They (2017): Iranian Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s Tale of Identity

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s They, an intimate story about searching for and establishing a new identity, stars Rhys Fehrenbacher, Koohyar Hosseini, Nicole Coffineau

Fourteen-year-old J goes by the pronoun ‘They,” and lives with his parents in the suburbs of Chicago.  J is exploring his gender identity while taking hormone blockers to postpone puberty.

After two years of medication and therapy, J has to make a decision whether or not to transition.  Over one crucial weekend, while the parents are away, J’s sister Lauren and her Iranian partner Araz arrive to take care of “They.”


Director of Photography Carolina Costa
Editors Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, Dean Gonzalez
Music Vincent Gillioz
Sound Design Tom Haigh
Produced by Zoe Sua Cho, Simone Ling
Production Mass Ornament Films

About Anahita Ghazvinizadeh:

Born 1989 in Tehran, Iran, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh received her BFA in film from Tehran University of Art and her MFA in studio arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. When the Kid was a Kid (2011, Iran), Needle (2013, USA) and The Baron in the Trees (2015, USA) form the trilogy of short films directed by her with children as main characters.

Childhood and parenthood, family theater, and exploring notions of growth and gender identity are the main themes of these works. She is the winner of the First Cinéfondation Award at Cannes and the Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival among other awards. Anahita was selected as one of the 25 New Faces of Independent filmmaking in 2013 by the Filmmaker Magazine.

She was a writing fellow at the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab in 2013, and the co-writer of the acclaimed feature, Mourning, made in 2011.

In English and Farsi with English Subtitles
Running Time: 80 minutes