Samuel Khachikian

Samuel Khachikian
Born Samuel Khachikian
October 21, 1923
Tabriz, Iran
Died October 22, 2001 (aged 78)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Occupation film director, screenwriter, author, and film editor
Years active 1953-1994
Religion Armenian Apostolic Church
Spouse(s) Rosalynn Khachikian
Children Edwin Khachikian

Samuel Khachikian (Armenian: Սամուէլ Խաչիկեան Armenian pronunciation: [sɑm'vɛl χɑtʃʰik'jɑn]; Persian: ساموئل خاچیکیان ;October 21, 1923, Tabriz Iran, – 22 October 2001, Tehran)[1] was an Iranian film director, screenwriter, author, and film editor of Armenian descent. He was one of the most influential figures in Iran's movie industry and was nicknamed "Iran's Hitchcock".[2]


Born 1923 in Tabriz to a family of Armenian immigrants.[3] Khachikian's father escaped the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and settled in Tabriz. His mother admired cinema and the arts and often took her children to the theater.[2] Samuel Khachikian published his first poem “The Prison” in the Armenian newspaper Alik when he was nine. Five years later, he gave his first stage performance in Tabriz in a play titled “Seville”. He completed his education in History and Journalism, and wrote eight plays which went on stage not only in different cities of Iran, but also in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Greece.

Khachikian made his first film in 1953, titled “The Return”.[4] He was among the first and few directors who used the decoupage technique on the film set, preparing the complete shooting script in advance. The success of his works attracted a lot of attention to the advantages of this filmmaking approach. As an innovative filmmaker, he turned the production of murder mysteries into a popular new wave in the Iranian filmmaking. He made the first ever movie trailer in the history of Iranian cinema for the movie “A Girl from Shiraz” in 1954. Some of his films such as “The Strike” and “The Eagles” were box office hits of their times.

Samuel's son Edwin Khachikian is currently a director in Tehran, Iran. Samuel's brother Souren Khachikian was also heavily involved in the production of his films. Souren's grandson Ara H. Keshishian is currently working as a film editor in Hollywood.

His 1956 film A Party in Hell was entered into the 8th Berlin International Film Festival.[5]

He died on October 22, 2001 at the age of seventy-eight.[6]


Samuel Khachikian (right) 1954


  1. "Samouel Khachikian Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  2. 1 2 Milani, Abbas (2008). Eminent Persians : the men and women who made modern Iran, 1941-1979 : in two volumes (1st ed.). Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. pp. 1002–6. ISBN 0815609078.
  3. Lippard, Terri Ginsberg, Chris (2010). Historical dictionary of Middle Eastern cinema. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. p. 227. ISBN 0810873648.
  4. Jahed, edited by Parviz (2012). Directory of world cinema. (1. ed.). Bristol, UK: Intellect. pp. 57–8. ISBN 1841503991.
  5. " Awards for A Party in Hell". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  6. "Noted Director Samuel Khachikian Dies in Iran". Asbarez. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
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