Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars | 90 min | IRAN/DENMARK | 2013

Directed by Berit Madsen

This is a story of longing, dreaming, and ambition against all odds. When teenager Sepideh discovers an unquenchable interest in astronomy, she finds there are more than a few barriers between her lifestyle in the Iranian countryside and her professional aspirations—including an aggressively conservative uncle, marital expectations, and financial struggles. Yet she is able to peek through the clouds of circumstance at the great beyond, finding inspiration in the work of Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian woman in space, and expressing herself in a series of letters to her late hero, Albert Einstein. The action on the ground is interwoven with breathtaking shots of constellations, a reflection of Sepideh’s aspirations.

Recommended age 12 +

Director’s Bio

Berit Madsen is a social anthropologist and documentary filmmaker from Denmark. She has carried out fieldwork in the Caribbean, Nepal, Niger and Denmark and has produced a number of documentary films as part of her ethnographic research. Her film production lies within the genre of observational cinema, with a strong emphasis on the relationship across the camera and on using the camera as a tool for investigation. Sepideh is her first feature film.