For all its troubles, Iran seems to have produced a good number of female filmmakers. One of the biggest inspirations for many of the New Wave directors was poet Forough Farrokhzad, who turned filmmaker with her extraordinary 1962 short film The House Is Black. New Wave director Mohsen Makhmalbaf helped both his wife Marzieh Meshkini (The Day I Became a Woman) and daughter Samira Makhmalbaf (The Apple, Blackboards) break into the business with great success. And Mania Akbari, who appeared as "the driver" in Abbas Kiarostami's Ten (2002) made her directorial debut with 20 Fingers (2004).
On the other end, we have Tahmineh Milani, whose overwrought melodramas (Two Women, The Hidden Half) and broad comedies (Cease Fire) received extra attention when she was arrested over the content of her films and threatened with execution. Many Western filmmakers and writers came to her defense, and the right to free expression prevailed in the end, but none of this actually means her films are any good.
For the most part these few Iranian women filmmakers have been accepted into the filmmaking community with little question. This, however, does not appear to be the case with the latest female director to emerge from Iran. Hers is a familiar face onscreen; Niki Karimi appeared in both Two Women and The Hidden Half. Karimi has said in interviews that she has always been more interested in directing than in acting, and after a couple of documentaries and an early feature, her latest, A Few Days Later... appeared at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival.