Date of Birth
25 June 1954, Tehran, Iran
5' 7" (1.70 m)
Daryush Shokof is an artist-filmmaker who left Iran in the seventies for the USA and under the name of AliReza Shokoufandeh. He studied math, and Phscics at E.N.M.U. and then went on to get a masters degree in management from U.D.in Texas. He became a full time artist in Germany where he moved to from New York in early eighties. He coined the term Maximalism in the arts in 1990 in Cologne Germany, and together with many of the artists of the time they made many exhibitions under (the maximalists, at Gallery Schulze in Cologne, in 1990) both in Europe and in the USA. He first made a name for himself as a script-writer by copying works from great Directors of the time (Fellini, and Pasolini), changing the names of the characters and some situations and presented them to his father as his own works which made the proud father believe the son was a genius. He was soon the talk of a bigger circle of friends and family and had to write at a level to match his great idols from the age of 11. None of his writings ever showed any promise until finally and at the age of 42 he wrote that big story which attracted the attention of the legendary names of cinema to it (Marlon Brando, and Anthony Quinn) both wanted to have the lead in Seven Servants. Quinn played the role alongside David Warner, who played the role offered to Norman Mailer (who was so in admiration of the story that refused to play the role saying his acting was not up to the role). In the next 10 years he did more than 12 feature films and 10 short films with high originality both in stories and Directing the films. He has made his movies through the help of private friends and contribution and cooperation from great many professionals who believed and supported in his abilities as an artist-filmmaker. He has never had any of his movies released to the public and has never received any funding for any of his films from any official film industry related companies, and or from any country. He continues making films under amazing conditions which in itself are truly an interesting story to make a film about.
IMDb Mini Biography By: candice fadel
Has always made films unique with titles
Has always made movies with most original concepts created by himself
Has always made movies that challenged deep rooted taboos on earth
His sister is Arezou Beik.
His film Seven Servants has been listed as one of the 12 movies in the history that have been most daring to break all the rules alongside some interesting other film titles: www.AWCM.us.
Has been mentioned among the most influential Directors in Cinema: www.filmregisseurs.html.
Alfred Hitchcock is his favorite Director.
Contributed his all woman film Breathful to freedom of women in Iran in 2007.
Has been an active voice against the Islamic Republic of Iran for many years.
Went on a hunger strike for 7 days in Berlin for freedom of women, and respecting human rights in Islamic Republic government ruling his home land, Iran today.
He boxed almost professionally in the USA, and has candidly helped training many young troubled youth in Cologne,Germany during 1987-1989.
He speaks, English, German, Persian, fluently, and writes all his works only in English.
Wrote a film-script (Vegatarian Draqula) based on a painting by himself in 1989. the work is in the art-collection of Bahman Maghsoudlou to whom he often codes as his mentor in Cinema education. He has repeatedly mentioned to want to make this picture with Maghsoudlou in 2009.
His mother is Shahla Sahraie. she and his sister Arezou Beick live in Vancouver, Canada.
His father was Mohammad Ali Shokoufandeh.
Made an installation exhibition with two scales hanging from a scale at Bess Cutler gallery n New York in 1992. he suggested that the word Manhattan is not an American Indian word but a German word (Man Hat Getan) meaning man has made it. the other side of the installation was called Godhattan which is the script of another film by Shokof meaning God has made it (God Hat Getan)in German.
Rode a Bicycle in spot (Bicycle act) as a protest against Iranian Islamic Republic society that has caused the addiction of many youth in Iran today, He rode the bike in a gesture of positive and constructive energy for the youth of Iran to move towards life and away from the drugs for 5 days in 2005.
He sat on a huge man-made scale in front of the Dome Cathedral in Cologne for peace and against the first war in Iraq for a whole week.
Believes in reincaranation based on his own manifest called Maximalism which he writes; we all keep coming back until we all unite on Earth.
Coined and designed the world,s first (Boat -In) Cinema system where people would see films while sitting in boats. the first such theaters is supposed to be made in the Emirates in 2009.
Was kidnapped over 12 days in May 2010 in Germany, for having made two movies against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The most stupid thing in making independent movies is to copy Hollywood films as an independent film-maker. It is more stupid to try to make them with 2 Dollars and try your best to explain what all the pain you went through making that shot.
(on differences between a European and American film) European films are not successful cause they are constructed respecting a system. you get a loan from any small mafia type pizza restaurant owner around the block to make your film in the USA and the results are so vivid you can smell the pizza.
(Regarding how he chooses his concepts) I always made films with a (what if) factor, and the concepts seem original cause I have envisioned them with no respect to any films and or genres previously. I have never said to myself that now I am going to make a thriller. I made a movie and it became what it is. A complete confusion as a genre.
(On Seven Servants and the importance of Freedom, and Independence in creating creative works) Seven Servants is not a film. It is actually a conceptual work created in complete freedom of mind and has not been made respecting any standards. That is why it will always remain a question how to see, read and rate it? I will remain thankful forever to the freedom the west gave me for making all my works, even though no institute paid a penny to produce them anywhere in the west.
(After the screening of (Asudem) at Babylon cinema in Berlin) There was one source of light throughout the film and I used it as a brush of painting in the hands of Yangzom Brauen to light up the scenes (most brilliantly) with me.
The only difference between festivals and blockbuster theaters around each corner of all cities is that the festivals are showing films with cast and crew present. The Oscars is the only legitimate and grand festival of films in my opinion, and even there politics run the show more than the films.
Soon and due to the development of Digital movie making, film makers can end up dead and unknown as the great painters used to (and still do) while everybody will make a film soon, and again the true artist(s) with a grand concept and signature will remain the test of the time in the long run.
(on art films, and artists making abstract, intellectual movies at the screening of his own film Seven Servants in Locarno film festival) You do not have to be a philosopher to make a great movie.
There is no price on freedom. Even if I had 500 million Dollars, I would not have been able to make Breathful in my own home country Iran today. That is why I keep saying thanks to all the freedom I got in the west (Germany), and hope the free west would be brave enough to protect all this great moments in freedom with all its might, dedication, and yes, with even obsession against the evil of religious fanaticism threatening the whole planet at this very moment.
Artists can eventually end up making great movies (in all aspects, and after really having learned how to make films) but the best of professional film makers (who are not artists) will not be able to make an artistic film. I have seen the attempts and it looked more terrible than Ed Wood trying to make the Stalker.
There is only one type of movie worse than European films trying to copy American films, and that is Americans trying to make artistically, Intellectual European-like films, and worse yet, to hope to show up with it at European film festivals.
I will not only refuse to bow to the Mullah Regim in Iran, but rather will force them to bow their heads to freedom, civilization, arts and culture instead. I will make them learn that with my last drop of blood in my body.
It is not enough to do everything to reach peace and freedom when we do not have them, but to fight to keep them each minutes of our lives even when we did finally reach them both on earth one day.