The Absent Director

The Absent Director

Original Name: Dar Naboude Kargardan
English Name: The Absent Director
Year: 2021
Run time: 85 min
Language: Farsi, English
Type (Colour/ Black & white): Colour
Country: Iran
Director: Arvand Dashtaray
Producer: Hossein Akbari
Cast: Marene van Holk, Azadeh Mirzaei, Arvand Dashtaray, Tahere Hezaveh, Meysam Nowrouzi, Amin Yazdani Nejad
Screenplay: Naghmeh Samini
Cinematographer: Peyman Shadmanfar
Sound Designer: Ali Alavian
Music Composer: Ehsan Sedigh
Costume Designer: Shylan Ashyari
Production Designer: Arvand Dashtaray
Production Company: Virgule FPAC
World Sales: Arthood Entertainment
World Sales Phone:+49 (0) 30 25 56 11 65
World Sales Email:


  • Busan IFF 2021
  • Philadelphia IFF 2021

Director’s Selected Filmography:

  • 2020 Atisaz 3 (Short)
  • 2016 Atisaz 2 (Short)
  • 2014 Atisaz 1 (Short)

Director’s Biography:

An experienced and well-known director, artist, and designer in Tehran’s art scene. Born in 1981, Arvand Dashtaray began his career by studying industrial design in Tehran. With his Virgule Performing Arts Company he has produced over 25 theatrical pieces, both nationally and internationally, during the past 20 years. As a visual artist, Dashtaray completed three solo exhibitions in Shirin, Azad and Silk Road galleries in Tehran. He began his much-anticipated venture into the film medium by directing a series of short films titled Atisaz. The Absent Director is Dashtaray’s first feature film.


In one continuous take, the film follows the various members of a young Iranian theater company during their secret rehearsals of Macbeth at their Director’s home in Tehran, while he works with them remotely from Paris via video call. Their dream is to submit the play to the Edinburgh Theater Festival on time, but things get complicated when their personal conflicts escalate, and their hidden agendas come into light. The heated tensions reach their climax when a mysterious tragedy threatens to put their work into a complete halt.

The complex layers of their reality are slowly unravelled as the film seamlessly fuses the past with the present, the fiction with the non-fiction, even crossing the bridge to reality with the actors performing as themselves