Maryam Keshavarz Biography

Maryam Keshavarz

Maryam Keshavarz

MARYAM KESHAVARZ received her MFA from NYU/ Tisch in film direction and has been making award-winning films for 11 years. Maryam’s first feature documentary, THE COLOR OF LOVE, an intimate portrait of the changing landscape of love and politics in Iran, won numerous awards at top-tier festivals and was broadcast internationally. Maryam’s short film THE DAY I DIED garnered top accolades at Mar del Plata, Clermont-Ferrand, New York Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival; and was the only short film at Berlinale to win two awards: the Gold Teddy and the Jury Prize. 

Maryam’s first narrative feature fiction film, CIRCUMSTANCE premiered to overwhelming critical acclaim at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, garnering the coveted Sundance Audience Award, leading to Maryam’s inclusion in’s 2011 Director’s to Watch. CIRCUMSTANCE has won over a dozen international awards including Best First Film at the Rome Film Festival and the Audience & Best Actress Awards at Outfest. The Independent Spirit Award nominated film was described by the New York Times as “Swirling and sensuous”, by the Wall Street Journal as “Supremely cinematic”, and by the Hollywood Reporter as “Amazingly accomplished.”  The film released theatrically in over a dozen countries in 2012.

Maryam's sophomore feature VIPER CLUB starring Susan Sarandon will have it's world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival and be released theatrically nationwide by Roadside Attractions on Oct 26, 2018. The film also features powerful performances by Edie Falco, Matt Bomer, Lola Kirke, Sheila Vand, Adepero Oduya, and newcomer Amir Malaklou. 

Maryam is in development on several projects. Along with frequent collaborator Paolo Marinou-Blanco, Maryam is penning the narrative adaptation of the award winning HBO documentary HOT COFFEE. Maryam is attached to direct the narrative adaptation, entitled The Dissent. Maryam and Paolo are also developing gender bending genre defying historical epic musical film,  THE LAST HAREM. For this insanely ambitious project, Maryam has garnered several high profile awards for the project including the Hearst Screenwriters Grant, the San Francisco Film Society/ KRF Screenwriting Award, the prestigious Creative Capital Fund, and invitation to the Yaddo Writers Residency. Other projects include the PERSIAN VERSION, an autobiographical comedy about growing up Iranian-American  in NYC with seven brothers and one bathroom. Maryam has sold series to FX and BBCAmerica and is in development on a new international female spy thriller. 

Maryam is alumni of the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Lab, Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access Program. She is the recipient of dozens of grants and fellowships including the French Government’s Fonds Sud, Rotterdam Film Festivals’ Hubert Bals Award, Women in Film Grant, Adrienne Shelley Award, numerous Sundance fellowships, multiple San Francisco Film Society grants. She has been a visiting artist at the University of Pennsylvania and guest lecturer at dozens of prestigious international universities. She is an active member of Film Independent serving as a mentor for their Project Involve Initiative and speaking on numerous filmmaking panels. Like most Iranian-Americans Maryam is wildly over-educated- she holds an MFA from NYU where she was a Steve Tisch Fellow, an MA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a BA with honors from Northwestern University.