Iran’s Precocious Filmmaker

America may have more child stars than we know what to do with, but the film capital of the world has never produced what Iran has: a 14-year-old director whose first feature film is entered in the Venice Film Festival. “Hana Makhmalbaf comes from Iran’s most successful film family… Her first full-length film, Joy of Madness, will compete for the 100,000 euro [$115,000] prize for best debut. It is a documentary about her sister, Samira Makhmalbaf, making her latest film in Afghanistan, and has been chosen for the festival’s critics’ week.” Samira is no stranger to publicity, either, having competed for the top prize at Cannes at the age of 20.