Golshifteh Farahani was born on 10 July 1983 in Tehran, the daughter of actor/theater director Behzad Farahani and Fahime Rahiminia and sister of actress Shaghayegh Farahani. She started studying music and playing the piano at age of five. At 12, she entered a music school in Tehran. At 14, Golshifteh was cast as the lead in Dariush Mehrjui's The Pear Tree for which she won the Crystal Roc for Best Actress from the International Section of the 16th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran.
Since then she has acted in over 20 films (current 25 films), many of which have received international awards. For Boutique she won the Best Actress award from the 26th Nantes Three Continents Festival (France). In recent years she has acted in movies by some of Iran's best directors: Dariush Mehrjui's controversial film Santouri (The Santoor Player) and Bahman Ghobadi's Half Moon (winner of the Golden Shell at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival), the late Rasool Mollagholipoor's M for Mother (Iran's nominee for the 2008 Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category) for which she won the special prize by the jury for the Best Actress from the 37th Roshd International Film Festival which was held in Tehran in 2007 and Asghar Farhadi's "About Elly" (Silver Bear for Best Director from Berlin Film festival and Best film from Tribeca Film festival). Golshifteh is highly involved in environmental activities and has also become the ambassador for fighting tuberculosis in Iran. Subsequent to her involvement in the U.S. film Body of Lies, she reportedly had been prevented by Iranian authorities from leaving Iran,but this was denied by her colleagues and she later appeared at the Body of Lies premiere in the U.S. As her last acting experience in Iran, she appeared in About Elly directed by Asghar Farhadi. The film has been selected at the Tribeca Film Festival and won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. She now lives in Paris, France with her husband Amin Mahdavi.
In Iran, Golshifteh was part of an underground rock band named "Kooch Neshin" (Nomads) which won the 2nd Tehran Avenue underground rock competition. Since leaving Iran, Golshifteh has been able to continue her music career as well. She has teamed up with another exiled Iranian musician Mohsen Namjoo. Their new album Oy was released in October 2009. They have also started an international tour with 2 concerts in Italy. Since Golshifteh moved to Paris she has been working with directors Roland Joffe, Hiner Saleem and Marjane Satrapi. She has also been a member of the international jury at the 63rd Locarno Film Festival.
Her upcoming movie is Rumi's Kimia, a film in development which is directed by Dariush Mehrjui starring Golshifteh Farahani and based on a novel.
Exile from Iran
In January 2012, Golshifteh was banned from returning to her homeland after posing nude as a protest against Islamic restrictions on women's dress in the French Madame Figaro and also in the César Award's video for Most Promising Actors category.
Britain's Daily Telegraph reported that government officials told Farahani, 28, that "Iran does not need actors or artists like you. You may offer your artistic services somewhere else."
The picture on her Facebook page garnered over 14,000 likes and 1,500 shares, initiating a lively debate about her behavior. She also appeared topless in a short black-and-white film by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, called Corps et Âmes, or Bodies and Souls.