Samira Goetschel is an Iranian-born American award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She left Iran with her family after the government of Ayatollah Khomeini executed her father. An alumnus of NYU Film School, her graduating film, Clown de la Vie won Best Short Film at the New York State Film Festival, and was a finalist at the Student Academy Awards. She earned her Master of Arts degree at Columbia University, and followed her passion for filmmaking with a short film about the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. She was the first filmmaker permitted to shoot inside the Museum. Her first documentary, Our Own Private Bin Laden, was named Best Foreign Documentary and Best Film of the Festival at the 2006 European Independent Film Festival in Paris, and won the Audience Award at the International Film Festival in Seoul.