RISE, the first OSCAR® and BAFTA Qualifying short to submit with an anonymous director

Buzz, Film

RISE is based on real events that still impact Iran to this day. We follow Niloo and her friend, enjoying a normal day together, enjoying themselves. However, things take a dark turn when the police intervene. This short is a tribute to women, life, the freedom movement and Mahsa Amini. Due to safety issues, the director has to remain anonymous, publishing this film under a pseudonym ‘Shirzan’. This inspiring and powerful short has qualified to be considered for a 2024 Academy® Award and is one of the few films to be granted by Maya Angelou’s state permission to use “And Still I Rise” in a live action short.

In a tribute to Mahsa Amini, we follow Niloo – an ordinary girl in Iran – spending the day with her friend. All is well, until the morality police intervene…

SHIRZAN is an Iranian Woman, Creative, Writer & Director, born in Tehran during the war, who’s now British. Over the last decade she’s been in the creative world, heroeing creatives from the MENA region. She’s chosen to remain anonymous on this project. Her alias ‘SHIRZAN’ means ‘warrior woman’ in honor of her warrior sisters protesting for equal rights. Rise is her debut narrative short as a Director. She, like all other Iranian women, has had run-ins with the morality police. However she decided to work closely with refugees who experienced the more violent side of the morality police to bring her script to life. And although she is anonymous, she can attend key screenings/events by wearing a face mask to protect her identity.

Executive Producer Joseph Ogunmokun, winner of the “Pride of Britain” in 2020, has 11 years of experience in both global and localized campaigns. His notable achievements include the Black Plaque project which created a new version of the ‘blue plaques’ for the black heroes of Britain. Working with him was Nazanin Alakija, a British Iranian humanitarian and the Founder & CEO of Evoca Foundation, an NGO which works across the pillars of climate action, education and supporting women and girls. Naza advocates for girls’ and young women’s access to education and funds innovative grassroots movements that deliver holistic solutions to the climate crisis and build equitable futures for all.

The breathtaking cinematography was created by the award winning DOP Luke Jacobs and this spectacular short has qualified to be considered for a 2024 Academy® Award.