Part poetry, part travelogue, part family drama, Our Summer in Tehran is an intimate and nuanced portrait, not of a nation, but of its people. Our Summer in Tehran, takes us into the fascinating, and yet strikingly familiar home of the typical Iranian family.

Justine Shapiro, a Jewish-American filmmaker and former host of the travel series GlobeTrekker, takes her 6-year-old son with her to Tehran where they spend the summer with three families: a religious family with ties to the government; a cosmopolitan, secular family; and a single mom. When the Iranian government abruptly gives Justine and Mateo 48 hours to leave the country, promising relationships are severed.

In English and Persian with English subtitles. 59 minutes. Produced by Promises Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with partial funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).


Justine Shapiro is an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy Award-winning documentary producer & director (Promises and Our Summer in Tehran) and television host. She hosted the travel series GlobeTrekker for 10 years. Her new series, Time Team America, premieres nationally on PBS in summer 2014.

Marjaneh Moghimi is the founder of Butimar Productions, a San Francisco–based production company dedicated to preserving the cultural traditions of the East. Marjaneh has produced award-winning films, with directors such as Michael Apted and Bahman Kiarostami. Her recent film, Fifi Howls premiered at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival and was directed by Mitra Farahani.

Sabereh Kashi received an MA in Art Studies from Tehran University. She has edited numerous documentaries including Calling Nate, In The Name of Their Mothers and Boys and Men Healing. She directed and produced the documentaries Lalezar Street and Mourners of Surijan, commissioned by Frontline World. Currently she is making a personal documentary.



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This film should be widely shown in the United States and indeed around the world to help humanize a country that has so often been demonized. Revealing this Iran through the eyes of a six-year-old American boy is both moving and effective. It should teach us all to see the world, as Mateo’s mom, filmmaker Justine Shapiro says, “in wonder rather than in fear.”

–Barbara Slavin, former Assistant Managing Editor at The Washington Times; author of Bitter Friends Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

An excellent tool to use as an introduction to a little understood part of the world.

–Rae Viscovi, Dean of Academic Studies, Town School for Boys, San Francisco


This film provided my students with a new understanding of and appreciation for Iranians. I don’t think any other class activity/reading has made such a lasting and profound impression on them.

–Genoa Shepley, instructor, Department of Writing and Rhetoric, University of Rhode Island

The film’s potential for classrooms of all ages is limitless and it is exactly what teachers need to help students enter into a world they need to know more about.

– Joan Brodsky Schur, Educational Consultant, Author and Curriculum Developer for middle and high schools Social Studies Coordinator, New York City