January 30, 2014, Washington, D.C. – “The Iran Job,” the real life story of an American basketball player in Iran, has been shortlisted for the German Film Award for “Best Documentary,” presented by the German Film Academy (Deutsche Filmakademie e.V).
Directed by Til Schauder and produced by Sara Nadjoumi, the documentary follows American basketball player Kevin Sheppard as he accepts a job to play in Iran. With tensions running high between Iran and the West, Kevin tries to separate sports from politics, only to find that politics is impossible to escape in Iran. Along the way, he forms an unlikely alliance with three outspoken Iranian women, Hilda, Laleh, and Elaheh. Thanks to these women, his apartment turns into an oasis of free speech, where they discuss everything from politics to religion to gender roles. Kevin begins to see Iran through the eyes of his female friends and learns that many Iranians disagree with their government and yearn for a freer society.
The German Film Academy, founded in 2003 in Berlin, aims to provide native filmmakers a forum for discussion and a way to promote the reputation of German cinema through publications, presentations, discussions and regular promotion of the subject in the schools.
“The Iran Job” was a surprise success in its limited theatrical release in the fall of 2012, generating major media attention from CNN, NPR and others.
In January 2013, PAAIA organized a screening of the documentary for Congressional staff, administration officials, and individuals working for non-governmental agencies in Washington, D.C., followed by a discussion with the film’s director and producer.