Shiva Sanjari

Shiva Sanjari was born in 1980 in Tehran, Iran. She studied Graphic Design and Visual Arts in Tehran Azad University. Shiva started her career as a visual artist and exhibited her works at art galleries around the world, and participated at different art residency programs.

In 2010, when she was working as a photographer on the set of a documentary film in the slums of India, she got tuberculosis and almost lost her life. The two-year struggle with the sickness changed her life and art forever. She became interested in people’s daily lives and struggles. In 2004, she started her debut feature documentary film “Here The Seats Are Vacant”, which is about the life of an Iranian actress after the revolution that took her away from the screen forever and turned her life upside down. The film won the Pioneer Female Director Award at Downtown Los Angles Film Festival in 2017. Later on she was commissioned by Arte and made the movies “Beauty Salon” and “Red Lipstick” . She continues making documentaries to this day.

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  • Red Lipstick

    Directed by Shiva Sanjari • 2019 • Iran
    Marriage and being wanted by men are still a significant issue in Iranian patriarchal
    society. The meaning of beauty and its criteria is dramatically transformed in the past 40
    years with mandatory hijab in the Islamic Revolution.

    Masoumeh, a single 3...

  • Here the Seats Are Vacant

    اینجا صندلی ها خالیست
    Directed by Shiva Sanjari • 2016 • Iran
    The life of Iranian women who were working in the mainstream Iranian cinema changed drastically after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. These women use to get small roles or dance in these movies. But they suddenly eliminated from the in...