SAHAR سحر a short film by Alexander Farah

By Alexander Farah / 14 min 25 / Canada / 2014 / Live-Action



Nadim’s parents struggle to understand the carefree and westernized lifestyle of their daughter Sahar. With tension high and tolerance low, the household remains at a standstill, waiting for her to come home.



  • Language : Farsi/Persian with English Subtitles
  • Cast : Behtash Fazlali as NADIM, Panthea Vatandoost as SAHAR, Mohammad Sarwari as TARIQ, Soheila Vatandoost as PARVEENJack Christofferson as DETECTIVE WILSON
  • Writer/Director : Alexander Farah
  • Producer : Alireza Taale
  • Director of Photography : Kenneth Lau
  • First Assistant Camera : Braden Batsford
  • Second Assistant Camera : Micah Field, Ryan Cunningham
  • Gaffer : James Healey, Adam Caron
  • Grip : Richard Macdonald
  • Set Dec : Myriam Farah, Genevieve Phillips, Mehdi Nowroozi
  • Location Sound : Marc Sander Montant
  • Post-Production Sound : Nolan McNaughton, Lucas Ross
  • Musical Score : Reza Hossaini
  • Surround Mix : Matt Stephanson
  • Voiceover : Chris Russell
  • First Assistant Director : Tony He, Cassandra Beauchamp
  • Script Supervisor : Paige Gray
  • Stunt : Vincent Farah
  • DIT : Richard Macdonald
  • Editor : Alexander Farah
  • Visual Effects : Reza Ghulam
  • Colorist : Larry Di Stefano
  • Craft : Alia Farah
  • PA : Celine Sun

Sahar short film


Filmmaker Statement

Sahar is a film inspired by my fascination with cultural clash. Throughout my upbringing as an Afghan-Canadian I have witnessed the tug-of-war between cultures expressed in many ways. My interest in case studies of first-world country honour killings inspired me to begin writing Sahar. Paul Schliesmann’s text, Honour on Trial: The Shafia Murders and the Culture of Honour Killings, along with news hour reports and video footage of the Shafia Murder trial that took place in Ontario a few years ago, informed my writing and thought process. Researching trauma and recovery helped me gain insight into the mental and psychological distresses related to experience and memory. I wanted to explore the intricate boundaries between culture, victimization, and morality. I sought to demonstrate that while Sahar only physically appears in a few scenes, she has an almost haunting presence that follows each of her family members.

Handheld camera movements helped contribute to the natural mood and aesthetic I envisioned, while improvisational techniques continued to inspire the collaboration with my actors throughout the audition, rehearsal, and shooting phases of this production.

Alexander Farah film directorDirector’s Biography – Alexander Farah
Alexander Farah is an award-winning Afghan-Canadian filmmaker currently residing in Vancouver, BC. He is a graduate of the Film, Video and Integrated Media Program at Emily Carr University of Art & Design. His directorial debut, Sahar, premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.


Festivals & Awards


  • Winner, Golden Sheaf Award, Best Student Film, Yorkton Film Festival 2015
  • Winner, W. F. White Award, Best Student Film, Vancouver Short Film Festival 2014
  • Winner, Best Actor, Vancouver Short Film Festival 2014
  • Winner, Best Direction, Vancouver Short Film Festival 2014
  • Nominee, Best Short Drama, Best Direction, Best Performance by a Male, Best Performance by a Female, Best Picture Editing, Leo Awards 2015

Festival’s selection

  • Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 2014
  • Rencontres Etudiants Pan-Canadiennes, Festival du Nouveau Cinema 2014 Official Selection, Vancouver Short Film Festival, 2014
  • Official Selection, Whistler Film Festival, 2014
  • Official Selection, Telefilm Short N’ Sweet 2015
  • Official Selection, Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, 2015
  • Official Selection, Yorkton Film Festival 2015

More infos about the film :

Alexander Farah’s website

About Ingrid Bernard

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Founder and Head of Publications, she's French and fall in love with short films since few years ago

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