The President

Australian Premiere | 2015

Director's Biography
Director's Biography
Born in Iran in 1957. Mohsen Makhmalbaf is a filmmaker, novelist, screenwriter, editor, producer and human rights activist.
Since his debut as a filmmaker in 1983 he has directed more than 20 feature films in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Turkey and several other countries. Winning over 50 awards at festivals world wide his films include “Gabbeh” (1996, Cannes Film Festival), “Kandahar” (2001) which was selected as one of the top 100 films of all time by TIME Magazine, and the acclaimed 2012 documentary “The Gardener”.
In addition to filmmaking Makhmalbaf lived in Afghanistan for a period of two years, carrying out numerous human rights projects including building schools and working towards a renewal of the Afghan cinema, which had been totally destroyed during the Taliban regime. The Iranian government has levied a ban on Makhmalbaf’s works and has threatened his safety over the years. Since leaving Iran in 2005 in protest against the pressure of censorship, Makhmalbaf is based in London and Paris.


The President tells the story of a dictator who comes face to face with the people he previously subjugated. The President and his family rule their land with an iron fist, enjoying lives of luxury and leisure at the expense of their population’s misery. When a coup d’état overthrows his brutal rule and the rest of his family flees the country by plane, The President is suddenly left to care for his young grandson and forced to escape. Now the country’s most wanted fugitive with a bounty on his head, The President begins a perilous journey with the boy, criss-crossing the country to reach the sea where a ship waits to bring them to safety. Posing as street musicians and traveling together with the people who suffered for years under the dictatorship, the fallen President and the innocent child will be exposed first hand to the hardships that inspired unanimous hatred for the regime.


  • Venice-Orizzonti Film Festival
  • BFI London
  • Chicago International Film Festival

Production Team

Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Georgia/ France/ United Kingdom
119 min
Georgia with English Subtitles
Premiere Status 
Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Marziyeh Meshkiny
Maysam Makhmalbaf, Mike Downey, Sam Tailor, Vladimer Katcharav
Misha Gomiashvili, Dachi Orvelashvili

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