News  ·  09 | 11 | 2023

Farewell to Hengameh Panahi, Beloved Producer and Sales Agent

Hengameh Panahi is a true legend of cinema. Born in Iran, she departed the country before the 1979 revolution in order to complete her studies in Belgium and later moved to France. She leaves us at the age of 67 after a long illness.

Photo by Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Panahi is 'the' sales agent par excellence and has, since the 1980s, pioneered a new way of understanding the exchange and promotion of arthouse films internationally. But beyond even that, she is famed for her unparalleled eye in seeking out and supporting nascent projects as a producer. It is to this discerning vision that we owe the discovery and consecration of some of the greatest contemporary auteurs: from Jafar Panahi to Kitano Takeshi, from Jacques Audiard to Jia Zhangke. Selected other names fostered by Panahi include no less than François Ozon, Bruno Dumont, Chantal Akerman, Todd Haynes, Laurent Cantet, Alexander Sokurov, the Dardenne brothers, Naomi Kawase, Bertrand Bonello, and Gaspar Noé.

A new generation of professionals was formed under her close supervision and guidance. We now also count them among the brightest lights in our industry.

Fierce, demanding, and an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Panahi played a crucial role in the history of cinema and a fundamental part, more than we can imagine, in shaping our own private histories as passionate cinephiles.

We are grateful to her for her example and her tireless passion. Hers was an absolute love for cinema.

Giona Nazzaro
Artistic Director