The Alien
This feature debut revolves around Bakhtiyar, a teacher who is transferred to a city in the Kurdish-speaking region of Iran. Together with his family, he tries to settle into his new environment. Yet social control makes his life increasingly difficult, as he continually refuses to behave with the opportunism expected of him in nearly every situation. When a car with a driver and a passenger appears in his street one day and remains parked there almost the whole time, his anxiety grows. All the neighbours think that it is some sort of surveillance operation focused on Bakhtiyar. Rumours fly. Has he done something wrong? Is it dangerous to socialise with him? A dynamic slowly develops from which the protagonist is unable to escape. Nader Saeivar and his co-screenwriter Jafar Panahi initially seem bound to keen everyday observations and the parameters of realistic story-telling, before these start to dissolve into something larger and more radical: a parable about paranoia, rumours and the helplessness of the individual within a repressive system.
by Nader Saeivar
with Bakhtiyar Panjeei, Sevil Shirgi, Naser Hashemi, Hadi Eftekharzadeh, Firoz Ageli, Nader Mehdilo, Reza Bageri, Mehdi Semsari, Tara Agajani, Behzad Siyah
Iran 2020 Farsi, Turkish, Kurdish 93’ Colour World premiere


  • Bakhtiyar Panjeei (Bakhtiyar)
  • Sevil Shirgi (Sevil)
  • Naser Hashemi (Mr. Solat)
  • Hadi Eftekharzadeh (Mr. Dvod)
  • Firoz Ageli (Mr. Reza)
  • Nader Mehdilo (Father)
  • Reza Bageri (Ali)
  • Mehdi Semsari (Mehdi)
  • Tara Agajani (Tara)
  • Behzad Siyah (Behzad)


Director Nader Saeivar
Written by Jafar Panahi, Nader Saeivar
Cinematography Vahid Biuote
Editing Jafar Panahi
Music Tarife Karimiyan
Sound Design Hosein Gorchiyan
Sound Abdolreza Heydari
Production Design Saman Iranzadeh
Costumes Reza Azadgar
Make-Up Homan Habibi
Casting Nader Saeivar
Assistant Director Amir Etminan
Production Manager Saman Iranzadeh
Producers Mastane Mohajer, Fateme Abolgassemi
Executive Producer Mastane Mohajer

World sales

ArtHood Entertainment

Produced by

Avaye Nafas

Nader Saeivar

Born in Tabriz, Iran in 1975. After completing his master's degree at the University of Tehran, he began making short films in 1992. Since then, Saeivar has been working as a screenwriter and director. He also lectures on Film at various institutes and universities.


1990 Gaede (The Rule); 12 min. 1993 Vzwyyat (Ascent); 14 min. 1994 Oroj (Condition); 9 min. 1998 Zamani dar nime shab (A Time in the Midnight); 14 min. · Pelle dovvom (The Second Stair); 15 min. 1999 Maraseme eid (Extra Beeches); 35 min. 2001 Marde tak noti (The Solo-noted Man); 19 min. 2002 Ilia; 40 min. 2005 Kazhmir; 20 min. 2007 Yalgiz (The Forlorn); 20 min. 2008 Barmak (The Finger); 18 min. 2010 Yol (The Path); 12 min. · Kosa Gəlin; 5 min. 2011 Ayrilik (The Separation); 20 min. 2016 Duman (The Fog); 65 min. 2017 Marsye gomshode (The Lost Requiem); 30 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020