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When God Sleeps

When God Sleeps depicts the journey of Iranian musician Shahin Najafi, who was forced into hiding after hardline clerics issued a fatwa for his death, incensed by a rap song that focused on the oppression of women and human rights abuses. As a youth, Najafi was talented in recitation of the Koran. Now each of his concerts puts his life at risk.

Worldwide press reports have described Najafi as the "Salman Rushdie of music," though Rushdie could write while in hiding and Najafi, as a musician, needs to perform. Director Till Schauder will tell one man's story while delving into issues of freedom of speech and how one man decides to persevere and live his life, despite the fatwa.

How To Donate: 

All donations for the production and distribution of When God Sleeps are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If you would like to make a donation, please write your check to HARTLEY FILM FOUNDATION and designate it to When God Sleeps in the lower left-hand corner.

If you would like to make a donation online, please click here:


Auburn Update 

When God Sleeps will premiere at Tribeca Film Festival.  To date, Schauder and Producer Sara Nodjoumi have received development grants from The Sundance Institute, Catapult Film Fund, Fork Films and Hartley. When God Sleeps has been recommended for a German Academy Award in the Category "Best Film in Development," and is also a recipient of German Federal Film Board development funding and the Germany-based Gerd Ruge Stipendium. The filmmakers pitched the film at DOK Leipzig and Hot Docs Forum, and were invited to IFP Spotlight on Documentaries this September.

For More Information 
For more information, you can contact Laura Healy, Program Administrator at Auburn at:
Phone: 212-870-3155 or 212-662-4315
E-mail: [email protected]

If you would like to explore films with similar themes, please click on Islam.