Born in Iran in 1964, Moslem Mansouri was arrested and imprisoned for two years in 1981. Because of his political views against the tyrannical regime of Iran, he began working in Iranian cinema magazines in 1991 and published a book, "Cinema and Literature." From 1994 to 1998, Mansouri, under the pretext of media work, and outside the control of the Iranian regime, secretly produced eight documentary films about the lives of the people in the theocratic rule of Iran.
His first film, 1996's Close Up Long Shot, earned the International Federation of Critiques Award at the Turin Film Festival in Italy in 1997 and the Best Film prize at Portugal's Lisbon Festival. It was also praised by Bernardo Bertolucci. His second film, Shamlou: The Poet of Freedom was shown in the Literature Faculty of Harvard, Berkeley and several other universities. In 1997 he made two short films, dissolve in Paris and Extras in Tehran, which is the story of unwanted extras in today's Iranian film productions. In 1998, he shot three films, Epitaph, Utopia and Trial, but before he had time to edit and finish them he had to escape Iran to the United States.
In 2002, he finished the editing of his three last films in Sweden and Canada. All three films later held a remarkable presence at many film festivals around the world. Trial was shown in May 2003 at the famous Tribeca film festival in New York City and earned the best Documentary prize. This film was also praised by Michael Moore, a jury member on that year's festival. Trial also won the Movieeye/Kinoglaz prize in Tver, Russia in 2004.
The presence of his films in different film festivals and artistic communities introduced the idea of the "Iranian Underground Cinema," into contemporary critical discourse. Mansouri's underground cinema became defined as a dissident protest against the Iranian Cinema encouraged and supported by the Iranian regime.
In 2005 Mansouri published a book called The Not Passing Time in Persian. It creates a picture of the late Ahmad Mahmood, the well-known and iconic Iranian novelist. Since then Mansouri has been working to make his first film in the United States which will shoot in 2008 if he succeeds in his quest to find sufficient producers or sponsors.