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Samira Goetschel

Samira Goetschel is an Iranian-born American filmmaker based in Los Angeles.

Samira Goetschel is an Iranian-born American award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She left Iran with her family after the government of Ayatollah Khomeini executed her father. An alumnus of NYU Film School, her graduating film, Clown de la Vie won Best Short Film at the New York State Film Festival, and was a finalist at the Student Academy Awards. She earned her Master of Arts degree at Columbia University, and followed her passion for filmmaking with a short film about the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. She was the first filmmaker permitted to shoot inside the Museum. Her first documentary, Our Own Private Bin Laden, was named Best Foreign Documentary and Best Film of the Festival at the 2006 European Independent Film Festival in Paris, and won the Audience Award at the International Film Festival in Seoul.

Samira’s work is concerned with identity politics and politics of fear in societies where the power structure maintains order and control over the population. Her films attempt to disrupt the normative "story" of totalitarian governments with alternative histories and lived experiences of marginalized individuals that remain untold, and to highlight people's experiences of silence, marginalization, resistance, and solidarity. In her view, films are most effective when they create a political space of critical engagement.

She founded D.I.G. Films in 2013 that produced CITY 40 and is currently developing her new feature-length documentary on Iran’s nuclear question.