Asia Help with Research for Cinema Film

Sep 2014
Southampton, UK
Hi friends,

I am a filmmaker based in the UK, and along with a few UK based Baha'i friends, I am writing a film script for a cinematic film that explores the persecution of Baha'is in Iran. I have been reading so much about the topic for the last five months but am struggling to find personal accounts of the daily experiences of Iran's Baha'i community. I speak Persian but cannot read or write it.

If anyone can help me- either by sharing your experiences or those of people you know- I would really appreciate it. We can talk on the phone/Skype/or by email.

If you want more information on the film please email me on

Here are some suggested questions that would really help my research:

What is life like on a day to day basis? Does being a Baha’i in a country that persecutes you affect your everyday life and if so how?

Do you get abuse from people on the street everyday? If so do you know these people? What do they say?

In your day to day dealings- do you associate with any muslims and if so in what way? Do you have muslim friends and neighbours? What are your relationships like with them?

Do you hide the fact that you are a Baha’i in your everyday life- and if so how? What happens (or has happened) when you have to reveal it or others find out?

How about your co-workers, employers, employees etc.. What feeling do you get with these people- do they treat you differently or act differently towards you?

When you have been the victim of persecution and you have reported it to the police or authorities- what has their behaviour towards you been like? Have some been helpful- and how? How have others been unhelpful or even discriminated against you further?

Do you think the persecution is by the state, or the majority of the people and the state?

Does the local Baha’i communities meet for regular meetings- what are these like? Are they held in someone’s house? Are you scared during these meetings?

Thanks a lot.
Dec 2012
Greetings David,

If you are the David Alamouti behind the recent Citizens’ Project and other films I am sure that the Bahá’ís within the UK may consider offering their assistance to you. The UK Government, like a number of other governments around the world, have offered refugee status to Bahá’ís fleeing Iran and because of this it is possible to locate Persian Bahá’ís that could assist with your film. However, due to the nature of protecting such Bahá’ís, it would be wise to undertake this venture with the formal assistance of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the UK. Their website can be found here Welcome to the United Kingdom Bahá’í Community and as you can see it is possible to contact them directly via email.

I would suggest that you contact the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the UK directly to open discussions over the viability of you doing this project. This is likely to be more fruitful for all parties concerned rather than hoping to find people to film through a forum invite as understandably Bahá’ís will always be cautious over sharing personal details with anyone that has not been vetted as being safe.

As all Bahá’ís in the western world have been advised to treat anyone claiming to be a Bahá’í from Iran with caution until they have been formally vetted, hopefully you can begin to see why you are unlikely to obtain any response from anyone of maturity through making a forum invite. Indeed you could even attract people that seek to pretend to be Bahá'ís. Such people are more common that you might believe and this is why caution always need to be exercised with peoples online claims. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the UK would be able to ensure that any story offered to you could be verified with formal evidence and this of course would also safeguard your own journalistic reputation too. An important factor to consider here.

Do appreciate that a number of Persian media professionals have made films about Bahá’ís for reputable media organisations outside of Iran. Indeed their contribution towards the difficulties Bahá’ís face are always sincerely valued by the Bahá’í community. In this respect your personal beliefs will not pose a problem here.

All good things and here is wishing you every success in the filming industry.

Aug 2014
Blue Planet
I am an Iranian Baha'i and I may be able to help you :) I can answer the questions you have brought up, either here in this forum or in a message in this same website or your email :) let me know which way you prefer.
best wishes
Sep 2014
Southampton, UK

Hi Earth.

Thanks for your email. I completely understand your points and appreciate how difficult it is for the community to trust others in light of what has happened to them in Iran.

To make things clear: I am not making a documentary so no one has to be filmed or identified. I am merely collecting experiences as research so as to enable me to write better fictional scenes in a script. But I think your advice of contacting the UK NSA is the best advice. I will do so.

Thanks for your response,


PS Yes I am the person who made the Citizens Project.

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