Director: Mehdi Ganji



Four students from Iran’s provinces hit on a novel idea to create a business in which people can make their own apps so set off to the capital Tehran to realize their ambition.



Puzzleys’ is the name of a four-member group of IT students who, in spite of suitable job opportunities and the opposition expressed by their families, want to start up their own business. Other than their education and determination, all they have is an idea. They need backing, experience and business knowledge, so they leave their small town to go to the capital city of Tehran to realize their dreams. They take time off from university and cram into the baggage compartment of a bus for a 15-hour trip to Tehran where the real challenges begin.








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



Original Title: PuzzleyHa

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

Original Languages: Persian

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 1:1.85

Sound Format: Stereo

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



Mehdi Ganji was born in Malayer in 1978. He studied cinematography at University. Among his first works are: With You: Moonlight, Iron Wheels, and a TV series Manifestation. His recent films depict the lives of entrepreneurs. This series of documentaries include Employment and Industry, My Mom: Manizheh is a Miner, and All My Identity Papers. The documentary film I Want to be a King is one of Ganji’s best films. It deals with the life of an accidental tourism industry entrepreneur and his relationship with his family. Ganji is an associate member of the Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association.

Selected awards:

  • for I Want to be a King: Best Documentary at the Kazan Film Festival, Russia, 2016/ the Audience Special Award in Chagrin Falls, USA, 2015/ the Special Jury Award in Flahertiana Film Festival, Russia, 2015/ the Best Documentary Award at the Iranian film Festival, Prague, 2015/the Best Documentary Award at the Iranian film Festival, San Francisco, 2015/ Award finalist candidate at the TRT Festival, Turkey, 2015/ Crystal Simorgh Award for the best documentary film director at the 33rd Fajr Film Festival, Tehran, 2014
  • for Life at the Stake: Parvin Etesami Award, 2013
  • for With You: Moonlight: the Best Short at the Kish Short documentary film Festival, 2001



For my generation who lived through the Iran/Iraq war and the turbulent 1980s in Iran, our greatest wish was to become a doctor or an engineer. We were taught to leave others behind in the marathon of life and work hard in order to attain our common stereotypes of success. Our dream was to live the life of a wealthy doctor or engineer as a member of the nouveau riche. Nobody taught us how to live creatively or which path to take for life or career. We were the products of a conformist mentality and our only duty was to keep our bank accounts full in order to maintain our living standards. This may be why, as a filmmaker, I have always been attracted to people who choose a different path, who change something, and create new values. In fact, I believe I am searching for the missing parts of my own character.

Young people who take risks and stray from traditional and safe paths are positive role models. These people face all the difficulties that starting up a new business entails. They believe that collaboration and team work is more effective than trying to advance single-handedly. Spending time filming the stories of these ordinary extraordinary people who will never appear on the covers of bestselling magazines has inspired me and changed my life.



Mohammadhosein Mohseni, 23 years old, a graduate student majoring in software.

Hossein Aryan, 23 years old, a graduate student majoring in software.

Mostafa Lotfi, 22 years old, undergraduate student majoring in software.

Hamidreza Ghaderi, 23 years old, an undergraduate student majoring in electrical engineering.

The fairy-tale success stories of entrepreneurial youth in the IT industry attract creative minds to venture into the world of start-ups. In today’s Iran, many highly motivated young people have managed to establish successful businesses. It is fascinating how these entrepreneurs under the age of 30 are creating new ways of analyzing business trends while they multi-task with state-of-the-art technologies. So far, these start-up businesses have not only created jobs, but they have also developed new values by offering effective ways to improve the quality of life of the average citizen. New services are affecting our lives. Internet stores are constantly adding to the services they have to offer. New applications that change our lives and new system designs that change industry are being created by this new young breed who envision an exciting tomorrow.

Our four hard-working students have created a mobile phone application, ‘Puzzley,’ that simplifies creating applications. With a few touches on your screen you can create your own application. They are risking valuable university time and capital borrowed from family and friends to bring their novel idea to fruition.


Writer & Director Mehdi Ganji / Based on an idea by Reza Bahraminejad / Editor Esmaeel Monsef / Cinematographers Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah, Mehdi Ganji / Composer Babak Mirzakhani / Sound Designer Amir Hosein Ghassemi / Sound Recordist Hassan Shabankareh / Unit Production Manager Abed Nicpoo / Color Grading Hamidreza Fatourehchian, Sindokht Rahimian / Still Photographer Abbas Kowsari / Graphic Designer Hamed Jaberha / Project Advisors Mahmoud Nazzari, Hossein Akbari / Research Management Team (EDF) Firouzeh Saber, Zahra Emrani / Researchers Mehdi Ganji, Seyyed Naser Nourbakhsh

With presence by: Hamid Reza Ghaderi, Mostafa Lotfi, Hossein Aryan, Mohammad Hossein Mohseni

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