Roj Means Sun

Rojin, a Kurdish-Canadian girl, battles both her mother and her mother tongue as she grieves the recent death of her father, killed in a battle in the Shingal Mountains, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Mahsa Razavi

Filmmaker’s statement

Since 2005, I have been working as a freelance writer and independent filmmaker in my homeland Iran and later in Canada. However, it was my latest short film, Roj Means Sun, that gave me confidence to pursue my deepest aspirations: to tell my stories through the language of cinema.

Roj Means Sun is indeed an homage to my childhood and the way I have found writing and later filmmaking to be a redemptive practice, where “the pain of loss is replaced by the joy of mastering signs” (Julia Kristeva).

This is also the story of a young girl’s struggle to dissociate herself from the protecting identity of her mother in order to recreate her identity in a land other than her motherland. Through this story, I want to explore the narrative of Rojin’s search for identity, which will be told in the context of the human condition of a generation of young immigrant families who have left their homeland due to the suppression of ethnic, religious and socio-political diversities.

About Mahsa Razavi

Mahsa Razavi (born in Iran in 1983) is a graduate of the University of Tehran, the University of Toronto and York University with a BA in social science and communications, an MA in cinema studies and an MFA in film production.

Mahsa worked as a freelance assistant director and writer in Iran Broadcasting before joining the Iranian Youth Cinema Society, where she wrote and directed her first short narrative film My Best Friend (2009). Later in 2010, she wrote and directed a short experimental documentary entitled Peace in the Presence of Each Other.

Mahsa directed two short narrative films titled The Proposition (2012) and The Lost Image (2013) during her time at Sheridan College’s one-year graduate program in film and television. She continued her filmmaking career at York University’s film department two-year work/study MFA program, where she wrote, directed and edited seven short pieces, including two narratives titled INT-BAR-NIGHT and What Time is it in Iran Right Now?, and documentaries Hallabja and Our Images, Our Stories, Our Future.

Roj Means Sun (2016) is Mahsa’s latest released short film which was produced in Toronto, Canada

She is currently editing her latest short film, A Celebration, funded by Toronto Arts Council.

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