Mona’s Dream

mona pic.pngTwo years ago I wrote about the project to tell the story of the martyrdom of Mona, a Baha’i teenager, along with 9 other Baha’i women in Shiraz. At the time, I was hopeful but guarded in my optimism:

On the one hand, I know that Mel Gibson and company have oodles of money to throw around after the record shattering success of their movie. But on the other hand, Hollywood is notorious for being a black hole for such worthy projects.

There have been many false starts before to making a major motion picture directly related to the Baha’i Faith. But I’m glad to see that Jack Lenz and his team have gained momentum and are into pre-production. It seems more and more likely that this project will in fact be getting off the ground.

aghdashloo.pngIn fact, casting has already started. The role of Mona’s mother will be played by Shohreh Aghdashloo. The Oscar nominated actress is the most high profile person to be linked to the project, so far. Her involvement is fantastic as it will bring prestige to the movie. But if such high calibre actors are also cast for the other major roles… well, lets just hope Jack Lenz has secured some deep pockets to finance the movie.

Here’s the official ‘blurb’ :

?Mona’s Dream? is a feature film that tells the story of Mona Mahmudnizhad and her family. Mona was 16 years old when she was arrested in the Iranian city of Shiraz along with scores of other Bah??’?s. The Islamic Republic of Iran, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, had set out to rid their country and their revolution of the Bah??’? Community, the largest religious minority in Iran. Mona and her family were victims of their cruel and intolerant persecution. She and her father were arrested on October 22nd, 1982 and suffered intense psychological and physical torture for several months. Jamshid, her father, was executed on March 12th, 1983 and Mona and nine of her female companions were executed on June 18th, 1983 by hanging.

I didn’t know that she was arrested at the same time as her father, nor that he had also been killed. Follow this link to learn more about Mona and her life.

The official website for the movie is at Mona’s Dream. If you have your sound on, turn down the volume. You can keep up to date on the progress of the project by checking back at the website. And if you are interested to get involved by contributing your talent, contact Mehr Mansouri who is the casting agent.

To tide you over until the movie comes out, here is the video for the song “Mona with the Children”:

Many thanks to Lara Kearns who was kind enough to forward this information in a comment for the original post.

  • Ramez

    I am very excited about this project. What can I do to get involved?

  • Ramez

    I am very excited about this project. What can I do to get involved?

  • Nagme Rohani

    I am very excited about this project, I am living in Rhodes Greece, in this city we have Old Town which has some part looking seemlier to the area that House of Bab in Shiraz located (in my best knowledge Mona was living in the same area) there are parts of some movie made in this Old Town such as ?Beyond Friendship ? I had small playact in this movie.
    Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.
    With loving Bah??’? greetings

  • Nagme Rohani

    I am very excited about this project, I am living in Rhodes Greece, in this city we have Old Town which has some part looking seemlier to the area that House of Bab in Shiraz located (in my best knowledge Mona was living in the same area) there are parts of some movie made in this Old Town such as ?Beyond Friendship ? I had small playact in this movie.
    Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.
    With loving Bah??’? greetings

  • Robert Thaggard

    I am waiting anxiously to hear further details on the progress of this film. If this film is actively being pursued is there any opportunity for us to invest or contribute financially to its realization? The present U.S.-Iran political tensions may stir the masses to view such a film and the production and release may coincide at an opportune time. Crisis and Victory!

    Baha’i greetings from Alaska!

  • Robert Thaggard

    I am waiting anxiously to hear further details on the progress of this film. If this film is actively being pursued is there any opportunity for us to invest or contribute financially to its realization? The present U.S.-Iran political tensions may stir the masses to view such a film and the production and release may coincide at an opportune time. Crisis and Victory!

    Baha’i greetings from Alaska!

  • milad

    kheyli rohaniye,,,vaghan haze rohani bordam

  • milad

    kheyli rohaniye,,,vaghan haze rohani bordam

  • Mona Mohammad Hosseini

    mamnun
    vaghean mamnun
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Mona MH

  • Mona Mohammad Hosseini

    mamnun
    vaghean mamnun
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Mona MH

  • nassim

    abha
    misiiiiiiiiiiiiii:*:*:*

  • nassim

    abha
    misiiiiiiiiiiiiii:*:*:*

  • Diyaa Mani

    May God shower His blessings upon the makers of this movie… We should acknowledge the sacrifice these 10 wonderful angels of God… And many others who were martyred as well… And to remind us to bear in mind of our duties while on the face of earth…. I cannot wait for the release of the movie…Hope it will be soon. Alla’u’abha and God bless you…

    With loving Bahai greetings from Malaysia…. :)

  • Diyaa Mani

    May God shower His blessings upon the makers of this movie… We should acknowledge the sacrifice these 10 wonderful angels of God… And many others who were martyred as well… And to remind us to bear in mind of our duties while on the face of earth…. I cannot wait for the release of the movie…Hope it will be soon. Alla’u’abha and God bless you…

    With loving Bahai greetings from Malaysia…. :)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Yes. Indeed. Thanks for reminding me about it. It has been a while since any news came out from the production team. I assume they are still seeking funding – the $10 million ‘grant’ from Icon Productions apparently was more rumor than fact.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Yes. Indeed. Thanks for reminding me about it. It has been a while since any news came out from the production team. I assume they are still seeking funding – the $10 million ‘grant’ from Icon Productions apparently was more rumor than fact.

  • Pingback: Mona’s Dream Film Update at Baha’i Rants

  • Anna Starr

    Alla’u’abha Friends
    My name is Anna Starr. I am a Bahai residing in New Zealand. I Study Fine Arts at Elam Contemporary School of Fine Arts and i am embarking on a challenging new project. I will producing an installational art piece that will tell the incredible story of Mona Mahmunizhad. It will be created in the hope that her voice can continue to resonate throughout the world and tell people of the relentless persecution that continues in Iran. I pray that it will reach many people and touch their hearts. I will post some more follow-up information here in the future to update on the progress. As i may need some help from my fellow Bahais and your friends to make this project successful. This service project will also help to bring about awareness of Mona’s Dream which im very excited about.

    God bless Mona
    Anna Starr

  • Anna Starr

    Alla’u’abha Friends
    My name is Anna Starr. I am a Bahai residing in New Zealand. I Study Fine Arts at Elam Contemporary School of Fine Arts and i am embarking on a challenging new project. I will producing an installational art piece that will tell the incredible story of Mona Mahmunizhad. It will be created in the hope that her voice can continue to resonate throughout the world and tell people of the relentless persecution that continues in Iran. I pray that it will reach many people and touch their hearts. I will post some more follow-up information here in the future to update on the progress. As i may need some help from my fellow Bahais and your friends to make this project successful. This service project will also help to bring about awareness of Mona’s Dream which im very excited about.

    God bless Mona
    Anna Starr

  • Anisa

    Abha

    I am very excited for this project and would like to sincerely suggest, if funds be necessary, I believe truly that many of our spiritual brothers & sisters would donate towards this from all around the world… Please let us know somehow if this is a case..

  • Anisa

    Abha

    I am very excited for this project and would like to sincerely suggest, if funds be necessary, I believe truly that many of our spiritual brothers & sisters would donate towards this from all around the world… Please let us know somehow if this is a case..

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Anisa, the guidance that I've seen from the UHJ is that this should be a private endeavor and not officially supported by the Baha'i funds. But I'm sure if you want to donate money, you can contact Jack Lenz.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Anisa, the guidance that I've seen from the UHJ is that this should be a private endeavor and not officially supported by the Baha'i funds. But I'm sure if you want to donate money, you can contact Jack Lenz.

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonja

    Kia Ora Anna,

    How did your installation go?
    I'm interested because I'm also an artist and a Bahai.
    If you wish to email me off the list about this, Baquia knows my email address.

    Here's what I do: http://www.sonjavank.com

    hei konei ra, Sonja

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonja

    Kia Ora Anna,

    How did your installation go?
    I'm interested because I'm also an artist and a Bahai.
    If you wish to email me off the list about this, Baquia knows my email address.

    Here's what I do: http://www.sonjavank.com

    hei konei ra, Sonja

  • Anna Starr

    Hi Sonja! The installation went really well thank you and thanks for enquiring about my work! I am putting my pieces up on a website currently and will post more on my facebook page too. Currently i have the photograph i did for the Mona Mahmudizhad work on my facebook page so have a look at that if you like. . I will let you know when the work is up on the website. I was very excited to see your website, your practice is very extensive, where did you study?
    Talk to you soon!

  • Anna Starr

    Hi Sonja! The installation went really well thank you and thanks for enquiring about my work! I am putting my pieces up on a website currently and will post more on my facebook page too. Currently i have the photograph i did for the Mona Mahmudizhad work on my facebook page so have a look at that if you like. . I will let you know when the work is up on the website. I was very excited to see your website, your practice is very extensive, where did you study?
    Talk to you soon!

  • mehran

    Anyone knows who will direct the movie?
    Thanks.
    Mehran :)

  • mehran

    Anyone knows who will direct the movie?
    Thanks.
    Mehran :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Good question. Since there has been no news of progress since almost one year ago, I don't think the project is really moving forward at this time. I'll ask around and see if anyone knows more details.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Good question. Since there has been no news of progress since almost one year ago, I don't think the project is really moving forward at this time. I'll ask around and see if anyone knows more details.

  • mehran

    I am a filmmaker and a Baha'i; and I haven't been able to get any answers from anyone. I believe to direct Mona's Dream should be a calling and not another day in the office.
    This is a great responsibility, not with respect to film industry, but with respect to Baha'is all over the world who will see this movie with a sense of pride and respect. Mona's Dream represents the untold stories of many, many other Baha'is who have shared Mona's fate. Hence the right director, with the right vision, is pivotal.
    Mehran :)

  • mehran

    I am a filmmaker and a Baha'i; and I haven't been able to get any answers from anyone. I believe to direct Mona's Dream should be a calling and not another day in the office.
    This is a great responsibility, not with respect to film industry, but with respect to Baha'is all over the world who will see this movie with a sense of pride and respect. Mona's Dream represents the untold stories of many, many other Baha'is who have shared Mona's fate. Hence the right director, with the right vision, is pivotal.
    Mehran :)

  • http://www.johnwardknox.com/ John Ward Knox

    Hi Anna

    I’d like to hear about the projects you are working on. I don’t think I came across your work at the recent open day.

    If you would like to meet up for a coffee and a chat let me know at johnwardknox@gmail.com

  • http://www.johnwardknox.com/ John Ward Knox

    Hi Anna

    I'd like to hear about the projects you are working on. I don't think I came across your work at the recent open day.

    If you would like to meet up for a coffee and a chat let me know at johnwardknox@gmail.com

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonjavank

    Kia ora Anna,

    See my cv page for where I studied, etc
    http:www.sonjavank.com/cv.htm

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonjavank

    Kia ora Anna,

    See my cv page for where I studied, etc
    http:www.sonjavank.com/cv.htm

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/ZNPAAGWU7AC6XIERJALVTQWFAE Berneen

    In a world of greed and selfishness, it is refreshing to know that there are still those who honestly give of themselves 100% for the betterment of mankind regardless if it means giving the ultimate sacrifice of their life to maintain that honesty.

  • Danielsanderson

    I am making a documentary about this subject, I am an advocate for the wrongly convicted and unjust justice, if you check out my channel on youtube.com (dopeydeasy) I have a couple videos on there I just started with this and my video for Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter hit the top of the youtube charts faster than any other video that is related to the one I made http://youtu.be/WMcrci6KomU . I want to shed light on the story of “Mona of The Children”, I will gladly work with others that would like to take part, my e-mail is: danielsanderson@hotmail.ca, Thank you very much.