Villa Aurora Grant Recipients | 2024

Jan, Feb, Mar

Maryam Zaree | Filmmaker

Maryam Zaree | Image: Dorothea Tuch
Maryam Zaree | Image: Dorothea Tuch

Maryam Zaree is an actress, writer, and filmmaker. She was born in 1983 in the political prison Evin in Tehran. When she was two, her mother fled with her to Frankfurt am Main. She has appeared in many cinema and television films, including Christian Petzold's Transit, the series 4 Blocks, and Systemsprenger by Nora Fingscheidt. Her first feature film, the documentary Born in Evin, premiered at the 2019 Berlinale and screened in over 40 countries. Together with Carolin Emcke and Lena Gorelik, she developed the reading tour "‘Is That a Human Being?’ – Against Forgetting” with texts by Shoah survivors.  

In Los Angeles, Maryam Zaree will adapt the award-winning graphic novel Der Umfall by Mikael Ross for the cinema. She will use her residency to conduct research and develop a first draft of the screenplay. Using the tools of humor and magical realism, Zaree wants to show how the main character Noel faces life's big questions, and how he learns to take on life and conquer his fears despite the heavy loss of his mother.

Selected Filmography
2023 | Opfer, in development with Komplizen Film
2022 | Doppelhaushälfte (series, 2 episodes)
2020 | Love Now (series, 2 episodes)
2019 | Born in Evin (documentary film)

Selected Prizes and Awards
As a filmmaker
2020 | German Film Award Lola – Best Documentary for Born in Evin
2019 | Berlinale Perspektive German Film – Best Film for Born in Evin
2019 | Hessian Film Award – Best Newcomer Award for Born in Evin
2019 | International Five Lakes Film Festival – Best Documentary Film for Born in Evin