The Marriage Project

Encourage the patients from a mental hospital to form relationships with each other, get married and live as a family. That’s the bold new idea of the head of Ehsan House in Southern Tehran. For the past 20 years, its 480 patients have lived in separate male and female units with no hope of ever leaving or of having meaningful sexual relationships.

But in 2017, the head of the centre secured the money to build a new unit of marital facilities. Despite strong opposition, he was convinced the patients would benefit from being in a couple.

As a selection committee begins evaluating patients, hidden affections come to the surface. Finally, the team selects two patients to form the first couple. Are these two patients capable of having a relationship that leads to marriage? What do their families think? And what about the patients who weren’t selected but still crave human relationships?


  • Year: 2020
  • Duration: 90 & 52 mins
  • Production: Caractères Productions & Aras Films
  • Director: Atieh Attarzadeh, Hesam Eslami
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: Iran, France, Qatar



  • Student Jury Award, CReative Documentary Competition at Festival Interférences Lyon 2021 (France), Second Best Documentary & Second Best Film Poster at ImagineIndia Film Festival 2021 (Spain), Award Winner of up&coming Competition of International Human Rights Film Festival This Human World outlines 2020 (Austria), "Monde en Regards" Award & "Images en Bibliothèques" Selection at Festival International du Film Jean Rouch 2020 (Paris, France), Special Mention at Escales Documentaires de La Rochelle 2020 (France), Cinéma Vérité 2019 (Iran), FAJR 2020 (Iran), Visions du Réel 2020 (Switzerland), Thessaloniki Documentary Film festival 2020 (Greece), Millenium Documentary festival 2020 (Belgium), Firenze Film Festival 2020 (Italy), Taiwan Women Make Waves Festival 2020 (Taiwan), Festival Traces de Vie 2020 (Clermont-Ferrand, France), Rendez-Vous With Madness Film festival 2020 (Canada), Global Health Film Festival 2020 (UK & Ireland), This Human World 2020 (Austria), FIPADOC 2021 (France), Ethnocineca – International Documentary Film Festival Vienna 2021(Austria), Dokubazaar Human Rights Film Festival 2021 (Slovenia), Qumra 2021 (Qatar), Rencontres Vidéo en Santé Mentale 2021 (France), Rencontres Images Mentales Bruxelles 2022 (Belgium).

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