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Nicole, the daughter of two prominent Iranian-American journalists, Nader Sadighi and Shahla Arasteh, grew up in London, England, in a little town called Twickenham, Richmond upon Thames. And it was those early years that she remembers wanting to grow up to be an actress.
At the age of nine she auditioned for her school's rendition of The Wizard of Oz and landed the role of Dorothy where she threw herself into the role with all her creative might. From that moment on she wanted to re-live those magical moments on stage and soon joined the local church theater and got involved in amateur dramatics at local community theater companies.
Once she graduated from high school, she went on to obtain her A levels in Business Studies, English Literature & Language and Art.
Hungry to satisfy her creative desire to act, she applied for performing arts school at Brooklands College, the only place she was able to obtain a grant to attend. At the end of her 3-year performing arts academy, she graduated with distinctions and merits. Now armed with a grounding in Stanislavsky, Chekhov, and the Alexander Technique, Nicole was ready to take her career to the next level.
She wanted to learn everything there was about the industry and started her film career as a volunteer PA for film and television production companies. She quickly gained a positive reputation as an upbeat, super friendly worker who wasn't afraid to go the extra mile. Soon production companies took notice and Nicole found herself being headhunted by Producer Georgia Masters (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) whom she'd worked with previously on the BAFTA nominated 'One Night Stand' starring Jemma Redgrave (Howard's End, Dracula, Doctor Who) and James Purefoy, (The Following, Revenge, A Knight's Tale, Resident Evil). During this time she accumulated the experience and hands on education she needed to follow her passion in the movie industry business as an actress and a writer.
Several plays and a couple of independent films later, she soon came to the realization that her future was in Los Angeles. Since moving to L.A. she began to see the fruits of her labor, landing a lead road in the independent short "When the Lights go Down", the pilot "S.O.S I'm a Woman". More recently winning many awards for starring in the foreign-language film 'I Am Neda', a passion project which was also her directorial debut at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival's American Pavilion. An Iranian language film with English subtitles, based on a true story of the young Iranian woman Neda Agha Soltan whose murder went viral for the world to see, 'I Am Neda' has received a lot of attention from the press such as the Huffington Post and legendary film critics like F.X. Feeney of LA Weekly for its heartwarming yet controversial subject matter.
Being a passionate advocate of many causes, Nicole is keenly committed to exposing human rights violations across the globe and is a proponent of non-violent movements. She was also a former fellow researcher at the Center for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy for Iran. She is often approached as a keynote spokesperson on behalf of numerous non-profit human rights groups and NGOs, both domestically and internationally . One of Nicole's most prominent invitations was from the famous group 'Hands Off Cain' in Rome, Italy, where she was invited alongside distinguished panelists, Italian politicians Marco Pannella and Daniele Capezzone. The conference was held in support of the UN General Assembly Resolution for the universal moratorium on capital punishment, which was also presented to the European Commission.
She not only has an artistic flair as a creative writer but has been a freelance writer for many leading publications and newspapers for a number of years.
Fortune led her to find the insight to establish her own production company Persepolis Pictures, and the inspiration to write, produce and direct her very first award-winning short film, 'I Am Neda', also adding another hyphenate in front of her name as director.
'I Am Neda' was not only Nicole Kian Sadighi's directorial debut, but she also wrote, produced and starred as Neda. The film has since won 10 awards and has received 21 nominations at different film festivals, such as USA Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival's American Pavilion. Including nominations for Best Actress for her performance as Neda, Best Director and Best Screenplay for 'I Am Neda'. In an interview with the BBC, Nicole commented: "As an actress who wore many hats for the making of I Am Neda, to also be recognized for my written and directorial debut is beyond thrilling. This film has been a huge endeavor for me, and there were so many challenges on the way. It has given me new found respects for the "Clint Eastwoods'" of the world who have not only written and directed but at times have starred in their own movies."
I Am Neda has won at the following film festivals:
Platinum Remi Special Jury Award:WorldFest Houston Int'l Film Festival 2012 Finalist: Cannes The American Pavilion for Emerging Filmmakers 2012 Finalist: USA Film Festival 2012 Best International Short: Burbank Int'l Film Festival 2012 Best Drama Short: Action on Film Int'l Film Festival 2012 Atlantis Award Best Film Score:(Rino Amato)Moondance Int'l Film Fest 2012 Best Short: World Music and Independent Film Festival 2012 Honorable Mention: Los Angeles Movie Awards 2012 Honorable Mention: Hollywood and Vine Film Festival 2012 Semi-Finalist: Best Short Film: Moondance Int'l Film Festival 2012
I Am Neda has been nominated at the following film festivals:
Official Selection Focus on World Film Montreal World Film Festival 2012 Nominated Best Actress in a Short (Nicole Kian Sadighi): WMI Film Fest 2012 Nominated Best Director in a Short(Nicole Kian Sadighi): WMI Film Fest 2012 Nominated Best Supporting Actress in a Short(Mary Apick): WMI Film Fest 2012 Nominated Best Screenplay Short (Nicole Kian Sadighi): WMI Film Fest 2012 Nominated Best Dialogue: Action on Film Int'l Film Festival 2012 Nominated Audience Choice Awards: Beverly Hills Film Festival 2012 Nominated Best Film: American Insights Free Speech Film Festival 2012 Nominated Best Foreign Film: BeFilm The Underground Film Festival 2012 Official Selection: Arpa Int'l Film Festival Official Selection 2012 Official Selection 2011: Santa Rosa International Film Festival
Nicole has been interviewed and featured by The Huffington Post, BBC, Women's Media Center, Universal Film Magazine, LA Observed, Los Angeles Times, AP, Paris Match, The Arts and Entertainment Magazine, Javanan Magazine, Javanan Radio, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Christian Science Monitor, Radio Vaticana, Le Monde, France24, FrontPage Magazine, AndishehTV, Kayhan London, The Iranians, Politica Online, CCTV, C-Span and many more.