Actor Arian Moayed Signs On To EP Oscar-Contender ‘Joonam,’ Award-Winning Documentary On Iranian-American Experience

EXCLUSIVE: Succession star Arian Moayed is getting behind the award-winning documentary Joonam as it makes a push for Oscar consideration.

The Emmy- and Tony-nominated actor-writer-director, who was born in Iran and grew up in the U.S., has signed on to executive produce Joonam, a story of three generations of women who form part of the Iranian diaspora. The film opens theatrically on December 1 at Firehouse: DCTV’s Cinema for Documentary Film in New York, expanding to other cities throughout December and January.

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We have your first look at the documentary in the trailer below.

'Joonam' director Sierra Urich and Mitra Samimi Urich pose for a portrait at Getty Images Portrait Studio at Stacy's Roots to Rise Market on January 21, 2023 in Park City, Utah.
‘Joonam’ director Sierra Urich with her mother Mitra Samimi Urich at the Sundance Film Festival.

In the deeply personal film, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Persian-American director Sierra Urich feels a growing sense of urgency to come to terms with her roots in Iran, the country her mother, Mitra, and her grandmother, Behjat, left behind. That involves trying to master Farsi, and learning about the experiences of her mother and grandmother before political developments forced them to head to America.

In a statement, Moayed commented, “As more and more people start realizing the complexities of our backgrounds, ethnicities, and stories, it’s refreshing and electrifying to have Iranian American filmmakers like Sierra Urich share their unfiltered upbringings for all to relate and empathize with. Joonam authentically displays the fractured nature of Iranian immigrants that have been torn away from the culture and their identity.”

“Arian has been an incredible collaborator,” Urich said. “His infectious positive energy and experience in grassroot organizing has been instrumental in helping us think of creative and effective ways to bring the film to the Iranian community in particular. Now more than ever, Iranian Americans need to see themselves represented not as a stand-ins for geopolitical explanations, but from a personal and human perspective coming from within the community itself.”

Joonam has played at prestigious festivals in the U.S. and internationally, including Millennium Docs Against Gravity in Poland and True/False in Columbia, Missouri. It won two jury awards for Best Documentary at the Bentonville Film Festival and Best Portrait Documentary at the Cleveland Film Festival. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at Sundance.

Sierra Urich makes her directorial debut with Joonam, which she also edited. The documentary is produced by Urich and Keith Wilson, and executive produced by Maida Lynn, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Bill Harnisch, and Arian Moayed.

Watch the trailer here:

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