The Marriage Project

The Marriage Project

  • Available to stream online: Thu, Oct 15, 2:30pm to Sat, Oct 17, 2:30pm
  • Virtual panel: Sat, Oct 17, 2:30pm

ASL Interpreted, Open Captions

Atieh Attarzadeh / Hesam Eslami / 2020 / Farsi with English subtitles / Iran / France / Qatar / 80 min / Ontario Premiere

What happens when inpatients of a psychiatric institution are being encouraged to get married to each other and build lives together within the hospital grounds? The Marriage Project, a thematically unique and intriguing Iranian documentary, tells you just that. The film is set almost entirely in Ehsan’s House, a psychiatric facility in southern Tehran housing around 500 patients. With unprecedented access to the hospital’s communal spaces and events, Directors Atieh Attarzadeh and Hesam Eslami chronicle a bold project conducted by the hospital’s director, Dr. Farhad Ramezanejad. Historically, the hospital has always segregated men and women. But Ramezanejad proposes a social experiment – he advocates for patients to form relationships, get married and live as a family within Ehsan’s House. Facing scrutiny from his colleagues and a variety of responses from the patients, Ramezanejad is determined to get the project off the ground. But are Ehsan’s House’s patients ready to get married? And who exactly should decide that?

Screening with

If I Die Please Delete My Soundcloud
Natasha Matila-Smith | 2019 | New Zealand | English with English subtitles | 8 minutes

Captured on video stillness, wondering and a matrix of existential dread. “In the middle of a sleepless night a variety of digital devices provide comfort and distraction for a restless mind. But does it help?”



How do we imagine conventional clinical spaces in relation to how we imagine life in the wider world? The Marriage Project allows us to consider ideas of personhood, love, and choices in the realm of institutionalized settings and what a lack of those experiences might suggest. The themes for this panel are centred on Iranian perspectives on mental health and relationships as well as alternative forms of therapy and community.