Ajyal Film Festival 2024

All Films

Before Darkness (قبل از تاریکی)

Ajyal Competition, Ajyal at Vox - Doha Tribecca Film Festival 2010

Mosayeb Hanaei / Short Narrative / Iran, Afghanistan / 2021 / 18 min / Colour / DCP / In Afghan, Persian, Turkish / Arabic, English subtitles / MENA Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance advised for viewers under the age of 15. Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or over.


An Afghan woman hides her child in a bag because she does not have enough money to take them both across Iran’s border. But her plan is exposed with heartbreaking consequences. Forced to leave her unsympathetic smuggler's truck, she is put in an unforgiving position with only unthinkable options left. This tense and visceral, dramatic short puts viewer uncomfortably close to the types of seemingly impossible decisions faced by millions of displaced people around the world.

About the Director

A stand-up comedian who tours the globe, Ahmed was born in Helwan, Egypt, and as a child moved to the United States where he grew up in Riverside, California. At 19, he moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as an actor-comedian and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Ahmed can be seen in films and television shows including “Iron Man,” “You Don't Mess With The Zohan,” “Swingers,” “Roseanne,” “JAG,” and MTV's “Punk’d.” In addition, Ahmed appears in” City of Life,” the first feature to be shot entirely in Dubai, and he was the recipient of the first annual Richard Pryor Award at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in Scotland. Along with fellow comedians Maz Jobrani and Aron Kaider, Mr. Ahmed created the “Axis of Evil” comedy tour and performed to sold-out audiences through the Middle East. Mr. Ahmed made his directorial debut with the documentary “Just Like Us,” which chronicles the tour.

Mosayeb Hanaie was born in 1986 in Shiraz, Iran. He holds a BA in cinema (Directing) from Sooreh Art University in Tehran and a MA in cinema from the Iran Broadcasting University. He began making short films in 2010 with a project called 'Anything Unimportant' and has completed three films, two fiction and one documentary.


Mosayeb Hanaei
Mosayeb Hanaei
Fariba Keshavarzi
Mosayeb Hanaei
Director of Photography
Taylor Feltner
Omar Fadel
Masoud Talebi
Production Company
Iranian Youth Cinema Society
Mehdi Khanjan Afje
Shahbanoo Mohamadi, Iraj Tadayon, Reza Ahmadi, Narges Hazar, Ghasem Alizadeh, Ahmad Ataei, Akbar Sharifi, Bashir Nikzad, Gholamhosein Shabani far, Parsa Shabani


  • Main Contact

    Caitlin McFarland

    Just Like Us
    301 809 6854

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