Mahsa Razavi studied Social Sciences and Communications at the University of Tehran before moving to Canada where she earned her MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto and her MFA in Film Production from York University. She has made several short films that have been showcased in many festivals around the world. Mahsa’s works often focus on issues of gender, identity politics, displacement, loss, and belonging. Her characters who are not usually represented on-screen live in the margins of society and search for a better life and place in the world. Her latest work is the narrative film A Celebration (2019), which is funded by Toronto Art Council, and along with her previous film, Roj Means Sun (2016), are part of a coming-of-age trilogy. She is currently working on a 15-minute dramatic short film entitled Ahu set in Toronto, and her first feature film script, Snowbirds.
Mahsa is a recipient of the Canada Art Council Grant for Research and Creation (Snowbirds, 2020), Toronto Art Council Media Arts Grant (Ahu, 2020), Ontario Art Council Grant for Emerging Artists (Ahu, 2018), Toronto Art Council Media Grant (A Celebeartion, 2017) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Roj Means Sun, 2014).
“Cinema challenges me to articulate my dilemmas into collective political matters. While I found the medium a liberating art, I can’t help but notice the patriarchal roots of it and its resistance to female and minority perspectives. Male worldviews have been normalized through cinema history and I struggle to see myself on the screen. While I work on conscious obstacles, I hope to dig deeper and question the subconscious choices that hold me back or coerce me to the dominant discourse. My stories arise from my past, my desire and my experiences. As a Middle Eastern/Iranian immigrant woman, my main concern has always been telling stories about women and children of colour who I believe, are among the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in contemporary society. The most important question I explore in my films revolves around how socially ostracized and politically ignored groups resist unjust power relationships and struggle to create their own spaces of hope.”