A Revolution on Canvas – Co-directors Sara Nodjoumi & Till Schauder

In this hybrid political thriller and verité portrait documentary, A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS, Sara Nodjoumi, working with co-director and husband, Till Schauder, makes her directorial debut with this personal film, diving into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of more than 100 “treasonous” paintings by her father, seminal Iranian modern artist Nickzad Nodjoumi. The film follows Sara Nodjoumi as she traces a timeline of events, discovering her father’s ongoing activism, his complicated relationship with her mother, artist Nahid Hagigat, and how the implications of his incendiary art impacted the trajectory of their family’s future together. In 1980, Nickzad Nodjoumi (more commonly known as Nicky Nodjoumi) fled Iran in the wake of the Islamic Revolution. With his life in danger due to the controversial nature of his paintings on show at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, he joined his wife, Nahid, and daughter, Sara, in New York City, restlessly living in exile and continuing to paint. 40 years later, Sara begins an investigation to track down and reclaim her father’s lost artwork from Tehran. As the investigation deepens, she unearths the emotionally charged story of her family mirrored in the political and cultural upheavals of her parents’ homeland. Having participated in the pro-democracy movement to oust the Shah of Iran in the 1970s, Nicky’s hope for a new Iran crumbled with the ascendance of an authoritarian regime. His provocative paintings, now depicting the new Islamic power brokers, were quickly seized, and rumored to be destroyed by radical Islamists or stowed away in the basement of the museum.  Co-producers and co-directors Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder join us for a conversation on Sara’s deeply personal inquiry into her family and the central events of her parents’ life, paying tribute to their art while unveiling the complexity and longing that comes with living in exile from one’s ancestral home.


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For more go to: hbo.com/movies/a-revolution-on-canvas

About the filmmaker – Sara Nodjoumi is an independent filmmaker, producer and festival programmer. Recent credits include WHEN GOD SLEEPS, which premiered at Tribeca, played over 100 festivals worldwide, aired nationally on PBS, and won numerous international awards, before being shortlisted for the 2018 Academy Award in Germany. She previously produced THE IRAN JOB, which was also shortlisted for a German Academy Award (2014), and released worldwide on Netflix. In 2020 Nodjoumi and her producing and life partner, Till Schauder, released their latest documentary REGGAE BOYZ (Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival) in digital theaters across America. Most recently, she was awarded the 2021 Inaugural Brown Girls Documentary Mafia Sustainable Artist Grant for UNTITLED NICKY NODJOUMI PROJECT, a personal documentary about her father – controversial Iranian painter Nicky Nodjoumi. The film was recently greenlit by HBO and will be her directorial debut.

About the filmmaker – Till Schauder is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, and cinematographer. His debut documentary THE IRAN JOB (2012) was released worldwide, mentioned as an Oscar contender, and shortlisted for a German Academy Award. His 2017 documentary WHEN GOD SLEEPS premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in competition, and won numerous international awards, including Most Valuable Documentary of the Year from Cinema for Peace at Berlinale, and Best Music Documentary at the Krakow Film Festival. Another 2017 release, WARRIORS OF FAITH, won him the 2017 German Television Academy Award (German Emmy) and a nomination for the Prix Europa. Schauder’s REGGAE BOYZ, winner of the Brooklyn Film Festival Audience Award, was called “one of the funniest documentaries in years” by film-rezensionen.de. He is currently co-directing UNTITLED NICKY NODJOUMI PROJECT for HBO, a personal doc about his father-in-law, controversial Iranian painter Nicky Nodjoumi 


100% on RottenTomatoes

“It’s not always clear why we’re jumping from one strand to the next. Yet each strand on its own is fascinating.” – Alissa Wilkinson, New York Times

“”A Revolution on Canvas” deserves immense credit. In addition to splicing together home videos and photographs, the archival footage provides insight into the contemporary dialogue.” – Alan French, Sunshine State Cineplex

“Deeply personal yet broadly resonant, this galvanizing documentary salutes the power of art and activism through a specific cultural lens.” – Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue

“The glimpses afforded of her parents’ vivid, provocative, ambiguous art are worth the price of admission alone…” – Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills

“a fascinating political snapshot but even more absorbing as a look at two independent people with an insatiable creative drive.” – Valerie Kalfrin, AWFJ.org