all these different women.
The two travellers, one from Berlin, one from Esfahan, follow the path of Negar, starting their journey at the Persian Gulf. From there they travel to all cardinal points, the North, the South, the West and the East. Along the way they meet surprisingly strong women personalities and come to understand the different aspects of the oriental way to celebrate the love for life. Most of these female singers don’t know each other yet, but all of them are encouraged to join the dream of Negar, to come to the garden in Esfahan. But will the seemingly impossible happen? Nobody has ever done it before, many tried but failed.  Will they overtake the risk? How is their way?

DirectorAndreas Rochholl
Associate Producer
Zeitgenössische Oper Berlin
Yalda Yazdani, Sebastian Leitner
Sebastian Leitner
Sound Mixer
Sound Recordist
Volker Wendisch
Lorenz Brehm, Daniel Weingarten
CameraSebastian Leitner, Andreas Rochholl, Christoph Wieland
Production Manager
Production Companies
Yalda Yazdani
KADMOS Produktion
& SLFILM media
Running Time
Year of production
approx. 75 min.
Persian (Farsi) / English – with English subtitles
Golnar Tabibzadeh, Yalda Yazdani
DCP 2K Flat, 5.1 Surround
World SalesEuroArts Music International
Film-WebsiteInstagram    •   Facebook-Fanpage
Main charakters
Baran Mozafari
  Folk Singer, Persian Gulf
Mina Deris  Arabic folk singer, Abadan, SW of Iran
Maliheh Moradi  Classical Iranian singer, Tehran
Samin Ghorbani  Azari folk singer, Ardabil, NW of Iran
Jamileh Amaniyan  Turkmen folk singer, Gonbad-e-Kavus, NE of Iran
Mahya Hamedi  Jazz singer, Teheran
Maedeh Tabatabaei Niya 
Classical Iranian singer, Esfahan
Haleh Seyfizadeh
  Classical Iranian singer, Tehran
Sahar Zibaei  Kurdish folk singer, Kermanshah
Masoomeh Gorginpour
  97 years old clan chief, Qashqai tribe, Central Iran
Shadi Behyar  Pop Singer, Mahabad, NW of IranVoice of Negar  Mina Deris
Additional charakters
Ava Armanfar, Classical Iranian singer, Esfahan
Nazila Babaei, 15 years old girl from Qashqai tribe, Shiraz
Yara Daneshvar, Classical Iranian Singer, Shiraz
Reza Deris, former Loading Master oil ship, Adaban, SW of Iran
Mehran Ghaedipour
, Kamanche-Player, Persian Gulf
Zohre Gholipour
, Classical Iranian singer, Tehran
Paricher Gorginpour, the daughter of Massomeh, Qashqai tribe, SW of Iran
Gholamali Gorginpour, Tonbak- and Santur-Player, Abadeh, Central Iran
Nazi Hamzehloo, Classical Iranian singer, Tehran
Pouyan Khalili Setar Player, Abadeh, Central Iran
Monireh Khodabandeh from Sistan Baloochestan, SE of Iran
Sahar Lotfi, Iranian Classical and folkloric Kurd and Lor singer, in Tehran
Behnaz Memar, Iranian Classical singer, Esfahan, Central Iran
Bahare Mirzaagha, Pop Singer, Tehran
Atefeh Moghimi, Mazandarani folk singer, North of Iran
Faroogh Rahmani
, Robab Player from Sistan-Balochistan , SE of Iran
Shafagh Rahmani, from Sistan-Balochistan, SE of Iran
Zara Rojhellat, Kurdish Folk singer, Mahabad, NW of Iran
Roxana Sarrafi, Iranian classical Singer, Tehran
Zoleikha Sardari, Grandmother, Gonbad-e-Kavus, NE of Iran
Jivar Sheikholeslami, Kurdish folk singer, Tehran
Kavosh Sohrabian
, Ney-player, Tehran
Latif Tabibifar
, Husband of Jamileh Amaniyan, Gonbad-e-Kavus, NE of Iran
….and the travellers Yalda Yazdani (Esfahan) and Andreas Rochholl (Berlin)
Origin story

Since 1979 singing in public is forbidden for women in Iran. For several years, starting in 2015, the Iranian ethnomusicologist Yalda Yazdani and the German filmmaker Andreas Rochholl have been travelling through Iran to meet and film female singers in all parts of this multi-ethnic, diverse country. During this time they created a network between those women, other musicians and their friends. They further realised a music festival twice in Berlin to present those voices. In 2019 the producer and filmmaker Sebastian Leitner joined the team to start work on a very different feature documentary.

The Female Voice of Iran – a feature documentary by Zeitgenössische Oper Berlin (2020)

Screenshot „The Female Voice of Iran – The film“