Amina Maher, b. 1992,
Based in Berlin, Germany
2023 This is Not A Porn! l Director & Writer - Work in Progress - 14Min
2023 Where Is The Friend´s Home? l Director & Writer - 12Min
2015 Out Of Frame l Director & Writer - 14Min
2019 Letter to My Mother l Director & Writer - 20Min +200 Festivals +50 Awards
2015 Orange (Fiction 15 Min) l Director & Writer - 15Min BA STUDENT FILM
2013 Sweet Gin & Cold Wine l Director & Writer - 24Min BA STUDENT FILM
2012 From Tehran to London l AD - 45Min Rotterdam Int. Film Festival
2006 10+4 (Doc-Fiction 75 Min) l Actor (Herself) San Sebastian Int. Film Festival, Nantes Three Continents Int. F. F - Kerala Int. F. F
2002 Ten Nominated for Palmed´or (Documentary 89 Min) l Protagonist (Herself) No Human Rights were considered for the creation of this film. (Read More)
Amina Maher (b. Tehran, 1992) is a queer woman filmmaker whose works train her unblinking gaze on the breakdown of the family structure, shame culture, and patriarchal myths. Her works deconstruct and criticize traditions, media, culture, and norms. The daughter of a war veteran started writing poems and short stories at a very early age. Her short films have been internationally well received with +200 festival participations and +50 Awards from festivals such as 61st Ann Arbor Int. F. F, CPH:DOX, and Kassel Documentary Int. F. F among many others. Since 2019, she received international recognition in queer film festivals. Her creative work is rooted in exploring childhood memories, mental health, and self-realization with a mission to amplify trans and queer storylines. Having grown up painfully confused about gender, love, abuse, and sex, Amina strives to navigate stories that unmask some of the most commonly messiest human beliefs, emotions, and desires. Her first directorial feature film has been part of Berlinale Dok Station Lab 2023, Dok Fest München, Baltic Sea Docs, Close Up Initiative and Fid Lab Marseille in 2022. She has a BA in filmmaking from Limkokwing University in Malaysia and MA in film directing from Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf in Germany.
Amina Maher is a queer woman filmmaker and artist who was born in 1992 in Tehran, Iran. The daughter of a war veteran started writing poems and short stories at a very early age. Her filmmaking deals with themes of sadomasochism and power dynamics in relation to social taboos and patriarchy. Her interdisciplinary works train her unblinking gaze on the breakdown of family structure, shame culture, and patriarchal myths.
She began her cinematic activity as the main protagonist in the film "Ten”, nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2002, which recorded ten-year-old Amina sitting in the passenger seat of her mother’s car without her knowledge. Maher left her family at the age of fifteen and began to live on her own.
In 2007, she started her filmmaking practices by filming her friends both at school and later at university. Between 2006 to 2012, Maher continued her cinematic activity as an actor, assistant director, and editor to her mother, Mania Akbari, on several films, such as "10+4" which premiered at Cannes Acid Section and San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2006, as well as "From Tehran to London", premiered in 2013 at Rotterdam Int. Film Festival.
Maher began her study at Tehran University in 2010. Two months later, she was arrested due to her political activities and for attending the Student Day demonstration against the dictatorship. She spent a week in the notorious Evin prison. Maher subsequently left Iran to Dubai and then for Malaysia. In 2016, she received her bachelor's degree in Filmmaking from Malaysia. Her first student short film was Cold Wine, followed by Orange and One Window Will Suffice.
In 2019 she directed, produced, and distributed her multi-awarded short film, Letter to my mother (20Min), which was part of CPH:DOX Forum, Mix Milano, Glasgow Shorts, and Mexico Shorts, among many others. The film received worldwide attention with +200 festival selections and +50 awards. Among numerous reviews, the film was described as avant-garde and moving, a means for survival, a way to stand up and to understand – a fearless and strong examination that touches upon the center of the pain and dares to look precisely. َThe film is about her own experiences of childhood chart sexual rape. Her film navigates the vast yet fragile space between self-exploration and family politics within a sociocultural frame.
Due to directing controversial films, she fled to Germany in 2018. After moving to Berlin in 2019, she started her MA study in Film Directing at Babelsberg University Konrad Wolf. In 2022 she completed two short films, Out of Frame (Fiction) & Where Is The Friend´s Home? (Doc). In the same year, she disclosed her first feature film, working titled I LOOK LIKE MY MOTHER, produced by Schuldenberg Films (majority, Germany), Primitive Film (UK), Terratreme (Portugal), and Maximage (Switzerland). The film has been part of FID Lab Marseille and Dok Fest München as well as Baltic Sea Docs in 2022 with the status of Development. Since 2019 she has been politically and socially active in the areas of queer and trans politics as well as women´s rights, intersectional feminism, and #metoo movement.
Maher is also a Persian Performer, Speaker, Trans Sex Worker, Porn Maker, and Queer Activist. Between 2019 to 2022, she participated in numerous seminars, talks, and panel discussions about sexual violence and liberation, transness and body politics. Notably, her interview with Iran TV International was anarchistic, progressive, and moving. It deconstructed the mass media in many ways, including normalizing trans and queer bodies and identities. Her interview was followed by a mass attack on her on social media. Within the same period of time, she got involved in several cases of sexual violence, supporting the cis women survivors. In the same year, she had a hundred Q and A sessions for her film Letter to My mother. Her activism is about decolonizing the body and gender, encouraging herself and her environment to embrace vulnerability, and reclaiming bodies, care, and pleasure. Maher twists pain into art and joy. Similarly, she finds new questions about love concerning the experiences of abuse as two matters that can´t co-exist.