Award-winning documentary Love Child, on Young Couple Forced to Flee Their Iranian Homeland for Love and Family Inspite of an Uncertain Future, Has its National Television Debut on Monday, September 14 on PBS Television Series POV
NEW YORK, NY – Thursday, September 3, 2020 – The award-winning documentary film Love Child is a political love story about Leila, her secret love, Sahand, and their escape from Iran.
On a cold winter’s day a plane arrives in Istanbul with four-year-old Mani, and his parents on board. Though they seem like any other family on a trip, the little boy doesn’t know that the journey is an escape, that the three of them can never return to Iran and that the ‘uncle’ he is travelling with is really his biological father. With adultery punishable by death, this family could never live together in Iran, so they flee their country in search of a safe place in the West where they can build a life together.
Award-winning Danish filmmaker Eva Mulvad’s Love Child documents the family as they wind their way through the bureaucratic tangle of the asylum process, just as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is inundated with waves of applicants displaced by the civil war in Syria.
Love Child has its national broadcast premiere on the PBS documentary series POV on September 14, 2020 at 10 pm (check local listings). POV is American television's longest-running independent documentary series, now in its historic 33rd season. Love Child premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received a Special Jury Mention at the 2019 DOC NYC Film Festival, as well as a Gold Hugo at the 2019 Chicago International Film Festival.
Throughout the years long asylum process, Mulvad chronicles the ebb and flow of the couple’s fortunes and their stabilizing commitment to form a family over the course of six years. “I risked everything and left my country,” Leila explains, “not for money or the good life. I wanted to give my child a life, where his mother and father live together. We left because we just wanted to live like a normal family.” Their quest for normalcy is threatened by ever present doubts about the future and anxieties over the past and the sense of alienation that accompanies the loss of one's homeland. “In this whole world, you don’t even belong to a little piece of land,” Leila notes. “Being a refugee is as if you’re here, but you don’t exist.”
As much as it is a refugee account, Love Child is an intimate love story about an illicitly formed family on a journey to start a new life in safety. Taking us behind the headlines of the refugee crisis, Mulvad said, “I wanted to nuance the refugee debate and humanize the statistics by presenting people we can mirror ourselves in.”
“While there are many genres of documentary, the love story is uncommon,” said Justine Nagan, executive producer/executive director of POV/American Documentary. “This film has something for everyone and will move and delight audiences. It’s serious, and the stakes are high, but the deft filmmaking and poignant protagonists take audiences on a memorable journey not soon forgotten. We are so happy to bring it to American audiences.”
Focusing on the mundane as well as the momentous, Mulvad captures the slow, complex process of three people becoming a family. Ultimately, Love Child documents the triumph of love and human will over a pitiless state and a faceless bureaucracy.
About the Filmmakers
Eva Mulvad, Director, Writer
Eva Mulvad won the prestigious, Danish ”Roos Award ” granted for her entire body of work. Mulvad graduated from the Danish Film School in 2001 and by 2006 she had her international break-through with ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS, which focused on the female politician Malalai Joya’s political campaign ahead of the first democratic elections in Afghanistan 2005. The film won the Silver Wolf Award at IDFA and subsequently the World Cinema Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. With her intrinsic flair for drama and with many international awards in the baggage, Eva Mulvad is one of Denmark’s most prominent filmmakers. Mulvad’s filmography includes, among others, the well-known family-chronicle entitled THE GOOD LIFE (2010). The film was shown at IDFA and went on to win the award for Best Documentary at Kalovy Vary International Film Festival. She has recently toured the world with the film A MODERN MAN, about classical violinist Charlie Siem and her film A CHERRY TALE premiered at CPH:DOX in 2019, an amazing story about entrepreneurship in modern time.
Sigrid Dyekjær, Producer
Sigrid Dyekjær has produced over 20 documentary films in the last 16 years. Among them is AI WEIWEI –THE FAKE CASE by Andreas Johnsen (winner of the film critics’ award in Denmark, the Bodil, and nominee at IDFA’s feature length competition in 2013). She also produced FREE THE MIND by Phie Ambo, A NORMAL LIFE by Mikala Krogh (winner of the Audience Award at CPH:DOX), was executive producer on BALLROOM DANCER(winner of Nordic Panorama 2012, and Best Documentary Film at Raindance 2012 [UK], and opened Taiwan Film Festival). Additionally THE GOOD LIFE, THE MONASTERY, MECHANICAL LOVE and CAIRO GARBAGE. In 2014 she produced both Mikala Krogh’s film THE NEWSROOM -OFF THE RECORD about the insides of a major Danish newspaper, and Oscar-nominee Hanna Polak’s SOMETHING BETTER TO COME. For this she was nominated at The Producers Guild of America Awards 2016 for Outstanding Producer of Documentary. Sigrid is now a member of The Producers Guild of America. Besides LOVE CHILD, she also produced THE CAVE by Oscar-nominee Feras Fayaad and co-produced THE KINGMAKER by Lauren Greenfield, which are all being presented at TIFF this year.
Adam Nielsen, Editor
Adam Nielsen is an editing graduate of the National Film School of Denmark, 2003.An Award winning Danish editor, Nielsen has edited a large number of fiction and documentary films. Among them are the Oscar-nominee A WAR by Tobias Lindholm, BEFORE THE FROST by Michael Noer, BOBBI JENE by Elvira Lind, THE WAR SHOW by Andreas Dalsgaard, AI WEIWEI THE FAKE CASE by Andreas Johnsen and A HIJACKING. Nielsen also edited Eva Mulvad’s previous films ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS and THE GOOD LIFE
Director: Eva Mulvad
Co-Directors: Lea Glob & Morten Ranmar
Script: Eva Mulvad
Editor: Adam Nielsen
B-Editor: Thor Ochsner & Bobbie Esra Pertan
Cinematographer: Eva Mulvad, Lea Glob, Morten Ranmar, Meryem Yavuz, Esben Grage, Henrik Bohn Ipsen
Graphic Designer: Nicolai Bejder
Composer: Jakob Bro, Thoma Knak, Anders Remmer & Jesper Skaaning
Sound Designer: Heikki Kossi, M.P.S.E
Creative Producer Finland: Iikka Vehkalahti
Co-Producer: Ulla Simonen & Ilona Tolmunen
Executive Producers: Eva Mulvad, Mikala Krogh, Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær P.G.A. & Henrik Grunnet
Creative Producer: Henrik Grunnet
Producer: Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær P.G.A
Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. It's on POV where American television audiences were introduced to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, The Act of Killing and American Promise and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Nanfu Wang, and Laura Poitras. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries.
Over a generation, POV has championed accessibility and innovation in nonfiction storytelling. POV Engage works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present hundreds of free screenings every year, inspiring dialogue around today's most pressing social issues. The series' interactive arm, POV Spark, creates and advances experiential forms of storytelling and programming, redefining U.S. public media to be more inclusive of emerging technologies and interactive makers.
POV films and projects have won 38 Emmy Awards, 25 George Foster Peabody Awards, 14 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
American Documentary, Inc. (www.amdoc.org)
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Open Society Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from Acton Family Giving, Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust, Park Foundation, Sage Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.
“Entirely engrossing. Eva Mulvad’s film is remarkable for its intimate, extended access, its subtle political acuity and its personal window into a global crisis. But it’s first and foremost a feat of captivating storytelling, rich in character detail, vivid temporal awareness and high-stakes tension.”
– Guy Lodge, Variety
“One of the most absorbing dramas of the year. Eva Mulvad's achingly intimate personal documentary follows a family on the run for their lives.”
– Kate Erbland, IndieWire