Born in Tehran in 1967, Reza Mirkarimi graduated in Graphic Arts from the University of Fine Arts in Tehran. He began his career in cinema as director, writer, and producer in 1987 with a short film and two TV series. His directorial debut, The Child and the Soldier (1999), won national and international awards in Isfahan, Nantes, and Zlin. His second feature, Under the Moonlight (2000) won the 40th International Critics Week Best Feature Award at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival. It went on to win the Best Director Award and the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2001. Mirkarimi has so far won seven Golden Simorgh awards at the Fajr Film Festival. Three of his films were selected as Iran’s submission to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category: So Close, So Far (2005), A Cube of Sugar (2011), and Today (2014). His fourth and fifth feature films, As Simple as That (2007) and Daughter (2016), won the Golden George Award for Best Picture at the 30th and the 38th Moscow International Film Festival respectively. Castle of Dreams won big at Shanghai, receiving awards for best picture, best director, and best actor.