Sanaz Azari is an Iranian film and television director best known for her films "Half Moon" (2006), "Rhino Season" (2012) and "3 Faces" (2018). She is also an accomplished theatre director and has been awarded numerous international awards, including the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for her debut feature film "Half Moon" (2006).
Azari was born in Tehran, Iran in 1974. She earned her degree in theatre from Tehran University in 1996 before going on to study film directing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She returned to Iran in 2000 and began her career in filmmaking, directing several short films.
Azari was the first Iranian director to win a major award at an international film festival for her debut feature film "Half Moon" (2006). The film was selected for the competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for Best Film. The film tells the story of an aging Kurdish musician who returns to his homeland after a long exile in Germany.
Azari's next feature was the acclaimed film "Rhino Season" (2012), which starred acclaimed Iranian actor Behrouz Vossoughi. The film follows the story of an Iranian poet who is released from prison after 30 years and sets out to find his long-lost love. The film was selected to compete for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Best Actor award for Vossoughi.
Azari's most recent film "3 Faces" (2018) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Screenplay award. The story follows a young actress who travels to a remote village in search of an elderly woman, whose life has been changed by the restrictive laws of rural Iran.
Azari has established herself as one of the most acclaimed Iranian directors working today. Her films are known for their thoughtful and nuanced depictions of Iranian society, focusing on the complex and often contradictory dynamics between modernity and tradition. Her work has been praised for its boldness and originality, and she has been awarded numerous awards, both in Iran and internationally.