Director: Mohsen Abdolvahab



In post-revolutionary war-torn Iran, a group of engineering classmates start their own industrial revolution just as most industry in the country is shutting down.



In 1983, amidst the hardships of post-revolutionary and war-torn Iran, a group of engineering classmates established a steel foundry near the city of Sari, in the North of Iran. Their main goal was to gain income for themselves and at the same time eliminate the nation’s dependence on foreign steel. They dubbed themselves ‘the Tabarestaners’ after the name of the province where they first began their successful collaborations. Over the years they have worked together to overcome many obstacles which were mostly due to economic problems at the national level. They founded the Tabarestan Steel Foundry and have since established other factories around Iran. The Tabarestaners have maintained their circle of friends and relatives for years. Now that they have reached retirement age they are thinking about the future of their industries.

The film starts with Mr. Gholamreza Rasoolian, CEO of Tabarestan Steel Complex, traveling to visit his factory. During the course of the film, we get to know the other Tabarestaners one by one and their roles in the development of their projects and their individual achievements. Moreover, the film depicts the Tabarestaners’ cordial relationships.




AWARDS Best Documentary Film at 4th Technological and Industrial film and Photo Festival (Farda), aslauyeh, Iran, April 2017

FESTIVALS ۴th Technological and Industrial film and Photo Festival (Farda), aslauyeh, Iran, April, 29-30, 2017 ۱st international Festival, Made in Iran, January, 4-7, 2017

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



Original Title: TabarestaniHa ۴۹ 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 Exhibition Format: DCP / Blu-Ray / DVD / H.264 File



Born in Tehran, 1957

Mohsen Abdolvahab started his cinematic activities in 1980 by editing documentary and fictional films. In addition to writing and directing two feature films Please Don’t Bother and To Be Born, he is also one of the best-known Iranian documentary makers in Iran. He has researched and/or directed more than 20 documentary films including Jobseekers in Two Shots, Lakh Mazar, and Haji Abbas’ Wives. He also has co-directed two feature films with director Rakhshan Banietemad: Gilaneh and Khoon Bazi.

Selected awards:

  • ‘Silver Wolf’ Award from the Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) for Haji Abbas’ Wives, 2001.
  • The Honorary Diploma for the Best Documentary from the Yadegar Film Festival for Lakh Mazar, 2002.
  • The Special Award of the International Religion Today Film Festival, Italy, for Lakh Mazar, 2000.
  • The Jury’s Special Award of the Kish Documentary Film Festival for Jobseekers in Two Shots, 2001.
  • The award for the best research text and script from the Roshd film Festival for Lakh Mazar, 2000.



Friends at Work was supposed to have been made by my friend and mentor Mohammadreza Moghaddassian. When he was hospitalized, I asked him about the Tabarestaners Group and why he intended to make a film about them. He spoke about their comradery and how, during the international sanctions on Iran, they had managed to devise innovations in the field of steel production and produce parts for other national industries. Not only did they prevent the shutting down of their own industry and curb unemployment among steel workers, they contributed to the national economy as a whole by helping keep other plants functioning. After Moghadassian passed away, I felt the task of making this film had been placed on my shoulders.

From the very beginning the Tabarestaners believed in the goals of producing the Karestan documentary series. Without making any demands on how I made my film, they welcomed me into their friendly group as though we were old friends. The Tabarestaners shared their secrets with me, and opened whatever doors I asked them to open. The most amazing aspect to me is their weathered and stable friendship and partnership over the years, especially in a country where the life span of partnerships and joint ventures are generally short-lived and the political and economic shocks are so frequent.  The Tabarestaners have supported each other throughout their sorrows and joys as if they were a family. I learned very much from them by telling their story, and I fell in love with each and every one of them.



Gholamreza Rasoulian, the founder and CEO of Tabarestan Steel Foundry

Birth date: 1952

Birth place: Tehran

Gholamreza Rasoulian is a graduate of the Sharif Technical University in Iran who followed his dreams to develop his nation’s industry and economic independence. He founded the Tabarestan Steel Foundry in 1982 along with 12 classmates. Although the company faced challenges in the course of its development, it was finally able to establish itself on firm ground.

Today, this complex includes 12 factories in different cities around Iran including Sari, Shiraz, Ghaem Shahr, and Yazd, where this group of friends succeed in manufacturing heavy and sophisticated components despite the high expenses incurred by research and development.

With his strong public relations and management skills, Rasoulian has been able to keep this great team together throughout the many ups and downs they have faced, reconciling any differences that arose over time. He has succeeded in maintaining one of the best established Iranian joint-stock companies with several affiliates in order to help his country work toward achieving self-sufficiency.



Writer & Director Mohsen Abdolvahab / Editor Ahmad Vafaei / Camera Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah, Reza Teimouri, Mohammad Hadadi, Reza Abyat / Composer Reza Mortazavi / Sound Designer Amir Hosein Ghassemi / Sound Recordists Yadollah Najafi, Nezam Kiaie, Vahid Razavian, Ashkan Toloeia / 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 Mohammad Reza Moghadasian, Mohsen Abdolvahab, Alireza Khoshbakht

With presence by: Gholamreza Rasoulian, Abdolhossein Shakeri, Mohammad Mazaheri, Mohammad Hossein Ebtehadj, Ahmad Hosseinzadeh, Alireza Mobarez, Assadollah Eslami, Hassan Niroomand, Fereydoon Zamani Nour, Navid Rasoulian & Ahmad Reza Rouhani

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