Life May Be
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    Life May Be

    Directed by

    Iran, United Kingdom

    2014

    80 min

    • English

    Documentary

    An epistolary feature film: a cinematic discourse between a British director, (Mark Cousins, the celebrated film maker and historian) and an Iranian actress and director (Mania Akbari, famed for her work with Abbas Kiarostami and in her own right as a director) which extends the concept of "essay film" with startling confrontations in the arenas of cultural issues, gender politics and differing artistic sensibilities. A unique journey into the minds of two exceptional filmmakers which becomes a love affair on film.

    Awards

    • IFFS Jury Don Quijote Award - Fribourg IFF

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Mania Akbari
    Mark Cousins
    Screenplay
    Mania Akbari
    Mark Cousins
    Cinematography
    Mania Akbari
    Mark Cousins
    Festival Bookings
    THE FESTIVAL AGENCY
    Production
    HIBROW

    Press

    "Mark Cousins' latest essay film is a two-way love letter to Iranian artist-film-maker Mania Akbari, with intriguing results"

    Andrew Pulver, The Guardian

    Mania Akbari

    Mania Akbari

    Iran

    Mania Akbari (b. Tehran, 1974) is an internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker. Her provocative, revolutionary and radical films were recently the subject of retrospectives at the BFI, London 2013, the DFI, Denmark 2014, Oldenburg International FF, Germany 2014, Cyprus FF 2014 and Nottingham Contemporary UK 2018. Her films have screened at festivals around the world and have received numerous awards including German Independence Honorary Award, Oldenberg 2014, Best Film, Digital Section, Venice FF 2004, Nantes Special Public Award Best Film 2007 and Best Director and Best film at Kerala FF 2007, Best Film and Best Actress, Barcelona FF 2007. Akbari was exiled from Iran and currently lives and works in London, a theme addressed in LIFE MAY BE (2014), co-directed with Mark Cousins. This film was released at Karlovy Vary FF and was nominated for Best Documentary at Edinburgh International FF 2014 and Asia Pacific FF 2014. Akbari’s latest film A MOON FOR MY FATHER (2019) made in collaboration with British artist Douglas White, premiered at CPH:DOX where it won the NEW:VISION Award 2019. The film also received a FIPRESCI International Critics Award at the Flying Broom Festival, Ankara.

    Selected Filmography

    Mark Cousins

    Mark Cousins

    United Kingdom

    Movies have broadened out. They started as a babbling brook and now they’re a big, wide river – and all over the world.

    Mark Cousins is a Northern Irish filmmaker, critic and programmer. He programmed the Edinburgh FF (1996-97), hosted BBC2’s MOVIEDROME (1997-2000) and SCENE BY SCENE (1999-2000). He is the author of "The Story of Film" and co-wrote "Imagining Reality: the Faber Book of Documentary" with Kevin Macdonald. In addition, he is the co-founder (with Tilda Swinton) of the 8½ Foundation which is a Scottish-based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to introducing world cinema to children. His works include THE FIRST MOVIE, THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY (Stanley Kubrick Award from Michael Moore) and many more including 6 DESIRES: DH LAWRENCE AND SARDINIA, LIFE MAY BE, A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM, WHAT IS THIS FILM CALLED LOVE?, HERE BE DRAGONS, I AM BELFAST, and more. Cousins curated a season of films for the Romanian Cultural Institute in London. In 2016 he made his debut as a fiction director with STOCKHOLM MY LOVE, which was released in the UK by the BFI. In 2017 he completed BIGGER THAN THE SHINING. His latest book, The Story of Looking, is about humankind's visual engagement with the world. That year he also completed the film THE EYES OF ORSON WELLES about the filmmaker's graphic art. At the start of 2018, he has just completed a 2 hour, four screen, commission for the Rotterdam Film Festival, Storm in My Heart, and is editing a 22 hour film, Eye Opener, which looks again at cinema, from the perspective of women directors.

    Selected Filmography