With Massoud Bakhshi, on his Sundance-Winning YALDA


“Maryam (22) accidentally kills her husband Nasser (65) and is sentenced to death. The only person who can save her is Mona (37), Nasser’s daughter. All Mona has to do is appear on a popular live TV show and forgive Maryam. But forgiveness proves difficult when they are forced to relive the past.”

This is the synopsis of Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness, the latest film by Massoud Bakhshi, and the winner of 2020 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition and the nominee for 2021 Lumières Awards, the French equivalent of Golden Globes.

Hamidreza Nassiri has sat down to talk with him on different aspects of the film, from screenplay to sound, cinematography, mise en scène, editing, and collaborating with an international crew. An interview for filmmakers and film-lovers, alike.

The film is available to watch on virtual cinemas via Film Movement, in time for Yalda, the night of Winter Solstice.

“Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1972, Massoud Bakhshi has worked as film critic, scriptwriter and producer, before making 12 documentaries and short films which were awarded internationally. His first feature film A Respectable Family was selected at Cannes Film Festival 2012 (Quinzaine des réalisatuers). Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness is his second feature film.”


About Author

Hamidreza Nassiri

Nassiri started filmmaking when he was 19 with a short film called, White Black. Before getting his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran, he made his second film, An Unforgettable Poem. After graduation, he entered the University of Tehran’s master’s program in Cinema and made several short films, including his master’s thesis film, Daylight News, which premiered in the US in May 2014. He then left Iran to continue his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has also taught film production, film studies, and public speaking courses. The winner of several scholarship and teaching awards, he’s currently a PhD candidate in Film Studies. He has presented several papers at prestigious conferences such as SCMS, SCSMI, and MaMI and has been invited to several events to give lectures and Q&As. He received the Public Humanities’ HEX Award in 2018. He has just finished the post-production of his new English-language short film, Immortal. Hamidreza founded the Wisconsin Iranian Film Festival in 2017 and has directed and programmed the festival for the past two years.

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