RIP Tayebeh

The first person who responded to my article in the newspaper was Tayebeh.
A mother of 11 children.
She was married 3 times.
I met her 5 times in Iran.
She was convinced I was her daughter.
She held my hand at the DNA agency.
Tayebeh passed away in April 2017.

Dear Tayebeh-joon, grateful to have met you and spend time with you in Iran.
You are a strong, fierce, loving soul and you had to deal with losing your child without your permission. You suffered a great deal because of this and the pain never left you.
May your soul rest in peace now. I wish I could have showed you Finding Farideh but God decided otherwise. Jat khali.
With all my love,

Tayebeh on the right, her 7th child Zahra on the left.

PS. The mother is everything – she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery and our strenght in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy and forgiveness. He who loses his mother loses a pure soul who blesses and guards him constantly.
-Kahlil Gibran-

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Final edit

First of all apologies for the silence at FindFarideh…

By coming back to the Netherlands and being on my own again I could reflect again and it took some time to manifest the changes within me.

I didn’t find my biological family unfortunately.
There I finally said it. I did not find my Iranian family but I did find the Iranian part within me.

And as I noticed and still notice is that I have this huge urge to write in my own language too. I guess that is only natural… when you are busy with a once-in-a-lifetime project.

But first some updates and facts about the documentary:
– We shot 150 hours (!!) of footage during November and December 2015.
– We used transfer by foot, bike, car, bus, boat, tram, train, plane and taxi. The helicopter was cancelled.. hahaha no just kidding.
– We travelled from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) via Tehran to Mashhad (Iran).
– The filmcrew is Iranian, I am Dutch.
– We laughed a lot. I cried a lot too.
– My website is officially not available in Iran, just like Facebook and Twitter.
– Instagram is allowed in Iran… you can find me there too, search for findfarideh.

The final edit was completed two weeks ago by our great editor Hamid Najafi Rad and the directors Azadeh Moussavi and Kourosh Ataee in Tehran Iran.

The final edit!!!! I am so excited again!! And proud as well and humble to be able to experience this because of you!

You… the ones who made Finding Farideh possible by crowdfunding, you know who you are.

Tomorrow I will do the last voice-over recording here in Amsterdam… and then it is time for the music composer and my friend Billy who will do the color grading.

We have already send our final edit to the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA) and now we have to wait and be patience again to see if they find it worthy enough to show Finding Farideh during the IDFA 2017 (15 / 26 November).

It would be the greatest honour for me and the crew to show you Finding Farideh in my hometown Amsterdam, only if they let me. So fingers crossed!!

FindFarideh continues,

with love,

. When you acknowledge all parts of the heart, love remains.  -Farideh-

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My journey to Iran..

Finding Farideh has happened. I came back in the Netherlands, straight into day to day life. Work and winter time. Not my favorite time of the year.

Happy to have the best month of the year ahead of me… May! So now I see everything clearly again and I have so many ideas and so much stories to tell you about my journey of coming home.

It didn’t feel as my story anymore as everything was taped and they are now busy with the edit, it became a project with others. It is out of my hands it felt now I am here and they are there.

Though it is my journey and my blog so I am going to write about my journey and show you pictures as well. I need to tell you about the great experience I had because of you. You deserve it and I do too.

It feels like a weight has fallen off my shoulders after deciding this, hahaha. It’s the right thing to do. Find Farideh turns into Finding Farideh.

Find Farideh behind the scenes continues.
Stay tuned,

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PS. Moving forward to reach new dreams. -Farideh-

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Beautiful Khorasan, Iran

After our first day of filming Finding Farideh in Amsterdam, Mohamad showed me this short video which was made by him. It is about the province I was abandoned. In the evening we arrived back at my house and were preparing ourselves a meal, we were all happy and high spirited. Mohamad showed me this video and the intense heart feeling music and these magical images of Iran are part of me. It suddenly touched my years of longing.. I started crying because I felt the Persian part in me burning. Six pairs of Iranian eyes were staring at me and they all stopped talking. I joked around that this would happen a lot during our journey of Finding Farideh so they better get used to it.

Enjoy this beautiful video made by Mohamad Hadadi.. our DOP of Finding Farideh!

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JAN Magazine

JAN Magazine (nr. 3 – maart 2016) ligt nu in de winkels met een artikel over crowdfunding en Finding Farideh! In het artikel kan je ook het resultaat lezen van de DNA testen met de 3 families..


Tekst is van Léonie de Boer en fotografie van Brenda van Leeuwen.


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And the Award goes to…

While I was visiting Iran in December our cameraman Mohamad Hadadi was nominated for his previous documentary ‘Starless Dreams’ directed by Mehrdad Oskouei at the Cinema VéritéIran International Documentary Film Festival.

Mehrdad Oskouei supported our crowdfunding campaign for Finding Farideh and I met him twice during my visit in Iran.

I went to see the documentairy during the festival and was very impressed. I was touched and shoqued by the life stories of the girls, their vulnerability, hurt and dissapointed views of life. They are struggling their own battle to survive.

I also realised that maybe next year it would be Finding Farideh I’d be watching in the cinema. I can not even imagine how that feels. I’d probably want to run as far as away at that time, scared to be in a venue where everybody is watching me including myself. That is just weird.

And the Award of best cinematographer goes to… Mohamad Hadadi!!
We all are so proud of him, he deserves it. He is the best!
And besides that Mohamad became a friend to me. He is a great guy and we have shared many laughters during recording Finding Farideh.

Mohamad was also nominated at the Fajr Film Festival 2016 and Starless Dreams was shown at Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival 2016!

This is a picture of Mohamad and I while being on the train from Tehran to Mashhad at November 2015. The second picture is at Cinema VéritéIran International Documentary Film Festival in December 2015.

IMG_7434    IMG_7685

With love,

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Back in Amsterdam

Yes! I am back.

I have been back since the end of December. What a journey it was..

At the moment I still feel that I am afraid of writing about my adventure as then my feelings will turn into words..
Luckely we did film every step of the way so you will not miss a thing for sure! The post production fase has started and our directors Azadeh and Kourosh are being busy with the edit.

Are there any words at all to describe what I feel and felt when I was in Iran?
I wonder..

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This is my first blog in 2016 and all I can say…
is stay tuned for more stories and updates!

With love,

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