“In The Name of Scheherazade” – A film searches for itself. “I feel pressured as a filmmaker: As an Iranian director, I am supposed to make films about my exotic country of origin, my producer demands. So I try to satisfy him with documentary, “oriental” stories. After two proposals, he finds the portrait of the first Iranian brewer who wants to start the first beer garden in Tehran exotic enough.” But the film then fails because of Iranian authorities. “In The Name of Scheherazade” is a modern political version of the Arabian Nights fairy tale. A film about the meaning of storytelling and about the director’s search for identity, which is essential for surviv
Followed by online conversation with the director.
Forget everything you think you know about storytelling! And get ready for a surreal journey. Narges Kalhor follows four characters who have moved to Germany to escape the grim and dangerous political situation in their home countries. She takes us on a dive into a funny and deconstructed happy apocalypse of a web of stories. A gay Syrian teenager fears his visa will be denied and he’ll have to go back home. An Iranian girl dreams of a beer garden in the heart of Tehran. Another struggles with her film project and her teacher, who gives useless advice on how to make her work more understandable, for example. And as Sharzad continues to spin her stories night after night, the world slowly turns upside down. It’s a film that gives new meaning to getting lost in translation while opening up new perspectives on communication and multiculturalism. A hymn to the sheer power and freedom of creativity. A film that connects many levels of reality, juggles with fiction, pokes fun at documentary and defies its rules.
N. Kalhor was born in Tehran in 1984 and grew up there. In 2001, she began studying feature film directing at Tehran Film School. She was mentored by Abbas Kiarostami, among others. In 2007, she studied visual communication at Kamalolmolk University. At the same time, she worked as a film editor at an advertising film agency Tehran and made short films.
In 2009 Narges Kalhor attended the Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival (NIHRFF) in Nuremberg with her short film “DIE EGGE”. She applied for political asylum, attracting international attention because she is the daughter of the highest-ranking cultural advisor to then Iranian President Ahmadinehjad.
She was granted asylum in Germany and subsequently studied at the University of Television and Film Munich. Her second film there, “SHOOT ME,” which she co-directed, was nominated for the German Short Film Award, among others, and was named best film of the Nonfiktionale 2014.
Narges Kalhor also works as a video artist for various exhibitions and museums. She received the best video art award for “KAFAN” at the UNDERDOX Film Festival Munich in 2014 and exhibited the video installation “NOSFERATU IS NOT DEAD” as a group work at the Lenbachhaus in Munich in 2016. Her third university film “GIS” was nominated for the Starter Film Award of the City of Munich.
Narges Kalhor’s graduation film “In the Name of Scheherazade” had its world premiere at Visions Du Réel in Nyon in 2019 and won the documentary film prize of the Goethe-Institut at DOK Leipzig and the Kulturpreis Bayern. The film screened at national and international festivals. In February 2020 it was released in Swiss cinemas (Verleih Cinelibre). (Source: Website Narges Kalhor)
WITHOUT DISCOURSE, Iran, 2002, digital, 5 min, experimental film
ROSHANGARI HAIE IEK MORGH, Iran, 2004, 16 mm, 6 min, experimental film
WE MUST HAVE DIED! Iran, 2006, digital, 5 min, experimental film
THE EGGE, Iran, 2008, digital, 15 min, feature film
MUNICH-TEHERAN, Germany, 2011, 16 mm, 18 min, documentary film
SHOOT ME, Germany, 2013, digital, 30 min, documentary film
KAFAN, Germany, 2014, 35 mm, 5 min, experimental film
LAVASCHAK, Germany, 2015, digital, 30 min, documentary film
GIS, Germany, 2016, digital, 15 min, feature film
LOVOGARY, Germany, 2016, 35 mm, 4 min, experimental film
NEDA, Germany, 2017, 35 mm, 5 min, experimental film