Short Film Screening & Discussion
Nowruz – A Celebration of Resilience and New Beginnings on March 24, 2024 | 8 PM


Iran 2023

Hadi Sheibani

Hadi Sheibani is a distinguished film graduate boasting over a decade of industry experience as both a film editor and director. Notably, he was awarded the AFA scholarship, distinguishing himself as the sole Iranian Fellow at the Asian Film Academy in 2019. Furthermore, he made history as the first Iranian film editor to participate in the International Film Editors Forum, thanks to the Travel Grant in 2022. With a portfolio comprising 15 short films, Hadi embarked on his directorial journey with Katvoman, a poignant Iranian-Indian co-production inspired by the MeToo Movement, confronting critical issues of domestic violence and women’s rights. Hadi’s contributions have garnered him eight prestigious international awards, while his works have been showcased in over a hundred film festivals worldwide. Notably, he lent his expertise as a jury member at the esteemed Dalmatia Film Festival in Croatia and Short of the Year in Spain last year.


A mother and her son immerse themselves in a game of Catwoman and Batman before the father arrives home. However, their playful atmosphere is disrupted by unsettling noises and screams emanating from the neighboring house, suggesting domestic violence. As the father returns, oblivious to the turmoil next door, the family must navigate the delicate balance between shielding their son from the harsh truth and confronting the reality of their neighbor’s situation. With time ticking away, the father is compelled to participate in the game, concealing the disturbing truth from his son until the right moment emerges.

Director Statement:

Catwoman may endure blows as a superheroine, but not all women should bear such burdens. Drawing inspiration from the MeToo movement and Catwoman’s character, the film delves into the tale of a family feigning happiness. Behind her mask, the mother conceals her wounds, while the father masks his sadomasochism with a facade of normalcy. Yet, the genuine sounds from neighboring homes defy concealment. As a victim of abuse, what recourse does the mother have upon hearing the echoes of domestic violence next door? It’s a puzzle of character—harmed and unable to rescue others. However, in the guise of Catwoman, the abused woman finds strength to confront her husband, who has subjected her to domestic violence before.

Katvoman tackles women’s issues while emphasizing empowerment. In its concise 8-minute runtime, the short film juxtaposes silence with sound, tranquility with violence, femininity with masculinity. It portrays the struggle of abused women, who fight silently while domineering men speak on their behalf. Katvoman encapsulates the narrative of women who sacrifice themselves, assuming the roles of heroes to prevent their children from emulating their abusive fathers.