Nora Niasari’s Waterfall set to screen at MIFF

Asal Shenaveh in Waterfall.

Melbourne writer-director Nora Niasari’s short film Waterfall, has been selected to have its World Premiere at the 66th Melbourne International Film Festival, which win run from 3-20 August.

Waterfall, is produced by Mary Minas and Fete Films, and involves an incredible team of Australian filmmaking talent such as cinematographer Sherwin Akbarzadeh, established actor Greg Stone, rising talent Asal Shenaveh (Ali’s Wedding), and sound designer Livia Ruzic (Murial’s Wedding and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet).

The 15-minute short film follows the story of fourteen-year old Zahra who cannot come to terms with her Iranian mother’s new Australian fiancé, Peter. In an attempt to unite the family, Peter and Lelia take Zahra on a road trip in search of a waterfall. Zahra’s growing tensions lead to the inevitable distance from the person she loves most.

Nora Niasari was born in Iran, and is currently based between Melbourne and Tehran. The cross-cultural story of Waterfall is partly inspired by Nora’s personal experiences growing up in Australia and ideas that stemmed from a workshop with the late Abbas Kiarostami in 2015. Niasari’s storytelling skills have taken her around the world; she continues to receive accolades and is often cited as an important emerging and diverse female director to watch out for.

“It’s such a thrill and honour for Waterfall to have its World Premiere in Melbourne and especially at a festival like MIFF, which supports Australia’s emerging filmmaking talent,” said director Nora Niasari. “I cannot wait to share this experience with MIFF audiences and our wonderful local cast and crew.”

In 2016, Nora completed a Screen Australia/ADG Director’s Attachment with Emma Freeman on the Matchbox Pictures/FOXTEL TV series Secret City and a Screen Australia Mentorship with Cannes award winning auteur, Michael Rowe. This year, her first long form documentary, CASA ANTÚNEZ (ANTÚNEZ HOUSE) competed in the Official Selection of the 2017 Sheffield Doc/Fest where she was nominated for the prestigious New Talent Award.

The film received funding from Screen Australia’s Hot Shots Program in 2015, and will be eligible for MIFF 2017 Short Awards: one of the most highly regarded short film competitions in the Southern Hemisphere.

Waterfall has its World Premiere on Sunday 13 and Saturday 19 August at the 66th Melbourne International Film Festival, as part of the Australian Shorts program.

You can discover more at or keep up to date with the film via Facebook here.

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