Shahid (2024)


Director Narges Shahid Kalhor no longer wants to be called “Shahid” (martyr) as her surname and casts an actress as herself, who is supposed to set about changing the family name. All of a sudden, her bizarre great-grandfather appears. A man who was declared a martyr in Iran after his heroic death a hundred years ago and thus bequeathed to his descendants the honorific “Shahid”. He seeks to prevent his great-granddaughter from going through with her plan.

The temporal layers blend into each other and a nerve-racking quarrel arises between the director and her actress. While the format of the film shifts between reality, fiction, theatre and musical, everyone’s plans come to nought: The director founders on the obstacles of bureaucracy, the actress on the director’s demands, the great-grandfather on the descendant’s stubborn will, and finally the film itself on its own premise. In the process, the film questions all kinds of radical ideologies – while not taking itself all too seriously either.

Shahid is a personal film about the balancing act between coming to terms with the past, with the present, and with one’s own self.

News, reviews

Caligari film award 2024 for SHAHID, Arsenal News

From a jury statement Caligari Award: “SHAHID is a liberation from the constraints of convention and tradition, a film after which everything seems possible.”

Interview with Narges Kalhor: “A feeling of happiness on the one hand and a massive sense of guilt on the other”, Arsenal

Berlinale 2024 – Sex and Shahid are the Arthouse Cinema Award winners

Jury Statement CICAE:

“The Arthouse Cinema Award 2024 goes to a unique and bold piece of filmmaking that manages to tear down conventions and borders. For its stylistically and thematically multi-layered approach that crafts a very honest and intimate film that uses self-irony while touching upon significant and consequential issues. For a director that manages to gracefully balance reality and fiction, humor and tragedy, various art forms and emotions into a powerful cinematic blend. The Arthouse Cinema Award 2024 goes to SHAHID by NARGES KAHLOR.”

Filmotor Nabs World Sales for Berlinale Title ‘Shahid’ Ahead of Visions du Réel Premiere, Variety 14.4.24, Lise Pederson

“Admirably creative and bold work” – Cineuropa

Narges Kalhor, Germany, 2024, 84´
Michael Kalb Film Produktion
Distribution & broadcast
ZDF, EDU: Film Friend, DE theatrical: Schmidbauer Film
74th Berlinale - Forum, Visions du Reel - Burning Lights, Lichter Film Fest, DOK.fest Munich
Berlin IFF - Forum: Caligari Film Award, Berlinale - CICAE Arthouse Cinema Award
World except of Germany

Narges Kalhor (1984) born  in Tehran. She studied feature film directing at the Tehran Film Academy.Mentored by Abbas Kiarostami. In 2007, she continued her studies in visual communication at the Kamalolmolk University. In 2009, Narges Kalhor participated in the Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival (NIHRFF) in Nuremberg with her short film “DIE EGGE”.

She has since been granted asylum in Germany, where she studied at the University of Television and Film in Munich. Her second film as co-director at the film school, “SHOOT ME”, was nominated for the German Short Film Award and won Best Film at the Nonfiktionale 2014. In 2019, her graduation film “In the Name of Scheherazade” celebrated its world premiere at Vision Du Réel and was honoured with the Goethe Institute Award for Best Documentary Film at the Dok-Leipzig Film Festival.