“Others”, in Their Own Land


All they have to do is renounce their faith, and they will be set free to live their lives with all the protections of full citizenship. But for many members of the minority Baha’i faith in Iran, rejecting their beliefs literally goes against their religion. They would rather die than deny it! An impossible choice–Convert to Islam or become an outcast. 

For hundreds, during the Islamic government’s sweep of the unfaithful, it was torture and death; some hung in public squares. Today, although they are the largest non-Muslim minority religion in the country, Baha’is live on the margins of society with no basic civil rights, no human rights, no access to higher education, and significant economic pressure to make a living because they are seen as “dirty.”

Even after death, institutionalized bullying doesn’t stop.  Their graves are desecrated, their lives never celebrated. Outcasts in their own land. This film by Canadian filmmaker and Iranian expatriate Farid Haerinejad tells the stories of the price of keeping the faith.


Out of Iran

Iran’s Unwanted Sons & Doughters

In Iran, sexual identity can be a matter of life and death.
This is a film about the life and challenges of Iranian LGBT. Iranian officials, including former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are consistently denying the existence of LGBT people in Iran.

Homosexuality is a sickness to be cured. The policies of discrimination and the legislation that criminalizes Iran’s sons and daughters for being who they are have left a terrible trail of grief and branded memories of rejection. For Iranian LGBT who are unwanted in their homeland and family homes, the best chance of survival is to get Out of Iran.



Bloggers War

Time: 25 min., DV, colour,  2005
(Language: English)

Bloggers War, the story of Iranian dissidents in the Canadian diaspora using internet as medium to
express their thoughts freely. Bloggers War was awarded the Bronze Plaque at the 53rd Columbus
International Film and Video Festival.


Iran Journey

Time: 18 min., DV, colour, 2006
(Language: English & Persian, Subtitle: English)
Bahman’s Journey (AKA Iran Journey) (2007), follows an Iranian-Canadian who returns back home.
Bahman, a wanna be reporter asks iranians about contravercials issues. For this short documentary
Farid Haerinejad was presented with the Silver World Medal Award from 49th New York Film and
Television Festivals and Honorable Mention from 54th Chris Awards, Columbus International Film &
Video Festival.

  • Please note; Bahman Kalbasi (the main character in the film) is not the director, producer or writer
    of this film and is not the recipient of or nominee for any award related to this film. For more info
    contact Farid Haerinejad or CBC.


Out in Iran; Inside Iran’s Secret Gay World

Time: 21min., Format: DV, colour, 2007
(Language: English & Persian, Subtitle: English)

In line with efforts of raising awareness about minority groups, in 2007, Farid Haerinejad directed and
produced Out in Iran: Inside Iran’s Secret Gay World  that premiered on Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation. This film follows the lives of queer Iranians living in a country that homosexuality is a
crime punishable by death. The film reveals the challenges confronting ordinary gay Iranians, their
aspirations for a better future and their correspondences with Canadian gay rights groups who are
working to make a difference. Out in Iran was the first documentary film about Iranian gays living in
Iran. In the following years Out in Iran became an unofficial credential for those Iranian LGBTQ
individuals seeking asylum and was used extensively by activists to increase awareness and to fight for
equal rights for Iranian queer people.



Mohammad Reza Kazemi & Farid Haerinejad
Time: 72 min., DV, color, 2009
Language: Persian & English, Subtitle; English)

Winner of Justice Award, Cinema for Peace 2010, Berlin:

Special Mention One World FF Brussels 2010

Woman in Shroud trailer

Women in Shroud, is an in-depth look into the stoning of women who are found guilty of adultery in Iran.
The film demonstrates the efforts of women’s rights groups and campaigners who work day and
night to put an end to these executions by demanding the abolishment of the associated laws in the
Iranian Islamic Penal Code.
Women in Shroud was the recipient of the prestigious Sundance Institute Documentary Grant and Jan Vrijman Fund .
Cinema for Peace presented Farid Haerinejad with their Justice Award along with
Mohammad Reza Kazemi for co-directing this film (Berlin, 2010).
On occasion of Human Rights Day in 2009, Women in Shroud was screened at the Senate of Canada for an audience of ambassadors, honourable justices, senators and members of the Parliament. Women in Shroud has since been screened in various foreign-office venues and embassies around the world helping raise much needed international awareness about the issue of stoning in Iran.


Behind the High walls

Life & Death in Iran’s Prison

They each remember the day they were arrested, the day their torture began.
They remember the long, lonely years of solitary confinement behind the high walls of Iran’s notorious prisons. In the years shortly after the 1979 revolution in Iran, an entire generation of bright, young people with promising futures languished and suffered in prisons, enduring physical torture, sensory deprivation, and sadism, all in the name of the Islamic Republic.
They wondered how their revolution, which was so well-intentioned, had gone so wrong—hi-jacked by clerics who thought the way forward was in going back to the antiquated fundamentals of their religion.

There are stories of lashings and hangings carried out in the name of Allah.
Thousands of young people have been brutally tortured and ruthlessly murdered. Many were buried in the most inhumane ways in mass graves. There are accounts of mountains of discarded shoes of those who died. Those who lived through the massacres, and mental torture, are left with indelible memories of life and death in the prisons of the first Islamic Republic. This is their story.