Iranian director and screenwriter Marziyeh Meshkini became a success with her first film, The Day I Became a Woman (2000). Because the Iranian government imposed censorship on feature films (not short films), Meshkini first crafted three separate shorts to avoid a potential ban, and then fused them together to create a three-part allegory about the gender discrimination women and girls face in modern Iran. The film, which she directed and co-wrote with her husband, famed director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, was hailed by Variety, who noted that the subject matter “has been broached by other Iranian women directors but never before confronted so directly… [and] communicates a personal vision in terms all women (and certainly many men) can feel deeply.” Produced by the family’s Makhmalbaf Film House, it played at the Venice International Film Festival, where it won three awards and was named Best First Film at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Her second film Stray Dogs (2003) was equally as successful, winning two awards at Venice before capturing wins at other prestigious film festivals. She has also worked as an assistant director for her daughter, director Samira Makhmalbaf, and wrote the screenplay for her daughter Hana Makhmalbaf’s award-winning film Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (2007).