Leila Hatami

Leila Hatami (Persian: لیلا حاتمی; born October 1, 1972) is an Iranian actress. She has received numerous accolades, including a Silver Bear, two Crystal Simorghs, two Hafez Awards, two Iran Cinema Celebration Awards and three Iran's Film Critics and Writers Association Awards. In 2012, the Government of France has awarded her the Legion of Honour.[1][2][3][4]

Leila Hatami
Lila Hatami at 34th Fajr Festival (cropped).jpg
Hatami at the 2016 Fajr Film Festival
Born (1972-10-01) October 1, 1972 (age 50)
Tehran, Iran
Alma materÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Years active1984–present
(m. 1998)
Parent(s)Ali Hatami
Zari Khoshkam

Early lifeEdit

Hatami was born in Tehran. She is the daughter of influential Iranian director Ali Hatami and actress Zari Khoshkam. After finishing high school, she moved to Lausanne, Switzerland and started her studies in Mechanical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). After two years she changed her major to French literature.[5] After completing her studies, she returned to live in Iran.


Hatami played several small roles in her father's productions throughout her youth, including in the Hezar Dastan television series and the Kamalolmolk movie. Her first leading film appearance was the title role in the 1997 film Leila, directed by Dariush Mehrjui. She received the Diploma of Honor for Best Actress from the 15th Fajr Film Festival.[6] Following this, she continued to act regularly in Iranian cinema.

She has starred in dozens of films, and has often garnered critical acclaim and accolades. For her performance in The Deserted Station (2002), she was nominated for the Fajr Film Festival Award for Best Actress and she won the Best Actress Award at the 26th Montreal World Film Festival.[7]

She has appeared in her husband's films as a director, Portrait of a Lady Far Away (2005) and The Last Step (2012). She also designed the sets and the costumes of The Last Step and, in addition to receiving the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Award for Best Actress for her performance, she received a nomination for the Crystal Simorgh Fajr Film Festival Award for Best Production Design and Costume Design for her work on the film.

In 2012, she received international attention for her role in the critical acclaimed Asghar Farhadi film, A Separation, which won dozens of accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[8] Her performance earned critical acclaim and various awards, including the Silver Bear Award for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival.[2] IndieWire praised her portrayal as one of the best female performances of the 21st century.[9]

Hatami (second from left) alongside her fellow jury members at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

In April 2014, she was announced as a member of the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.[10] Whilst there, she greeted Cannes President Gilles Jacob with a kiss on the cheek, which is a form of greeting in France.[11] Iran's Deputy Culture Minister Hossein Noushabadi offered criticism of her for this:

"I hope that those who attend international arenas as Iranian women would be careful about the chastity and dignity of Iranians so that the image of the Iranian woman is not tainted before the world," he said. "If they respect Islamic norms and the national culture and beliefs of Iran, it would be a desirable thing for Iranian celebrities to go abroad, but if their presence lacks regard for social values and ethical criteria, the Iranian nation is not going to accept it."[11]

In May 2014, after receiving significant backlash for the kiss in Iran—including calls for her to be flogged—Hatami later apologized for her actions in a letter.[12][13]

Personal lifeEdit

She married her co-star in Leila (Ali Mosaffa) in 1998. They have two children: a son named Mani (born February 2007) and a daughter named Asal (born October 2008).

Beside her native Persian language she is fluent in French, English, and German.



Year Title Role Director Notes
1984 Kamalolmolk Young Kamal-ol-molk Ali Hatami
1992 Love-stricken Leila Ali Hatami
1997 Leila Leila Dariush Mehrjui
1999 Sheida Sheida Fatemi Kamal Tabrizi
2000 The Mix Ms. Salimi Dariush Mehrjui
2001 Water and Fire Maryam Fereydoun Jeyrani
Sweet Jam Jalal's Mother Marzieh Boroomand
2002 The Deserted Station Mahtab Alireza Raeesian
Low Heights Narges Ebrahim Hatamikia
2005 Season Salad Leila Fereydoun Jeyrani
Portrait of a Lady Far Away The Young Lady Ali Mosaffa
Poet of the Wastes The Young Lady Mohammad Ahmadi
The Command Foroozandeh Masoud Kimiai
2007 Every Night, Loneliness Atiyeh Rasoul Sadrameli
2008 Shirin Woman In Audience Abbas Kiarostami
2009 Penniless Shokouh Hamid Nematollah
2010 Forty Years Old Negar Alireza Raeesian
A Walk in the Fog Roya Bahram Tavakkoli
There Are Things You Don't Know Doctor Fardin Sahebzamani
2011 Felicity Land Yasi Maziar Miri
A Separation Simin Asghar Farhadi
Beloved Sky The Lady Dariush Mehrjui
2012 The Last Step Leyli Ali Mosaffa
The Orange Suit Nahal Nahavandi Dariush Mehrjui
Meeting Leila Leila Adel Yaraghi
2013 The Sealed Secret Saba Hadi Moghaddamdoost
2014 What's the Time in Your World? Goli Ebtehaj Safi Yazdanian
2015 Time to Love Bita Tamadon Alireza Raeesian
2016 I Azar Mirzaei Soheil Beiraghi
2017 Subdued Mina Hamid Nematollah
2018 Pig Shiva Mohajer Mani Haghighi
Bomb: A Love Story Mitra Peyman Moaadi
Tale of the Sea Parvaneh Bahman Farmanara
2019 A Man Without a Shadow Saye Tamadon Alireza Raeesian
We Are All Together Mrs. Mozhdehi Kamal Tabrizi
2022 Imagine Ali Behrad
TBA The Killer and the Savage Ziba Hamid Nematollah
TBA Oldboy Oktay Baraheni
TBA A Time in Eternity Mehdi Norowzian


Year Title Role Director Platform
2019 Blue Whale Anahita Kashef Fereydoun Jeyrani Filimo
2022–2023 Women's Secret Network Delbar Afshin Hashemi Namava


Year Title Role Director Notes Network
1987 Hezar Dastan Young Amine-aghdas Ali Hatami TV series IRIB TV1
Mr. Hekayati Iraj Tahmasb IRIB TV1
1984 Guys Wake Up, Guys Be Alert Marzieh Boroumand
2000 The English Briefcase Mastaneh Pirayesh Ziaeddin Dorri IRIB TV1
2007 Paridokht Paridokht Saman Moghaddam IRIB TV2


  1. ^ "اعطای نشان هنر و ادب فرانسه به لیلا حاتمی" (in Persian). BBC News. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Gold and Silver Bears for Iranian film as Berlinale closes | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 20 February 2011". DW.COM. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  3. ^ Terri Ginsberg; Chris Lippard (11 March 2010). Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema. Scarecrow Press. pp. 175–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7364-3.
  4. ^ "لیلا حاتمی با «تصور» به جشنواره کن می‌رود؛ عناوین فیلم‌های هفته منتقدین اعلام شد". صدای آمریکا (in Persian). Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  5. ^ Tom Vick (2007). Asian cinema: a field guide. Collins.
  6. ^ 15th Fajr Film Festival Awards Archived 29 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Fajr International Film Festival, Retrieved 25 June 2006.
  7. ^ Awards 2002 Archived 14 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine. World Film Festival, Retrieved 25 June 2006.
  8. ^ "Iran's Leila Hatami among Best Actresses of 21st Century". IFPNews. 24 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Iran's Leila Hatami among Best Actresses of 21st Century". IFP News. 24 September 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  10. ^ "The Jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes". Cannes. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  11. ^ a b Cannes 2014: Iran Criticises Leila Hatami for Kissing Film Festival President. Ibtimes.co.uk (19 May 2014). Retrieved on 16 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Iranian actress Leila Hatami apologises for kissing Cannes president on the cheek". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Leila Hatami: Student group calls for Iranian actress to be flogged following Cannes Film Festival kiss". Independent. 24 May 2013.

External linksEdit