Maryam K. Hedayat is a filmmaker, writer and curator. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Antwerp and Film Direction at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels, she focused on making short films, short documentaries and video installations. Besides screenplays, she has published columns, essays and opinion pieces in rekto:verso magazine, Mo magazine, Bruzz, De Standaard and Deus ex Machina, among others.
Hedayat is fascinated by themes such as migration, identity and ecofeminism.
In her work, she often explores the nature of memories and the reliability of historiography on a personal as well as a historical level. She strives for poetic analyses of our socio-political realities.
In 2020, Hedayat’s short film Ferfereh was a semi-finalist for the California Venice short film festival and Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival. For Ferfereh, she collaborated with David Verdurme (Blue Bird, King of the Belgians).
Her video installation Untitled was on view during the exhibition RVLT! at Vanderborght gallery in May 2018.
A Tale of Memories, also a video installation, was shown in 2018 during the group exhibition So Many Trees >< Abattre at art space La Valleé in Brussels and during the Queer Arts Festival at MAS in Antwerp.
She has worked as a video dramaturge for KVS, for Sachli Gholamalizad’s plays A Reason to Talk, (Not) My Paradise and the third part of the trilogy Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season, which premiered at the arts festivaldesart in May 2019.
To audio artist David Helbich (Belgian Solutions) she gave conceptual support in 2018 during the creation of the art integration project Nieuwland subsidized by SCC.
Together with Sonja Simonyi, she was the artistic director of the European subsidized film project ENFEM in 2018, creating an artistic partnership with women from diverse backgrounds in Molenbeek. Under Hedayat’s direction, as a group they made several short films that were on display during an exhibition in June 2019.
In 2017, she made the documentary Extra Muros (about the lives of eight former residents of the Kapellen asylum center) for Fedasil.
In 2015, KunstZ and C-Mine supported her logistically, financially and productionaly with her video installation Genderless. After a residency at C-Takt, platform for interdisciplinary talent and C-Mine in Ghent, the installation was ready to be shown to the public. It was successfully received and between 2017 and 2018 was shown at culture center Berchem, during the Mestizo Arts Festival in Antwerp, at the BANG! festival in Brussels, during the Week of the Workshop at C-mine, at Lust&Liefde festival in Ghent and at community center Vita Humana in Maaseik.
As a result of Genderless, she was selected in 2016 to be part of the PUSH project (supported by Creative Europe) initiated by CC Hasselt’s Krokus festival. Besides a residency in Edinburgh, this also brought international perspectives. PUSH artists continue to maintain good connections with organizers and international festivals such as: Imaginate Festival in Edinburgh, Dublin Festival and SWOP festival in Roskilde.
In 2016 she was commissioned by KVS and Rachida Lamrabet to make a film for The Transatlantic Theatre Project of the Goethe Institute.
Two of her short films were screened at several exhibitions and festivals: Nazomer (2013) at the Sphinx cinema during the Ghent Film Festival and White Maze (2014), for which she worked with DOP Rik Zang, at exhibitions Semaine d’Art in Brussels, Made in Berchem in Antwerp, Kortgeknipt in Antwerp and Bewegend Beeld in Antwerp.
Hedayat has created several conceptual videos between 2012 and 2018 for choreographer Judith Clijsters that were screened at Cement Festival, CC BE Take out festival and at Dommelhof and C-mine. She also created videos for choreographer Yentl De Werdt that were incorporated as an installation in her dance video installation Kids. The piece was performed at C-Mine and at several theater festivals in India.
She also made videos for theater maker Adrian Sack, videos for the dance project 5 Seasons by Benjamin Pohlig and Katie Vickers, the video Cowboys don’t cry for theater company Laika and the video Alsemkomt for theater company the Roovers. She also made a short documentary Intermezzo for the Social Fund for Performing Arts and 5 short documentaries commissioned by Kopspel VZW and Matterhorn VZW.
In 2019, Hedayat and other directors founded Wanda, an action group for Flemish directors that fights for more inclusion and diversity in the film industry.
She further sits on the advisory board of Fantômas, a platform for independent film criticism.
In 2020, she started working part-time as an urban curator at argos, a center for audiovisual arts in Brussels. In her position, she brings together her artistic practice with her love of film and social-artistic through the projects she shapes.
She expresses her love for cinema further in the many panels she is regularly on, such as at Filmfest Gent, Mooov, Jef film festival, Fotomusuem, Feministe-moi-même from PointCulture or in podcasts like Via Cinema which can be heard on Kuleshov FM.
She also curates film programs for Wanda and argos with a strong focus on female filmmakers and The Female Gaze. One example is the exhibition Female Haze(d), a collaboration between Hedayat and Decoratelier in Brussels.
She further guest lectures at LUCA School of Arts. In 2021 and 2022, she guided first year students with their graduation films.
Since 2022, Hedayat has been an independent committee member for the Dutch Film Fund.