Mona's story to begin filming


Mona's story to begin filming
by SCE Campaign

Sources: Dariush Kadivar/Payvand & Malta Independent Online

Nazanin Afshin-Jam to play in the joint Mel-Gibson, Jack Lenz poduction.

The true story of Mona Mahmudnizhad, the courageous young Baha’i teacher who was martyred in 1983 along with 10 other Baha’i women in the Iranian city of Shiraz, a particularly resounding echo of the painful reality of human rights violations in today’s Iran, is due to start filming in October/November in Malta.

The film, entitled Mona’s Dream, is a $10 million project that entered pre-production last May with the financial backing of Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions film company.

Canadian musician and composer, Jack Lenz, was asked to collaborate with Mel Gibson a few years ago on the musical score of the film The Passion of the Christ. Lenz spent more than a year travelling around the world and researching ancient instruments, cultures and their music to come up with an idea of what kind of music would be historically accurate and appropriate for Mel Gibson’s magnum opus. It was widely expected that he would be named as composer for the movie but later on, Mel Gibson and his associates ended up choosing John Debney for that role. Nevertheless, Lenz continued to work on the project and ended up contributing to many of the original titles and songs in the movie.

Late last year, Mel Gibson and the other producers of The Passion of the Christ met with Jack Lenz in Los Angeles. They wanted to communicate their appreciation for the hard work he had put into the project and asked him how they could return the favour. Jack Lenz replied that it had always been a lifelong dream of his to make an original motion picture about the martyrdom of Mona, a 17-year-old Iranian Baha’i girl.

He then proceeded to tell Mel Gibson and his associates about Mona’s story; how she had been taken away by Iranian authorities and interrogated; how she had been told that she would be, along with nine other women, summarily executed; how she had asked to be hung last so that she would be able to pray for the other women; and how she had met her death with serenity and strength, never wavering in her faith.

 Lenz also showed them a letter that Mona had written herself...

According to a recent interview on VOA Persian Service the finished script was finally approved and shooting is supposed to start in Malta by early Fall 2008 and complete post-production is due in March 2009.

An international Cast as Well as High Profile Iranian actors have committed to the project including: 

Keisha Castle-Hughes (Oscar-nominated actress from 'Whale Rider', also in 'Star Wars Episode III)

Shohreh Aghdashloo (Oscar-nominated actress from 'House of Sand and Fog', also in '24′, 'Lake House' and 'X-Men: The Last Stand')

Cas Anvar (Canadian-Iranian actor from Shattered Glass) as Khalid, Chief Interrogator

Nazanin Afshin-Jam (Singer/Songwriter and debuting as actress; International Human Rights Activist, and Miss World Canada and Miss World runner-up) as Tahirih.


Mona Mahmudnizhad (1965-June 18, 1983) was a Persian Bahá'í who, together with nine other Bahá'í women, was sentenced to death and hanged in Shiraz because of her membership to the Bahá'í Faith.

Mona Mahmudnizhad was arrested and charged for teaching Bahá'í school classes to children. The Iranian authorities tried to make Mahmudnizhad, and the other arrested Bahá'í women, recant their religious beliefs through torture. However, when the women did not recant they were sentenced to death. At the time of their sentencing, the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, as well as Human Rights Organizations made a plea for clemency, but the women were hanged on June 18, 1983


more from SCE Campaign

No Director as yet...

by faryarm on

No Director as yet...



directing Mona's Dream

by Mehran Saky (not verified) on

I still can't find out anything about the director on this movie.

It would be great to know who will direct the movie since it's a great responsibilty, not in respect to film industry standards, but with respect to Baha'is all over the world who will see this movie with a sense of pride and respect. Mona's legacy and this movie represent the untold stories of many, many other Baha'is sharing the same fate as Mona.

It does matter who will bring the righth vision to tell her story. Hence directing this movie should be a calling and not another day in the office.

Mehran :)

Darius Kadivar

Regarding Gibson's involvement

by Darius Kadivar on

I got alot of emails regarding this article from many readers asking me to correct this information which I gathered from various reliable news sources.

To make sure I emailed the production team and Mr. Lenz for feedback in this regard but got no response yet. If I do I will certainly let you know and correct or update this information if denied or on the contrary confirmed.

In the movie business co production happens often and having a BIG Name as executive producer is often an asset. That does not mean that Gibson will direct the film ( something that I never claimed) but invest money into it.

We will certainly learn more when production begins.

Again I am willing to update this info if Mr. Lenz and the production team responds to my email.

Thanks for your interest and feedbacks anyway.





Mel Gibson is not involved..

by faryarm on

Dear Darius,

Although much of the info given on the Mona flm is correct, the info regarding Mel Gibson's contribution is incorrect.



Mona 19

Mona is one of the many victims...

by Mona 19 on

It's really remarkable to have such dedication and devotion at the tender age... When this story is told to the world it must have a great effect on many, many souls.


P.S. Dear Nazanin...May your kindness and hardworks return to you in the same beautiful way it's offered.



Regards,Mona ;)