Writer. Director . Producer
Niloofar Asadi is an Iranian filmmaker and visual storyteller—with interdisciplinary experience in visual arts, cinema, and theater—based in San Francisco. Exploring character-driven stories by evoking a human view of the characters' emotions and motives intertwined with explorations of self-identity with the power of visual storytelling lies at the core of her artistic mission. Her work signifies existential themes like resistance, remembrance, presence, time, trauma, and death, focusing on individuals' strengths and vulnerabilities in an interplay with the social identities they perform. By portraying characters in a state of crisis, she positions the viewer in an uncomfortable circumstance of witnessing suffering and pain, exposes them to the existential and psychological states of the characters, and seeks to provoke complex feelings and responses, whether self-reflective or sympathetic, in the viewer. To craft these settings, she adopts a subjective approach that draws particularly upon her own experiences to manifest how a character's response in the face of a disaster, whether vulnerability or resilience, reshapes the individual's identity.
Niloofar's vision in pursuit of a universal voice, yet with a strong local accent, is largely shaped by her experiences of displacement and her endeavors to redefine her artistic identity in the cultural landscape of the host society. Having experienced suppression and censorship as a female artist in a patriarchal society back in Iran, she has always maintained a critical perspective on dominant societal and cultural trends. Through a dynamic interplay between formal and expressive elements, while she establishes a precise visual storytelling framework to formally guide the viewers' eyes, she allows them to bring their own emotions and experiences, embrace the ambiguity in narratives, and contribute to dialogues with her work. Niloofar exposes the viewers to the profound existential and psychological states of her subjects, inciting an array of emotional reactions, from introspection to empathy, highlighting how human connections and individuals' engagement can ripple outwards and collectively transform the very fabric of our society.
Niloofar adopts a visual language with distinctive visual elements rooted in her Iranian heritage appropriated in contemporary contexts. Niloofar's work is a site for negotiating questions of identity, a fusion of cultural influences a—
"I narrate stories
that revolve around the human experience with a subjective lens to provoke and converse."
yearning for mutual gaze, and the embodiment of a desire for a shared understanding and connection in a broad cultural panorama. She has cultivated a unique visual voice with a distinct visual accent that confronts and re-examines the dichotomies of East and West, tradition, and modernity. She juxtaposes compositions adhering to formalist principles with emotionally evocative hues to achieve an expressive gesture and a dynamic dialogue between the visual elements. The aesthetic nuances of her artworks draw upon elements from Persian calligraphy, ancient Persian paintings, and Islamic architecture, all infused with Iranian traditional motifs and arabesque patterns. These elements provide a unique visual lexicon—abundant with symbols, allegories, colors, and patterns—allowing her to bridge the past with contemporary narratives to explore, reinterpret, and reintroduce her heritage and culture through modern visual forms.
In 2012, Niloofar founded AG91, a platform for producing narratives, documentaries, and theatrical performances. Her experiences working with diverse visual forms and media have given her a distinctive visual eloquence that continues to enrich the unique language of her work. Since her migration to the US in 2015, she has kept expanding her universal visual storytelling language and rejects the standard casting of a Middle Eastern artist with an imposed focus defined by the dominant trends.
Her short films, documentaries, photographs, and visual arts have been recognized, awarded, and published by international film festivals, art magazines, and organizations such as Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, Prague International Film Awards, Africa Human Rights Film Festivals; ESP magazine, Artells Magazine, Lens Culture, and MOZAIK Philanthropy.
Niloofar holds an MFA degree in Motion Pictures and Television, with an emphasis in directing, from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She started her professional career in 2004, and since then, she has worked as a filmmaker, writer, and visual storyteller in various artistic settings.
2022 Future Art Award
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
The Cypress Tree
Feature Film, Development, 2024.
Short Film, Mozaik, Future Art award, 2022.
Behind me, No wind
Short Documentary, 2024.
Woman. Life. Freedom
Cover award, ESTI Magazine, November 2022.
Short Film, Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, Market, 2022.
In Pursuit of Freedom
Official selection, Short Documentary; Africa Human Rights Film Festival, 2021.
Official Selection, Best short movie; Prague International
Film Awards 2021.
Photo Group Exhibition; The Laundry, San Francisco, California, 2019.
Photo Group Exhibition; Metreon, San Francisco, California, 2018.
Play, Village Theater, and Art Gallery,
Danville, California, 2018.
Play, Buriel Clay Theatre,
San Francisco, California, 2016.