Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


Farnaz Behzadi, a veteran Iranian puppet artist who was one of Iran’s most innovative puppeteers, died on the eve of the 19th Tehran-Mobarak International Puppet Festival in Bandar Anzali (northern Iran).

Born in 1949, Farnaz Behzadi received a diploma in interior design from the Amin al-Douleh Conservatory in Iran, a diploma in painting and sculpture from the Miss Perez Private School in Switzerland, and a bachelor’s degree in puppet theater from the University of Vincennes in Paris.

Behzadi directed several puppet shows and performed in France, USA and India, and worked as a set and costume designer for Iranian television stations before the Iranian Revolution in 1979. After the revolution, she concentrated on directing puppet shows and making and designing puppets and masks.

Behzadi introduced the French company Les Grandes Personnes to Iran and invited their artists to the country. Together they held many workshops throughout Iran with the support of Mobarak UNIMA, teaching and expanding the design, construction and performance of giant puppets in Iran.

She has been a board member of the Iranian Association of Puppetry and UNIMA-Iran for several periods.

She had considered writing the book “Creation and Life with Stage Puppets” as her puppet testament, which she has left as a memory for puppet lovers and students.