We are proud to announce that Mehrdad Oskouei will receive this year’s True Vision Award in honor of his achievement in, and contribution to, the field of nonfiction filmmaking.

The True Vision award is the only award given out at the fest. Oskouei is the thirteenth recipient of this honor. Last year the award was given to Adam Curtis. Other recent winners of the True Vision Award include Laura Poitras (2010), James Marsh (2011), Victor Kossakovsky (2012), and Amir Bar-Lev (2013).

Oskouei will be appearing at the fest with his newest film, Starless Dreams, as well as a selection of his previous work. Starless Dreams is an intimate portrayal of the lives of seven girls at a rehabilitation center in Tehran, Iran. Starless Dreams acts as the final piece in a documentary trilogy that includes It’s Always Late for Freedom (2008) and The Last Days of Winter (2011), all of which explore questions of crime and delinquency in Iranian youth.


“We are incredibly excited to bring Mehrdad to the festival,” said True/False programmer Pamela Cohn. “His talent is in listening closely to the stories of the ignored and marginalized and then transforming them into something beautiful.”

About his own filmmaking Oskouei stated, “My responsibility as a filmmaker, along with aiding in positive and effective social changes, is to increase public awareness. I am convinced that a documentary filmmaker should at times show images of humanity’s suffering with the hopes of putting an end to such suffering. All my films have been made with this firm belief.”

One of Oskouei’s Tehran-based producers, Siavash Jamali, conveyed the following via email: “Mehrdad and the whole team of Starless Dreams are so delighted that he will receive this unique award.”

“It’s no small feat getting a filmmaker from Tehran to Columbia, MO,” adds Fest director David Wilson. “This kind of cross-cultural exchange and the conversations it will spark are at the core of our mission.”
The award is given with support from Restoration Eye Care. The award is designed and cast in bronze by local mid-Missouri artist Larry Young.