Ayat Najafi

Ayat Najafi

Darsteller, Regie, Drehbuch
*23.09.1976 Teheran, Iran


Ayat Najafi was born on September 12 1976 in Teheran. While studying set design in his homeland, he founded his first own theatre group in 1995, for which he worked as assistant director, author, actor and set designer. From 2000 on, he also directed plays. In 2003, he founded Arta Atelier, which focused on interdisciplinary and multi-media theatre projects and experimental shorts and documentaries. As part of Arta Atelier's output, Najafi made several films on Teheran.

After participating in the 2005 Berlinale Talent Campus with his short "Move it", Najafi and co-director David Assmann helmed the German feature-length production "Football Under Cover" (2006-2008). The documentary, which chronicles the first official match of Iran's women football side against a girl team from Berlin, premiered at the 2008 Berlin IFF and won the "Teddy Award" for Best Documentary.

In 2008/2009, Ayat Najafi staged the play "Bärtige Frauen und Männer im Rock" as part of a fellowship at Konstanz University. During the following years, he directed several plays in Berlin, and in 2013, he received a stipend for the International Research Center "Interweaving Cultures in Performance" at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Already in 2011, Ayat Najafi had begun work on the documentary "No Land's Song" (DE/FR), in which he follows his sister, Teheran-based composer Sara Najafi, on her quest to stage a concert with female solo parts – although female sole performances are not allowed in front of a mixed audience. "No Land's Song" premiered at the 2014 Montreal Film Festival where it won the audience award for Best Documentary. After garnering more international awards, the film was released in Germany in March 2016.


2011-2014 No Land's Song
Director, Screenplay
2006-2008 Football Under Cover
Participation, Director, Screenplay, Story