Dec. 21: PEN America, MS. Magazine Host Virtual Conversation on Imprisoned Iranian Activist Nasrin Sotoudeh with  Margaret Atwood, PEN America’s Karin Deutsch Karlekar, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, Iranian artist and activist Parastou Forouhar, filmmakers Jeff Kaufman and Marcia Ross, and Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khadan 

On Monday, December 21 at 3pm ET/12pm PT, PEN America in partnership with Ms. Magazine hosts a public conversation marking the premiere of the documentary NASRIN, telling the story of Iranian women’s rights activist and PEN America Freedom to Write Awardee Nasrin Sotoudeh. register here

Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood will introduce the conversation alongside PEN America’s Karin Deutsch Karlekar. The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof will then hold a discussion with human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy, Iranian artist and activist Parastou Forouhar, NASRIN filmmakers Jeff Kaufman and Marcia Ross. The program will feature a video message from Nasrin’s husband, Reza Khandan.

“The new documentary film NASRIN is an inspiring portrait of an indefatigable human rights advocate, who has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of the marginalized and insisting on the rule of law,” said Karin Deutsch Karlekar, director of free expression at risk programs at PEN America. “We hope that this discussion, comprising a stellar array of Iranian and international expert voices, will help shine a light on the crucial relevance of Iran’s women’s movement, bring Nasrin’s personal story to life, and encourage supporters everywhere to join in solidarity to help free Nasrin and other political prisoners in Iran.”

Imprisoned two years ago on charges of collusion, spreading propaganda, and insulting Iran’s supreme leader, Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes in 2019. Most recently, Sotoudeh staged a 46-day hunger strike in August-September and was temporarily furloughed in November. Even after a diagnosis of COVID-19, currently raging through Iran’s prisons, Sotoudeh was returned to prison earlier this month.

Millions of people from over 200 nations had called for Nasrin’s release including US President Elect Joe Biden; journalist Christiane Amanpour; journalist/activist Gloria Steinem; author Margaret Atwood; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and many others.  The hashtag campaign #FreeNasrin has quickly continued to grow upon the news of her being sent back to prison in Iran.

Secretly filmed in Iran by men and women who risked arrest, NASRIN features interviews with acclaimed filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, journalist Ann Curry, and Nasrin’s husband and fellow-activist Reza Khandan.  The film is narrated by Oscar® winning actress Olivia Colman and also features an original song by Tony Award®-winning composers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and performed by 4-time Grammy® winner Angélique Kidjo. In addition, Washington Post columnist and former political prisoner Jason Rezaian serves as one of the film’s Executive Producers.

NASRIN is written, produced and directed by Jeff Kaufman and produced by Marcia S. Ross and edited by Asher Bingham. The music score is composed by Tyler Strickland, and the cinematography is by various women and men in Iran who put themselves at risk to shoot this film and asked to be anonymous.  This is a Floating World Pictures Production. Executive producers include Nina Ansary, Hadi Ghaemi, David and Homeira Hoffman, Nazee Moinian, Jason Rezaian, Ted Snowdon and Duffy Violante, and Kristen Wolf. More information on NASRIN is available at

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