Movies

Elahe Esmaili’s ‘The Doll’ focuses on a family who voice their opinions on their 14 year old’s marriage


Elahe Esmaili’s short film The Doll focuses on a family and a community whose perspectives differ regarding a 14 year old’s marriage. This documentary short will be receiving its World Premiere at Oscar-qualifying Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2021 and it will also be screening at the Atlanta Film Festival 2021, another Oscar-qualifying film festival.

After consulting with his relatives, a 35-year-old father consents to the marriage of his 14-year-old daughter. With individuals having different perspectives, his family grapples with the decision.

Director/Writer/Producer Elahe Esmaili is currently a MA Student at National Film and Television School (NFTS) and is a BA alumna from Tehran University of Art where since 2016, was ranked 1st among more than 150,000 participants in Iranian Art Konkur (national university entrance exam). She is also a member of Iran’s National Elites Foundation. Esmaili is very passionate about issues concerning children’s and women’s rights; issues like child marriage, child abuse, neglect, or violence by parents, rape, women-against-women, and social inequalities, leading to her to direct her very first short film The Doll.

The Doll was edited by both Delaram Shemirani and Bahram Emran. Delaram started her career in 2015 as editor of short films and assistant editor in feature films. She was the first assistant editor of the Venice nominee film Jst 6.5 by Saeed Roustayi. Bahram started his career in 2015 as editor of short films and assistant editor in feature films. He was the editor of the Cannes nominee short film Lunch Time and was part of the editing department of many feature films including Bomb, A Love Story by Peyman Maadi.

Cinematographer Emad Arad has worked on many Iranian short-films. He also co-directed the short film Barter that will premiere at the Huesca International Film Festival 2021.

The Doll will be screening at this year’s Oscar-qualifying film festivals Atlanta Film Festival from April 22nd – May 2nd, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival from April 29th – May 2nd, Huesca International Film Festival from June 11th – June 19th, and Norwegian Film Festival from June 9th – June 13th.

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