American Iranian Film maker

BAFTA-nominated Filmmaker & Academic


Tina Gharavi is a filmmaker whose work focuses on ‘untold stories, unheard voices’ and storytelling from the margins. She has been hailed as one of the most inspirational and thought-provoking filmmakers of her generation. Since leaving Iran in 1979 she has been a true nomad (like her great-grandfather from the Bakhtiari tribe in Iran). Carrying no less than 4 passports she currently resides in Northern England and Paris.

She initially trained as a painter and studied cinema in France. She is noted for innovative cross-platform and work that appears in museums and galleries as well as being site-specific. She has made endearing, inimitably voiced films from unique perspectives on subjects as diverse as Muhammad Ali, teenage sexuality, Yemeni-British sailors, The Lackawanna 6, death row exonerees, refugees and lighthouses.

She recently completed her first feature, I Am Nasrine, a coming of age story of two teenage Iranian refugees in the North of England that was nominated for a BAFTA in 2013. The project patron Sir Ben Kingsley called it “a life enhancing film, an important and much needed film”. Peter Bradshaw gave the film 4 stars and called it “A valuable debut, shot with a fluent kind of poetry.”

She is currently working on a large budget genre film (gangster tale set in France and Iran) and a documentary about the prison system in the US and the UK. Unafraid to take risks and cross genres, Gharavi’s work is set apart by it’s attention to detail and storytelling perspective. She is at once a lyrical filmmaker but also a commercial one. As Deborah Ross writes in the Spectator, “it’s not what I would call An Earnestly Grim Wrist Slitter. Instead, it is affectionate, humane, tender and, ultimately, optimistic. So stir yourself…”

Gharavi established Bridge + Tunnel, an award-winning media production company, in Newcastle, England to support “unheard voices, untold stories”. Her first short, Closer, a 35mm film was an official selection at Sundance where programmer, Shari Frilot, noted that ‘it takes documentary to the next level.’ Gharavi’s next major production chronicled her return to her mother’s house in Iran, 23 years after the Islamic Revolution. The resulting film, Mother/Country, was broadcast at prime time on Channel 4 in the UK where the national press gave it top billing and the London Evening Standard described it as “genuinely moving.” Further works such as The King of South Shields, deal with “the outsider” and her work often explores the issues of strategies of power and “who speaks for whom”.

Tina is currently Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the School of English, Newcastle University and is a Fellow at MIT at the Open Documentary Lab in Boston.

Gharavi is represented as a director by Independent Talent.


BASED IN: Between Paris (France) & Newcastle (UK)

LANGUAGES: English and French.
Americas racist penal system is slavery by another Name


Bafta February 2013