Mary Apick. The Iranian expatriate who was forced to flee during the revolution, was one of the most popular actresses in Iran before that disastrous occurrence. She is also a writer, director, producer and an internationally known human rights activist who has received several humanitarian awards.
For her work in “Deadend” (“Bon Bast”), Mary Apick won the Best Actress Award at the 1977 Moscow Film Festival
She was the first Iranian actor to win an international award.
Recently she has been working with many of the top actors and directors in the U.S. Mary guest starred in two episodes of “Homeland,” portraying an Iranian woman coming to this country in search of freedom. She starred in the feature films “Price for Freedom,” Winner of the Best Film Award from Miami Palm Beach international Film Festival “Monday Nights at Seven” produced by Academy Award nominee Edward James Olmos, “Roxana,” “Samir” and “Over My Dead Body.”
“Over My Dead Body” and “Samir” will be released soon. “Price for Freedom,” “Monday Nights at Seven,” and “Roxana” will all be available through On-Demand.
Mary is also working with many young expatriate Iranian filmmakers, especially the women. She loves the passion, intensity, and creativity they bring to their work. They have chosen to be part of this new wave of filmmakers and she is happy to help in any way she can.
Mary recently starred in the play, “Bending Reeds,” by Brent Ashgari, starring with Ethan Rains and she will be showcasing the play very soon.
Her own play, “Beneath the Veil,” which she wrote and directed, won the Critics’ Choice Award in Los Angeles. It deals with the plight of women and children in Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world. It has been presented in association with several human rights groups, for performances at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Lincoln Center in New York City, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Honored guests and attendees have included Laura Bush (Former First Lady of the United States), Queen Farah Pahlavi (Former Queen of Iran), and Meryl Streep (American Actress).
Mary remains very active on social media, especially on the issue of women’s rights, both here and in Iran. She has spoken before the US Congress on the subject of women’s rights in the Middle East.
Rayka Zehtabchi just won an Oscar for her documentary short film, “Period, End of Sentence.”
Mary Apick and Rayka Zehtabchi are the First two Iranian women to win international filmmaking awards. They have worked together in the recent past and they will be working together again soon.
Rayka is a recent graduate of the USC Film School. She burst onto the filmmaking scene with her short film, “Madaran” (“The Mothers”), which she directed and Mary starred in. It was produced by Mehrad Sarlak. It won many awards, including Best Director at the Holy Short Film Festival. It was also on the final Ten short list of films being considered for an Oscar nominate last year. Her next project, “Period, End of Sentence,” won an Oscar this year. She is currently working on a feature length film on the same subject.