Sierra Urich

Nominated for Truer Than Fiction Award


Director: Joonam


Filmmaker Sierra Urich grew up in rural Vermont, a place and an upbringing far removed from Iran, the homeland of her mother, Mitra, and grandmother, Behjat. Only knowing Iran through family stories, and with the prospect of travel to the country a seemingly impossible dream, she embarks on a personal quest to make sense of her fractured Iranian identity. Navigating barriers of language, culture and diasporic displacement, Sierra turns to Mitra and Behjat to construct a deeply moving and sometimes disarmingly funny portrait of three generations of women and their complex relationship to an Iran of the past.


Sierra Urich is an Iranian-American (“neem-rooni”), award-winning filmmaker, and interdisciplinary artist based in Vermont. She was a Sundance Nonfiction Director Fellow 2018, Points North Fellow 2018, Firelight Doc Lab Fellow 2021, Chicken & Egg Eggcelerator Lab Fellow 2022, and was twice shortlisted for a Creative Capital Award (2020, 2021). Her first feature film, Joonam, premiered in competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, and recently took home the Jury Award for Best Portrait Documentary at the Cleveland International Film Festival, and the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Bentonville Film Festival. Urich works professionally as an editor and nonfiction director.