(Los Angeles, CA – October 18, 2023) – The Critics Choice Association (CCA) Women’s Committee is pleased to announce that “The Persian Version” (Sony Pictures Classics) will receive the Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment. Called the “SOFEE,” the Seal recognizes outstanding new films and television series that illuminate the female experience and perspective through authentically told female-driven stories.
Written and directed by Maryam Keshavarz, “The Persian Version” is a vibrant dramatic comedy that highlights the resilience of Iranian women. Leila (Layla Mohammadi) is a bisexual Iranian-American Muslim pop culture enthusiast who isn’t sure where she fits in, growing up feeling too Iranian for Americans, too American for Iranians, too female for her eight brothers, and too gay for her disapproving mother, Shireen (Niousha Noor), an immigrant who overcame cultural challenges to achieve the American dream. After long-buried incidents from the past are revealed, Leila realizes she and her mother may be more alike than they thought.
“I’m thrilled for ‘The Persian Version’ to receive this honor,” said Keshavarz. “The Seal of Female Empowerment is particularly meaningful to me because this is a film about three generations of women that celebrates their humor, telling their own stories while maintaining joy in tough times – after all, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”
“The Persian Version” received a perfect score in the numerical formula that is used to determine if new titles, nominated by CCA Women’s Committee members, are eligible for a SOFEE. Qualifying projects will have a prominent female character arc, give female characters at least equal screen time to male characters, have female leaders behind the scenes, and pass elements highlighted in the Bechdel test. To be considered, new film and television releases must possess an artistic and storytelling value and exceptionality, and score at least 7 out of a possible 10 points in the SOFEE rubric, which can be found at CriticsChoice.com.
The Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment is issued by the CCA Women’s Committee. Members include Tara McNamara (Chair), Hillary Atkin, Semira Ben-Amor, Christina Birro, Lauren Bradshaw, Jamie Broadnax, TJ Callahan, Catalina Combs, Toni Gonzales, Teri Hart, Laura Hurley, Susan Kamyab, Destiny Jackson, Lilly Liu, Louisa Moore, Gayl Murphy, Mary Murphy, Jana Nagase, Sherin Nicole, Patricia Puentes, Christina Radish, Amanda Salas, Rachel Smith, Sammi Turano, and Lynn Venhaus, and Lauren Veneziani, as well as Board member Grae Drake.
Digital assets and artwork can be found HERE.
About the Critics Choice Association (CCA)
The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 580 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.
Chair of the CCA Women’s Committee