Our projects

Headless Trees

A feature film by Sara Rajaei
Production: near/by film and seriousFilm (NL) in co-production with Ladybirds Films (FR) and in association with Alambic Production

In the tumultuous years of post-revolutionary Iran, Raana, a former theater actress, shelters in her small house with her adult daughters Roya, Gitee and Yalda, her mother Maman Pari and her granddaughter Niloo. When Raana dies, Roya, an aspiring novelist, sets out to narrate her mother's story. As she moves back in time, the secrets and traumas of this small family of women, as well as the country's tormented history, come to light.

Director's Statement


"Family stories are either personally witnessed or inherited through the power of storytelling. No matter how ordinary a family is, it often holds a heart full of tragedies and contradicting incidents.


The characters of my first feature film, Headless Trees, carry the weight of a turbulent past on their back. To overcome their inherited traumas, they dive into the labyrinth of their heritage, searching the hidden corners of their family history. They confront themselves to comprehend the pain that has formed their backbone and strengthened their souls. They inspire themselves by the ghosts of their past to learn to avoid recurring traumas. Their quest will liberate the future generation from the burden of superstition, fear, and socio-political injustice.


I was raised by my grandmother, an imaginative, passionate storyteller who loved poetry, dancing, and singing. Her stories often highlighted her life, which she would dramatically connect to magic and the supernatural. To shape a tangible portrayal of the family in Headless Trees, I have used my own family as a source of inspiration and have merged some personal and inherited memories and traumas into the film's plot."

Personal website Sara Rajaei
Feature fiction, 90 minutes, expected production 2024/2025

Producers: Manon Bovenkerk (near/by film), Marc Thelosen (seriousFilm), Hassan Lakdari and Valentine Manissier (Ladybirds Films)
In association with Alambic Productions
Cinematography and VFX: Reinier van Brummelen
Editing: Reinier Zoutendijk
Scriptcoach: Nanouk Leopold, Pershang Shafigh
Support: Netherlands Film Fund/Mondriaan Fund (De Verbeelding