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US Premiere

Director: Golzar Taravati

Canada, 2022, 31 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2023

Category:Documentary Short

Genres:Political, Social, Human Rights


Whitewash looks at the pressure felt amongst Iranian immigrants in Canada to change their given names to Western names on their resumes to increase their chance of getting a job, and the consequences that develop due to this act of cultural and identity erasure. This issue is not only limited to Iranians but also includes various immigrant populations in Canada.

The film follows the story of three fellow Iranian immigrants and the extent of discrimination against them in their search for work and asks how race can contribute to the rates of unemployment for certain communities in Toronto and what it will take to foster racial equality in the workplace. Whitewash looks at the motives behind the choice of changing one's name to assimilate to Western culture. It asks what this means for ethnic minorities who feel excluded, unwelcome or worse still targeted.

About the director

Golzar Taravati is an Iranian-born documentary filmmaker and visual artist based in Toronto. Varied in approach and medium, her projects explore racial and gender inequalities with a focus on geo-political ideologies. As a filmmaker, she finds herself questioning the motives behind these socially, and politically chaotic disputes. Taravati’s work examines issues related to human rights violations that influence individuals and communities and addresses the everyday grief that marginalized communities experience due to exclusion and discrimination. Her recent work, Whitewash, was awarded the best short documentary film at Montreal Independent Film festival.

Taravati holds a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media with distinction from Toronto Metropolitan University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Waterloo.

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