An Iranian film director, screenwriter, and one of the giant figures of Iranian cinema. Shahīd Sālis (1944—1998) was born in Tehran and studied cinema in Vienna and Paris. During his career, he was a prolific filmmaker producing more than fifteen documentaries and short films, although only six of these were produced in Iran, and this owing to the fact that he worked in Germany since 1976 and contributed to the German film industry. He died of cancer in Chicago in 1998 at the age of 54.
Shahīd Sālis’s works prior to 1976 include Raghs-i Bujnūrd (Dance of Bojnourd; 1969), Rastākhiz (Resurrection; 1969), Sīyāh-o sifīd (Black and White; 1972), Yik ittifāq-i sādih (A Simple Event; 1973), Tabīʿat-i bījān (Still Life; 1974), and Dar qurbat (Far from Home; 1975).
In Germany, Shahīd Sālis went on to create films like Reifezeit (Coming of Age; 1976), Tagebuch eines Liebenden (The Diary of a Lover; 1977), Die Langen Ferien der Lotte H. Eisner (The Long Vacation of Lotte H. Eisner; 1979), Grabbes Letzter Sommer (The Last Summer of Grabbe; 1980), Ordnung (Order; 1980), Anton P. Chekhov: A Life (1981), Empfänger Unbekannt (Addressee Unknown; 1983), Utopia (1983), Der Weidenbaum (The Willow Tree; 1984), Hans—Ein Junge in Deutschland (Hans: A Young Man in Germany; 1985), Wechselbalg (Changeling; 1987), and Rosen für Afrika (Roses for Africa; 1992).
Due to his cinematic vision and style, Shahīd Sālis won twelve professional film awards including the Silver Bear at the Berlinale and the FIPRESCI Prize for Ṭabīʿat-i bījān (1974), the OCIC Award, the FIPRESCI Prize, and the Inter film Award for Dar qurbat (1975), the Golden Bear at the 1983 Berlin International Film Festival for Utopia (1983), and the Teleplay Award for Hans—Ein Junge in Deutschland at the 1985 Baden-Baden TV Film Festival—thereby establishing his place as a celebrated figure in twentieth-century Iranian cinema.