Scent of Geranium an Animated Short Films

Immigration is a new chapter in one’s life, a chapter with unexpected events that can take one’s life down paths different from the one imagined. This film is an autobiographical account of the director’s experience with immigration. A Film by Naghmeh Farzaneh.

“An Animated Short Films ‘Scent of Geranium’ picks this week’s by @Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere!”

There’s no denying that we’re living in a defining cultural moment. A war of ideas is taking place on many fronts and fundamental principles once considered secure are being threatened by fear of the other. Anti-immigrant vitriol and policy are gaining support, while bans, deportations, and border walls have become ubiquitous in public dialogue. With pundits and politicians engaged in games of rhetoric, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the very human lives at stake. With this in mind, we’re proud to feature Naghmeh Farzaneh’s “Scent of Geranium” as this week’s Staff Pick Premiere. By using her own experience as an Iranian international student in the U.S., Farzaneh gives voice to the fears, doubts, and complex range of emotions that immigrants face and makes a powerful call for a more compassionate approach.

Farzaneh wanted to share her own unique story — leaving Iran as a young woman, at a time when the “Arab Spring” dominated headlines. But she also recognized that she shared feelings of anxiety, homesickness, and isolation with many other immigrants around her. She used this to ground the film in specific events but also touch on larger themes of alienation. When asked about her intention for film, she points to two groups: “First, for those who haven’t experienced immigration, I think it is important for them to know the challenges and consequences an immigrant faces every day. And second, for those who have had this life-changing experience, I want them to know that they are not alone, that all immigrants have been challenged by the experience of immigration.”

To capture her journey, Farzaneh used her training as a painter to mix of traditional and digital techniques. The result is a beautiful hand-drawn animation that feels like a painting come to life. Her minimalist black-and-white style adds another emotional layer to the film, as flourishes of the watercolor act as visual accents but also balance difficult memories.

Metamorphosis is a running theme throughout the film, used as an apt metaphor for immigration. It is most vividly captured by the mother’s geraniums, which bloom in the final frames, but metamorphosis is also present in the clever compositions and transitions between memories. This, along with Farzaneh’s witty observations, gives the film its ultimately hopeful tone. According to Farzaneh, this was in response to the generous friends that made her feel welcome. “From the very first day I arrived in this country I met many amazing people who changed my life in so many ways. They helped me to learn, find my place and to shape myself in this new chapter.”

With such a personal story, the film has the unique power to look past generic headlines and offer new perspectives and shape how we engage with each other. In the wake of our current political climate, “Scent of Geranium” is a necessary reminder of our role as friends, neighbors, and colleagues to not only exercise empathy, but actively support those in our communities who might feel paralyzed in their new country.

Scent of Geranium an Animated Short Films


Winner, Audience Award, Best short animated, San Francisco Independent Film Festival, 2017
Winner, Best Student Director, San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, 2017
Finalist, 60th CINE Golden Eagle, USA,2017
Finalist, Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis, 2016
Winner, Special Mention, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany, 2017
Winner, Best film, Elephant Programme, Animateka Festival, Slovenia, 2016
Winner, 2nd place, student Films, 47th ASIFA East Animation Festival, NY, 2016
Winner, Faculty Award, School of Film and Animation, RIT, 2016
Winner, Designation in Fine art – Adobe Achievement Award, 2016
Special Jury Award, New Orleans Film Festival, New Orleans, 2016
Semi Finalist, Iranian Film Festival, San Francisco, 2017
Jury Special Mention, Festival du film court en plein air de Grenoble, France, 2017
Winner, Best Animated Short Film, Hong Kong Art-house Film Festival, 2016


63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany, 2017
25th Anima Mundi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2017
ITFS- 24th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, Germany, 2017
Tricky Women Festival, Austria, 2017
Savannah Film Festival, Savannah, 2016
Mosaic World Film Festival
Animaphix International Animation Festival, Sicily, Italy, 2017
San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, San Francisco, 2017
30th Leeds International Film Festival, Leeds, UK, 2016
Manchester Animation Festival, UK, 2016
Animation Block party, Brooklyn, 2016
Sydney World Film Festival (summer edition), Australia 2017
18th San Diego Asian Film Festival, San Diego, 2017
TAAFI, Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, Toronto, Canada,2016
Anibar Animation Festival, Albania, 2016
Documentarist Istanbul Documentary Days, Istanbul, Turkey, 2017
57th ZLÍN FILM FESTIVAL, Czech Republic, 2017
La Guarimba International Film Festival, Italy, 2017
Northwest Animation Festival, Oregon, 2017
VAFI – International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival Varaždin, 2017
Albuquerque Film & Music Experience (AFME), New Mexico, 2017
Universe Multicultural Film Festival, CA, 2017
The West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival, 2017
Columbus International Film and Video Festival, Ohio, 2017
Animac, Mostra Internacional de Cinema D’Animacio’ de Catallunua, 2017
Montclair Film Festival, New Jersey, 2017
Athens International Film and Video Festival, Ohio, 2017
Festival du film court en plein air de Grenoble, France, 2017
Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art, Ukraine, 2017
Draw tactic’s 2D or not 2D Animation Festival, Seattle, WA, 2017
VOID – International Animation Film Festival
Reggio Film Festival, Italy, 2016
Peace Builder Film Festival, New Delhi, India, 2016
Orlando Film Festival, 2016
Manhattan Independent Film Festival, New York, 2016
South Texas Underground Film Festival,2016
RIT Honor Show, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, 2016
Euro Fest, European International Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia 2016
Iranian Film Festival Zurich, 2016
Immigration Film Festival, DC, 2016
Athens ANIMFEST, Athens, Greece, 2016
Anifilm, Troben, Czech Republic, 2016
Golden Kuker-Sofia” Festival, Bulgaria, 2016
Doc Sunback Film Festival, Mulvane, Kansas, 2016
Film Score and Scruffy City Film & Music Festival, Knoxville, TN, 2016
Capital City Film Festival, Lansing, MI,2016
La Feminista Series, Los Angeles, CA, 2016
Vaughan Film Festival, Vaughan, Canada, 2016
Los Angeles CineFest, CA, 2016



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