Tuesday 22 January 2019


Hi there! Here is my 2019 Showreel for directing animation films: SHOWREEL password 1234

Friday 7 September 2018

What are Forced Evictions?

I recently did a commissioned film for UN Habitat in Kenya about Forced Evictions, a topic we don't talk about enough, so in this video we try to inform people about the rights they have on this subject.

The film was produced by Tessy Aura and animated by Francesca Marinelli

Wednesday 16 May 2018


In February while I was in Angoulême making the pilot for Culottées (the animation series adapted from the book with the same title), I got an email from ACAT  - a french NGO for human rights - asking permission to use my illustrations for their magazine. I was so honoured!

A Ted Ed lesson about Virginia Woolf

Last summer I made a little film for Ted Ed about the reason why one should read Virgina Woolf, introducing her work and her style of writing and a little about Virginia's personal life. It was a very interesting experience for me making this mixed media short film. with the help of animators Eve Deroeck and Mai Nguyen, we used drawn and stop motion animation techniques. here is the link to the film:

Why Should you red Virginia Woolf?

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Grenoble Festival du court métrage en plein air

I had the honour to be a member of the jury for this year's festival in Grenoble.
It was an amazing experience and we all got along so well. Thanks to the whole team of the Cinémathèque de Grenoble who organises this festival each year.

Sunday 31 July 2016

TED Ed lesson on How to turn Protest into Powerful Change

This is my last collaboration with TED Ed

Thanks to Sherry Akrami, Julien Sarti and Amin for helping with the photos. The animation is done by Amin Haghshenas.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Two Animation Films for IDEO

Here are two commissioned films Amin Haghshenas and I made for IDEO, an organisation based in San Francisco, a team of creative problem-solvers that is tackling the world’s biggest challenges through design. they partner with NGOs, governments, foundations, and nonprofits. The project we worked on was about the benefits of reading books to children, destined to parents, especially those in the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. 

Monday 11 April 2016

BIAF 2016 Festival Poster

The 18th Bucheon International Animation Festival's poster I designed. 
I also have the honour to be a member of jury this year! and visit Korea for the first time!

Thursday 17 March 2016

IDEO Project

Recently me and my friend Amin Haghshenas have been working on two videos for IDEO, an organisation based in USA. These videos teache parents the benefits of reading aloud to kids. so we have been directing and animating two videos. both film are almost in post-production.

And the one and only Amin Haghshenas, the man behind all the action!

Thursday 5 November 2015

Animating a TED Ed lesson

Recently I finished directing a commissioned short film (4:20 mins) for TED Ed . The lesson was "What Are Human Rights?" written by the amazing educator, Bennedetta Berti. I had received the VO and had to work according to it. We only had 2 months for the whole project which is really short so I tried to keep things very simple.

Amin Haghshenas did the animating in anime studio and he did a really neat job I think :)
the experience on the whole was really nice, I guess the topic had also a role in making it such a pleasure to work on it too.

After finishing the project, as I was in the US for a festival, I used the opportunity to go and visit the team and my producer Gerta Xhelo at TED Ed, in New York, it was fantastic! here are two links to the video, check it out and let me know what you think :)

Saturday 4 July 2015

Prairie Dogs

I think I've found my favorite animal to draw! Prairie Dogs are funny creatures :)

Friday 27 March 2015

Official Selections and Prizes for Beach Flags


Grand Prize, Tindirindis international Aniamtion Festaival 2015 (Lithuania)
Grand Prize, BIAF Animation Festival 2015 (Korea)
Grand Jury Prize, ANIMA, Córdoba International Animation Festival 2015 (Argentina)
Best Animation Film FIJR Granada 2015 (Espagne)
Best of the Show, The Animation Block Party film festival 2015 (USA)
The AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Prize, Giffoni International Film Festival 2015 (Italy)
Best Short Film, Cortos Por Caracoles Festival 2015 (Spain)
Public Prize, Prinanima, Festival 2014 (Hungary)
Best Film Award, international Animé awards 2015 (Japan)
Ex-Aequo Young Jury award Bruz Film Festival 2014 (France)
The Original Music composition award, Bruz Film Festival 2014(France)
Best Animation Film, Aubagne film festival 2015 (France)
The Jury Prize, International Festival Séquence Court-Métrage 2015 (France)
The Rock award, Asiana Festival 2015 (Korea)
3rd prize Monstronale Festival 2015 (Gerany)
BCN Sports Film Festival 2015 (Spain)
Best Screenplay, International Animayo Festival 2015 (Spain)
Second Prize, Literally Short Film Awards 2015 (USA)
Best Animation Film, FestiFrance 2015 (Brazil)

Runner Up - Best Short, SPARK Animation Festival 2015 (Canada)

Official selections:
Sundance Film Festival (USA)
Anibar Animation Festival, Literally Short Film Awards (USA)
Monadnock International Film Festival (USA)
The Animation Block Party film festival (USA)
Lunafest (USA)
Milwaukee Film Festival (USA)
New Hampshire Film Festival (USA),
Clermont Ferrand short film festival, National Competition (France)
Premierplans Festival (France)
Aubagne Film Festival (France)
Festival de Films d’Education (France)
Bruz National Film Festival (France)
Festival Plein la Bobine (France)
Chacun son court Festival (France)
Contis International Festival (France)
Festival du film court en plein air de Grenoble (France)
European Festival of short films of Brest (France)
Pre-selection at César Academy for the animation short film category (France)
Festival International du Film d’Aubagne (France)
Festival de Film d’Altkirch (France)
Short Film Festival of Courtivore (France)
International Film Festival of Nancy-Lorraine (France)
Le Temps Presse Festival, Paris (France)
International Festival of Ciné Rencontres de Prades (France)
International Animation Film Festival of «Les Nuits Magiques» (France)
International Festival Séquence Court-Métrage (France)
ASIANA short film festival (Korea)
Anima mundi International Animation Festival (Brazil)
Anima, Brussels Animation Festival (Belguim)
Les Enfants Terribles Film Festival (Belgium)
Flickerfest Festival (Australia)
Cinanima (Portugal)
Gijon Film Festival (Spain)
Cortos de Caracoles Festival (Spain)
BCN Sports Film Festival (Spain)
FIJR Granada –International Short Film Festival (Spain)
Mecal International Short Film and Animation Festival, Barcelona (Spain)
Visual Effects and Video Games Animayo (Spain)
International Panorama of Cartoons on the Bay (Italy)
Medfilm Festival (Italy)
Milano Film Festival (Italy)
Ozu Film Festival (Italy)
Exsport Movies & TV - Milano International Ficts Fest (Italy)
Prinanima Film Festival (Hungary)
Interfilm, Berlin (Germany)
Monstronale Festival (Germany)
OpenEyes Festival (Germany)
KLIK! Amsterdam (Holland)
Expotoons Festival (Argentina)
Leeds International Film Festival (UK)
London Iranian Film Festival (UK)
The festival REGARD sur le court métrage in Saguenay (Canada)
NexT International Film Festival (Romania)
Tokyo Anime Awards Festival TAAF (Japan)
New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival (Japan)
Short Film Festival in Grimstad (Norway)
Countryside Animafest Cyprus – Views of the World (Cyprus)
Manaki Brothers Festival (Macedonia)
International Festival of animated film for youth and children (Serbia)
European Animated Film Festival BALKANIMA (Serbia)
World Festival of Animated Film in Varna (Bulgaria)
CICDAF Festival (China)
Brussels European FICTS Sports Film Festival (Belgium)
NW Animation Fest's 2015 "Best of the Fest"(USA)
ANIMA2015 - VIII Córdoba International Animation Festival (Argentina)
Giffoni International Film Festival (Italy)
Riga International Film festival 2ANNAS (Latvia)
LUCAS International Children's Film Festival, Frankfurt/Main (Germany)
Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco (USA)
International Animation Film Festival of «Animatou» (Belgium)
Tricky Women International Animation Filmfestival Vienna (Austria)
Wiz-Art International Short Film Festival, Lviv (Ukraine)
Anibar International Animation Festival (Albania)
3D wire Festival (Spain)
Cabbagetown Film Festival (Canada)
BANJALUKA Film Festival (Bosnia)
Ajyal Youth Film Festival (Qatar)
International Film Festival “KIN” (Armenia)
FestiFrance (Brazil), SPARK Animation Festival (Canada),
International Animated Film Festival TINDIRINDIS (Lithuania)
Animateka Animation Film Festival (Slovenia)
Athena Film Festival, NY (USA) 
IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival (Bulgaria)
International Festival Séquence Court-Métrage (France)
IFEMA International Female Film festival (Sweden)
festival Ciné Poème de Bezons (France)
International Animation Festival « El Ventilador » (Argentina)
Etang d’arts Festival Marseille (France)
la Maremetraggio International Film Festival, à Trieste (Italie)
Euganéa Film festival (Italy)
Heart of Gold International Film Festival (Australia)
Motovun Film Festival (Croatia)
Madrid Film Festival FCM-PNR (Spain)
Women Make Waves International Film Festival, Taipei City (Taiwan)

Sunday 22 March 2015

Beach Flags review

Today I found this really nice review by Joe Bendel on Beach Flags. It is such a joy and it encourages me so much!

Sundance ’15: Beach Flags (short)

They might be lifeguards, but their lives are nothing like Baywatch and Vida is not anything like Pam Anderson. For one thing, she happens to be an excellent lifeguard, but because her team is required to wear headscarves in international competitions, she can only participate in one event: her weakest. It is unnecessarily hard to be a young Iranian woman in Sarah Saidan’s terrific animated short film, Beach Flags (trailer here), which screens during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Vida knows she deserves to represent Iran at the Australian meet, because she is the best on her squad, even when it comes to their only allowable event—a race across the beach to capture the flag. She outclasses everyone until the coach brings in the abnormally tall and fleet Sareh. Try as she might, Vida just cannot catch her. Understandably, she resents the newcomer, vibing her hard. However, when she inadvertently spies on Sareh’s home life, Vida’s perspective changes radically. It turns out it is even harder for Sareh to be a young woman in Iran.

Beach Flags says volumes about the state of women’s rights in Iran, beginning with the absurdity of the restrictions placed on the lifeguard squad, but shifting to the profoundly depressing circumstances faced by Sareh. It is a pivot Saidan makes with considerable grace. Yet, even though the film addresses pressing human rights issues, Beach Flags is really a lovely little coming-of-age tale that will leave viewers feeling good—which is quite a trick to pull off.

Saidan’s animation is not as richly detailed as a Studio Ghibli masterwork, but it has an appropriately Persian vibe that transports the audience to the two very different Irans inhabited by the rival team members. It is a powerful piece of storytelling that also happens to be rather timely. Highly recommended, Beach Flags screens again today (1/24) in Salt Lake and Monday (1/26) and next Saturday (1/31) in Park City as part of the Animation Spotlight shorts program at this year’s Sundance.