Director: Shirin Barghnavard



A poetic portrayal of the life of Shirin Parsi – rice farmer, environmentalist, and social activist.



Shirin Parsi is a rice farmer, but not an ordinary one. After receiving a BA in French literature from the University of Paris, she returned to Iran and decided not to live in the megapolis capital, Tehran. Her husband had inherited land in Shanderman, a village near the Caspian Sea, so they moved there and took up rice farming.

The Parsi family – including their two sons, who have stayed to farm with their parents – has instituted innovations in rice production. They promote sustainable farming and refrain from using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In a region where more and more farmers are selling their farms at very cheap prices to developers, the Parsis produce 100% organic rice.

Shirin and her family have chosen an exemplary lifestyle which is rich in indigenous values. In addition to rice farming, she spends time as a social activist and volunteers with several local NGOs. She is especially active in women’s groups where she focuses on raising awareness.

This film follows Shirin preparing the rice paddies until the rice harvest, as well as showing her social activities, as she attempts to bring about social and environmental change.





  • Special Jury Award, 14th Green Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea, May 2017



  • ۶th Iran International Green Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, September 9-15, 2017
  • ۱۴th Green Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea, May 18-24, 2017
  • ۳۵th Fajr International Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, April 21-28, 2017



  • Iran Newspaper, Tehran, July 1, 2017
  • ۱۰th International Documentary Film Festival , Cinema Verite, (Special Section of KARESTAN) Tehran, Iran, December, 4 -11, 2016



Original Title: Shaerane Zendegi

۷۳ min., English Subtitle, HD, Color, Iran, 2017

Original Languages: Persian, Taleshi, French

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 1:1.85

Sound Format: Stereo

Exhibition Format: DCP / Blu-Ray / DVD / H.264 File


Shirin Barghnavard is an independent documentary filmmaker who focuses on social and women’s issues. Her film 21 Days and Me explores how she is affected by the importance that traditional society places on getting pregnant, even after she is diagnosed with a tumor and awaits an operation. The narration is done by herself, her husband and her family.

Barghnavard was born in Tehran in 1976 and is a member of the Iranian Documentary Film Association (IRDFA) and the Iranian Short Film Association (ISFA). She started her career 20 years ago with social and experimental films. After receiving a BA in cinema from Soureh University in Tehran in 1999, she attended the Central Institute for Technology in Australia, where she received an MA in film directing in 2007. She then returned to Iran.

Her short films include The Eclipse and Good Morning Mona Lisa. Her documentary films include Profession: Documentarist and Scenes from a Divorce. She has also edited several documentary films, including Hey, Humans! directed by Rakhshan Banietemad, Fest of Duty directed by Firouzeh Khosrovani.

Selected awards:

  • For Scenes from a Divorce, best documentary film from the 4th Women’s Film Festival in Herat, 2016.
  • For Profession: Documentarist, the Tim Hetherington Award from the Sheffield Film Festival, 2014; the Jury Award from the Asiatica Film Festival, 2014; the Jury Award from the Women’s Documentary Film Festival, Mumbai, 2014; the Audience Selected film Award from the Cairo Women’s Film Festival, 2014; Best Documentary Award from the 5th Festival of Iranian Films in London, 2014.
  • For 21 Days and Me, the 5th award for the top 10 documentary films of Iran, 2013.
  • For Conversation, the Young Jury Award from the 3rd Tehran Short Film Festival, 1999; the Jury Award from the 2nd University Students’ Film Festival of Tehran, 1999.


Shirin Parsi is hard-working and resolute. Her dedicated spirit makes her passionate about life in all of its aspects. She appreciates life, and strongly believes that human beings can play a positive role in the universe. That is why she has chosen such a distinct lifestyle for herself; a lifestyle that has made her a fascinating and influential character. Now, during an era when societal and economic uncertainty has led to widespread dissatisfaction and despair, she revives lost hope in humanity by looking at life from an insightful and unique point of view.



Shirin Parsi, the founder and CEO of ‘Nokeshte Shalikarane Khazar’ (Caspian New Rice Farmers Co)

Birthdate: 1954

Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Shirin Parsi has been elected the best farmer from the province of Gilan. She returned to Iran in 1978 after getting her degree in French literature in Paris, and settled with her husband in the village of Shanderman in Gilan, where she has lived full time since 1996. Her contributions to the agriculture of the region have been regulating water consumption, leveling arable land, and mechanizing agriculture.  Her approaches were later adopted by other local rice farmers.

In 2005, she officially registered this family business under the name of ‘Nokeshte Shalikarane Khazar’ (Caspian New Rice Farmers Co) and was granted legal status. This company provides both educational and agricultural services, and is family-run. All the phases of rice farming are fully mechanized. She has recently added brown rice to her products.

Along with her agricultural business, Shirin Parsi has kept up with her social activities, and has contributed to the organization of several NGOs including: The National Association of Women Entrepreneurs, the Society of Women and Youth for the Environment, and the Women’s Society to Fight Gilan’s Environment Pollution



Writer, Director & Editor Shirin Barghnavard / Cinematographer Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah / Composer Peyman Yazdanian / Sound Designer Amir Hosein Ghassemi / Sound Recordists Vahid Razavian, Meysam Hasanloo, Hassan Shabankareh / Unit Production Manager Abed Nicpoo / Color Grading Hamidreza Fatourehchian, Sindokht Rahimian / Still Photographers Abbas Kowsari, Peyman Hooshmandzadeh / Graphic Designer Hamed Jaberha / Project Advisors Mahmoud Nazzari, Hossein Akbari / Research Management Team (EDF) Firouzeh Saber, Zahra Emrani / Researchers Shirin Barghnavard, Z. Emrani

With presence by: Shirin Parsi and Mohammad Reza Marzban, Soroush Marzban, Ahmad Marzban, Brigitte Colette

Production Sponsors: Mark Amin, Aliasghar Hajibaba, Tabarestan Steel Foundry, Iran vice Presidency of Women and Family Affairs, Mahmoud Nazzari, Dozhpad, Shila Fastfood

Distribution Sponsor: Saman Bank

Artistic Consultant: Rakhshan Banietemad

Producer: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

A Product of KARA Film Studio