Desiree Akhavan

The Iranian-American filmmaker bringing her “weird and sexy” stories—and her parents—to set.

“It would be hard to deny your sad kid the one thing they’re great at.”

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 headstro...

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