Cast Bio


Shohreh Agdashloo (Pari)

Shohreh Aghdashloo was born in Tehran Iran on May 11 1952. In the 1970s at age 20 she achieved nationwide stardom in her homeland Iran starring in some prominent pictures such as "The Report" directed by the renowned Abbass Kiarostami which won critics awards at the Moscow Film Festival. In 1978 she won wider acclaim and established herself as one of Iran's leading ladies with "Sooteh Delan" (Broken Hearts) directed by the late Ali Hatami.

During the 1978 Islamic revolution, Aghdashloo left Iran for England, completing her education. Her interest in politics and her concern for social injustice in the world, led her to earn a B.A. degree in International Relations.

She continued to pursue her acting career, which eventually brought her to Los Angeles in 1987. She went on to marry actor/playwright Houshang Touzie, performing in a number of his plays, successfully taking them to national and international stages. However it was not easy getting work in Hollywood as a middle eastern actress with an accent, she had roles in some decent though films including "Twenty Bucks" "Surviving Paradise" and "Maryam". She had to wait quite some time to get a "Hollywood" break.

And finally, years after having read the acclaimed novel "House of sand and fog", Dreamworks were in the making of bringing the story to the big screen. After having cast Ben Kingsley as Massoud Amir Behrani and Jennifer Connelly in the lead roles, they were looking for a relatively unknown Iranian actress to play Kingsley's wife, Nadi. Shohreh Aghdashloo was duly cast. She stole the limelight and earned herself an Academy
award nomination as best supporting actress amongst many other prestigious awards, including the Independent spirit award as best supporting actress in a feature film, The New York and Los Angeles film critics award and others. 

Keyan Abedini (Sam)

In addition to a Brown Belt in Karate, he is on a demonstration team which tours locally doing theatrical demonstrations of Karate. His previous acting experience has been in the play, "Tom Sawyer" at school. He critics books on his web site. Surviving Paradise is his debut as a film actor.


Lauren Parissa Abedini (Sara) 

She has been dancing Jazz and Ballet since the age of 3. She has performed in the play "Tom Sawyer" and other talent shows at her school.


Joe Alvarez. (Mr. F)

Joe Alvarez has been in several Independent Feature Films, among them, "BitterLand" with Danny Quinn and "Love & War II".

In addition he has appeared in the Soap Opera "The Young & the Restless".

He has been in several plays among them "Death of a Salesman" in the role of Happy and Fayette in "Watiting for Lefty".



Filmmaker's Bio


Kamshad Kooshan  -Writer, Director, Producer

Complete Biography

Iranian-born & Bay Area filmmaker, Kamshad Kooshan, immigrated to the United States at the age of Sixteen. He has been involved with photography since the age of 12 and has had many exhibitions. Additionally he has directed full length plays in various San Francisco venues and has written and published many short stories, among them, Moonlit Garden, a collection of short stories published by Raha Press.


Since graduating from San Francisco State University and studying at American Conservatory of Theatre, Kamshad Kooshan has written and directed three short films, with the last one, The Last Illusion touring such venues as American Film Institute and UCLA Film & Television Archive. He has been teaching at the Graduate Motion Picture & Video department of Academy of Art University in San Francisco for the past four years.  Surviving Paradise is his feature debut and the first American film by an Iranian-American filmmaker distributed in North America.


Bahman Maghsoudlou, Producer


Producing Seven Servants, starring Anthony Quinn and screening it at major prestigious film festivals around the world was Bahman Maghsoudlou’s producing debut. In addition, he has Executive Produced Manhattan By Numbers, written and directed by Amir Naderi, screened at such international film festivals as Venice, San Sebastian and London. In addition to Surviving Paradise, Bahman Maghsoudlou is producing The Last Station, based on Leo Tolstoy’s last years in life.


Filippo Bussi, Co-Producer, Sound Designer


Filippo Bussi is a Sound Designer working with such noted Italian directors as Nanni Moreti and his feature film, Cia Diario, the comedy hit of Cannes film festival, a few years back and on video release in the US.


Jay Vetter, Production Designer


Jay Vetter is one of the most versatile Production Designers in Hollywood today. In addition to such hit films as There's Something About Mary and Casper II, he works on independent films like Surviving Paradise. He is currently working on the new Farrelly Brother's movie.


Rick LeCompt, Editorial Consultant


In addition to numerous feature films, Rick LeCompt edited last year’s indie hit release, “Dream with the Fishes” starring David Arquette.

Home    About    Photos    Bios    Interviews    Reviews   Movie Trailer   Contact