Bio: Nazanin Boniadi
Nazanin Boniadi is an Iranian-born actress best known for her portrayal of Fara Sherazi in seasons three and four of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series “Homeland.” She will next appear as the female lead in the 2016 MGM/Paramount remake of BEN-HUR.
Boniadi is an accomplished human rights activist, having served as a spokesperson for Amnesty International (AIUSA) from 2009 until 2015. During this time she worked at a grassroots level and appeared on international TV and radio programs to campaign for the rights of disenfranchised populations across the world. She continues to partner with AIUSA, serving as an Amnesty International Artist of Conscience as of August 2015 and maintaining her official blog on the AIUSA website. She also regularly contributes op-ed articles to global news outlets.
In particular, Boniadi has been very involved in bringing attention to the unjust conviction and treatment of Iranian youth, women and prisoner’s of conscience. She has met with political leaders, collaborated with other prominent human rights defenders, and endorsed human rights petitions to the United Nations. She has also advocated for women’s rights on a global scale.
Boniadi provided a voiceover to AIUSA’s “Power of Words” public service announcement with Morgan Freeman, which won a Webby Award in 2010. She campaigned with the organization for the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), which would ensure the United States raises the issue of women’s rights in its diplomatic work. She has served as a speaker, panelist and emcee for events related to Iranian rights, as well as AIUSA’s Western Regional Conference and Annual General Meetings, and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s 13th annual ‘A World of Women for World Peace’ conference in Dallas, Texas.
Boniadi helped launch The Neda Project in 2010, a collaborative effort between Amnesty International and indie rock band The Airborne Toxic Event, commemorating the first anniversary of the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan in the streets of Tehran in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election, and encouraging people across the world to show their solidarity with the people of Iran.
In December 2010, she initiated an Amnesty International petition for Iranian film directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, who were wrongfully convicted of “propaganda against the state”. The petition was co-signed by prominent Hollywood directors and industry leaders such as Paul Haggis, Martin Scorsese, Sean Penn, Harvey Weinstein, Ron Howard and others, and generated over 21,000 signatures. On June 8, 2011, Boniadi joined a delegation of Hollywood luminaries, lead by Paul Haggis and former AIUSA Executive Director Larry Cox, to deliver the petition to the Iran Mission to the United Nations in New York.
She has also supported the Education Under Fire campaign, calling for an end to discrimination against and persecution of Baha’is in Iran. She narrated “To Light A Candle,” Maziar Bahari’s 2014 documentary on the subject.
On September 30, 2014, the Program for Torture Victims awarded Boniadi their City of Second Chances Award for her commitment to human rights and her service to Amnesty International.
Boniadi has campaigned with AIUSA for the release of numerous political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Iran including Roxana Saberi, Maziar Bahari, Majid Tavakoli, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Behrouz Ghobadi, Atena Faraghdani, and Jason Rezaian.
She continues to campaign for those who remain wrongfully imprisoned in Iran, and those who are facing injustice around the world.
Boniadi was selected as a term member by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2014, and she joined the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in October 2015.