Mark Amin – Jury Chair
Mark Amin is currently the CEO of Sobini Films, a motion picture production and financing company. Through Sobini Films, Amin has produced a diverse slate of feature films, including THE PRINCE & ME, PEACEFUL WARRIOR, and ELIZA GRAVES, starring Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Kate Beckinsale and Jim Sturgess, based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. Upcoming projects include A MOMENT TO REMEMBER with Ben Lewin (THE SESSIONS) directing and ZORRO: REBORN, a futuristic reboot of the lucrative Zorro franchise starring Gael García Bernal. Mr. Amin served as Vice Chairman and member of the board of directors of Lionsgate Entertainment from 2000 to 2009. Prior to his work with Lionsgate and Sobini, Amin founded Trimark Holdings, Inc. and served as the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Under Amin’s leadership, Trimark soon developed into one of the entertainment industry’s leading independent production and distribution companies. Amin’s past credits include the critically acclaimed EVE’S BAYOU and FRIDA, which was nominated for five Oscars and won two. In addition to film production, he is actively involved in the acquisition and development of pistachio and almond orchards in central California, with more than 8,000 acres under management. Mr. Amin holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of Kansas and an MBA from UCLA.
Born in Isfahan Iran in 1947, Mr. Ersadhi is an acclaimed Iranian actor who made his screen debut in the leading role of Abbas Kiarostami’s masterpiece, TASTE OF CHERRY in 1997. Ershadi has also starred in such notable films as the Academy Award winning ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012) by Kathryn Bigelow and A MOST WANTED MAN opposite the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Other notable works includes the role of Baba in the critically acclaimed drama THE KITE RUNNER and Aspasius in Alejandro Amenábar’s AGORA. Ershadi studied architecture in Italy and worked many years as an architect before being discovered by Abbas Kiarostami. Mr. Ershadi is currently working on several projects both in Iran and outside of Iran including ENZEVA by Morteza Ali Abbasmirzaee and LINA by Ramin Rasouli and DEAD END OF TRUST by Hamid Kaviani.
Soheila Golestani, was born in Tehran in 1980 and received her Bachelor of Art degree in theater (Cinema and Theater Faculty from the Art) University of Tehran. She starred in such films as HALF MINE, HALF YOURS (2006) by Vahid Nikkhah, 40 YEARS OLD by Alireza Raisian, and WE HAVE A GUEST by Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour, for which she received the award for Best Supporting Actress at the 32nd International Fadjr Film Festival. Her starring role in the thriller, TODAY by Reza Mirkarimi garnered much critical acclaim, and was screened at major international film festivals throughout the world. In 2014 Ms. Golestani made her directorial debut with the multilayered drama TWO, starring Parviz Parastui and Mahtab Nasirpour. Her latest project includes IF YOU GO AWAY, the award winning virtual reality short film about war refugees.
Born in Shiraz, Iran in 1980, Behtash Sanaeeha has a BA in civil engineering, and was pursuing his Masters in architecture when he left school in order to dedicate himself to his true passion of filmmaking. He started his career making short films, documentaries and commercials, and he also wrote and directed two animated television series and a made for television feature film. However, it was his feature directorial debut in 2015’s RISK OF ACID RAIN which brought him international acclaim. The film was selected by many international festivals throughout the world and garnered him multiple awards and nominations, including best screenplay at the 33rd Fajr Film Festival. His latest feature film, THE INVINCIBLE DIPLOMACY OF MR. NADERI is a documentary that one best picture at the 2017 Iran Documentary Film Festival.
Delara “Roya” Teymourian was born in 1959 in Tehran where she studied acting and directing at the College of Dramatic Arts and started her early career in theater at the age of 21. It was her performance in the 1988 television series RA’ANA by Davood Mirbagheri, which truly showcased her talents as an actress. She then started her film career in the feature film YEARNING VISIT by Moharram Zaynalzadeh, and has performed in 27 films, 20 television programs and 25 theater productions which resulted in multiple awards and nominations to date, including two awards for Best Actress at the 6th Celebration of Iranian House of Cinema, as well as the Independent Women Film Festival for her role in WOMEN’S PRISON. Ms. Teymourian is best known for her leading roles in such films as SANTOORI, CAFÉ SETAREH, THE WILLOW TREE, SNOW, TIK, and THE MUSIC MAN. Most recently she starred in a role of a lifetime in the groundbreaking and controversial film, HADJI SHA by Zamani Esmati, which garnered her a best actress nomination at the Fajr Film Festival. She has been married to Masoud Raygany since 2003 and has two daughters Dorna and Donya Madani from her previous marriage.