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.