Desiree Akhavan is not very good at taking time off. “Right now I’m upstate with my ex-girlfriend, dogsitting. Yesterday, we went on a hike and the whole time I wanted to talk about writing my book and how to shape a chapter, and she was like, ‘Maybe you should write about how you can’t enjoy a vacation,’” says Akhavan, speaking from her temporary hideout in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The Iranian-American film-maker is as busy as ever, but in a way she’s never been before: on her own. She’s currently writing her first book, a collection of essays, after making her name as a groundbreaking writer, director and producer of films and television. Appropriate Behaviour was her first feature film, made in 2014 with production partner Cecilia Frugiuele, about a headstrong Iranian-American bisexual woman grappling with heartbreak. The Miseducation of Cameron Post followed in 2018—an empathetic and nuanced This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Films Music Issue 42 Peer Review Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat pays homage to the iconic Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum. Films Issue 41 Isabel Sandoval On the limits of autobiography. Films Issue 41 Mike Leigh The remarkable director discusses starting from nothing, over and over again. Films Issue 38 Miranda July In Los Angeles, Miranda July talks to Robert Ito about pouring the fear, pleasure and unspoken weirdness of life into her genre-bending art. Films Issue 36 Phillip Youmans The 20-year-old director talks to Sharine Taylor about walking the tightrope between teen prodigy and award-winning filmmaker. Films Issue 35 Greta Lee Greta Lee built her reputation playing charismatic outsiders in other people’s stories. Now, she’s writing her own.