Five Things You Didn’t Know about Desiree Akhavan

Desiree Akhavan is an Iranian-American woman who has done some acting of her own. However, she should be better-known because of her roles as a director, a screenwriter, and a producer. This is particularly true considering her recent win at Sundance 2018 with her latest project called The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Here are five things that you may or may not have known about Desiree Akhavan:

Her Parents Fled the Iranian Revolution

Akhavan was born in the United States in 1984 to a pair of Iranian immigrants. Given the timing, it should come as no surprise to learn that Akhavan’s parents had fled Iran after the Iranian Revolution, which took place in 1979. Nowadays, both of her parents see themselves as Americans. In fact, Akhavan hasn’t even returned to Iran since the 1980s, though she has visited some of her family overseas when she was still a child.

Her Name Means “Friends”

The name “Akhavan” is interesting in that it can be translated to something along the lines of “friends,” “brethren,” and “companions.” However, while it sees use by Iranians as well as Jewish people of Iranian origin, it actually comes from the Arabic “ikhwan.” As for Akhavan’s personal name, well, suffice to say that it means more or less what it looks like it means – Desiree being an Anglicization of the French Désirée, meaning “Desired.”

She Suffered From Loneliness As a Child

When she was a child, Akhavan attended a prep school in the Bronx while living out in the suburbs. As a result, she suffered from loneliness because she didn’t know the people living out in the suburbs. With that said, this relative isolation led to Akhavan consuming a lot of movies and TV shows, which instilled in her a strong interest in said subjects.

Made Appropriate Behavior

In 2014, Akhavan premiered a movie called Appropriate Behavior at Sundance 2014. Said movie was not auto-biographical in nature, but there can be no doubt about the fact that it drew a great deal of inspiration from Akhavan’s own life experiences as a bisexual Iranian-American woman. After all, Appropriate Behavior was about a bisexual Iranian-American woman coming out to her parents about her sexuality. In fact, considering that Akhavan has a brother, it should come as no surprise to learn that the protagonist of the movie has a brother as well. Regardless, Appropriate Behavior met with a positive response from the critics from the most part, with Rotten Tomatoes stating an impressive 98 percent positive response.

Her Movie Has Won Big At Sundance 2018

Now, Akhavan has won the grand jury prize at Sundance 2018. This time, her movie was The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which is based on a book of the same name in which a homosexual teenager is sent to a camp that practices what is called “conversation therapy.” For anyone who knows anything about what “conversation therapy” actually is, it should come as no surprise to learn that the experience is not just miserable but also more than a bit horrifying, with the result that the protagonist is motivated to stand strong against what is essentially brainwashing. Akhavan served as not just the director but also both a writer and a producer for the movie.

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