Negin Kianfar

Born in 1969 in Tehran, I grew up in the post-Revolutionary Iran and pursued a colorful career path in three different - yet closely - related areas.
While still a teenager, I won a young talent voice contest and was approached by the Iranian Broadcasting to join the most distinguished team of dubbing artists in the Country. My job was exciting, yet very challenging. I needed to make myself noticed among professionals who had twice my age experience. Within a few years I became a household name in Iran. In a highly censored environment I began doing voice-overs for Hollywood films dubbed in Persian and hosted programs in Radio and Television. During my 25 years of working as a dubbing artist, my voice brought to life a large number of world-renowned actresses including Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill”, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Sharon Stone, Halle Berry, and many more for Iranian audience.

In the meantime, my love for painting never left me. Painting filled my solitude with a pure joy and strong passion. I was trained by several art educators, inside and outside university. I attended numerous exhibitions including the “Second Iranian Painting Exhibition Biennale”. In 1992, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art purchased one of my paintings. My paintings are inspired by my surroundings and are deeply rooted in the Iranian living space. My style is realism which I employ to visualize my personal environment with a reference to cultural and artistic traditions. The realistic illustration of paradoxical and controversial themes fascinate me and is usually manifested in my paintings through a play of light and shadow. Although I have gone through numerous stages of creativity during my career as a painter, the fundamental themes and techniques of my art remain unchanged.

And yes, I went to university as well! I studied Cinema, majoring in Directing in one of the best art schools in Iran; Art University of Tehran. Upon graduation, I started making short documentaries. Soon I had gained enough experience and recognition to be commissioned feature-length documentaries for European broadcasters. In 2006 I made The Birthday for Dutch Television.
The Birthday was a huge success. IDFA hosted its world premiere and the film traveled the world through international festivals and universities; a journey that has not ended yet. Both Birthday and my subsequent film ‘One Hour - 99 Years’ dealt with actual social realities, very controversial and full of paradoxes. The characters in these documentaries are ordinary citizens leading extraordinary lives in a suppressed society and have to face herculean challenges. Such themes satisfy my passion for a twisted realism, a special angle to sit, watch and portray the reality which is mostly ignored by other spectators. Documenting personal stories in an intimate setting guided me to another line of work. For a couple of years I blogged actively for NOS writing about the daily life of myself and others in Tehran.

Voice artist, painter or filmmaker, I have always tried to express the same thing; myself and the reality as I see it. I use different media to portray my journey of self-discovery; a journey that takes me through the life of others and sees me absorbing parts of the environment which relate to me. This journey is not straightforward. It is contradictory; as contradictory as the life of the artist sitting on the border of contrasting worlds can be. A life full of blinding lights and dark shadows which sometimes escape and appear as light and shadow in my works.

Link: Wikipedia