The Pool Party

Shorts in Competition: Student

World Premiere

USA, Iran | 14 MINUTES | Persian |


Filmed in Tehran during the weeks before the Iranian election crisis, The Pool Party combines social realism with political allegory in the story of an aged servant's rebellion against his masters. Hkani, a pious and gentle servant must clean, paint, and fill a pool in time for his mistress's daughter's birthday all while taking on the role of family psychologist and surrogate father.


Directed by Sara Zandieh and Sara Zandieh

The Pool Party explores discontent and defiance in contemporary Iran through the character of Khani, an aging family servant. Before moving to the US in the mid-80s, I grew up in Tehran with a servant much like Khani. In spring 2009, I returned after many years to make The Pool Party. I became reacquainted with the city. I saw the devout-nostalgic for a 15th century way of life-existing side by side with i-phone jockeying moderns. I saw a city percolating with strange acts of both rebellion and psychological suppression. I saw Khani again, still toiling at the estate despite his old age.

I believe the story of Khani is universal. Anyone who has ever strained, struggled, and fought against unlikely odds in order to prove themselves will be able to relate to this portrait of an elderly, overworked family servant, played by a non-actor. For those interested in seeing a humanized slice of contemporary Tehran, The Pool Party offers an excitingly fresh dimension.
Assistant Director
Siamak Kashefazar
Primary Cast
Sayeed Ali Hassani, Armita Moradi, Mojgan Taraneh, Farzad Shojai
Director of Photography
Hashem Moradi
Sara Zandieh
Sara Zandieh
Davyde Wachell
Peyman Shirkhani


Davyde Wachell
Planet Productions
Vancouver, BC V6Z3E4
Phone: (604) 974 1155
Main Contact
Sara Zandieh
Germantown, MD 20874
Phone: 301 515 8652