Shiva was born in Tehran, Iran in 1980.
In 2002 she did a B.A. in Graphic Design (Fine Art) from Tehran University of Fine Art. In 2008 she was in Residence in Cite international des Arts – Paris, Awarded the scholarship by Cite International des Arts. In her short artistic career she has had many National and International Shows to her credit. In 2003 she exhibited at the Azad Gallery, Tehran, Iran; at Chaumont Gallery, Paris, France; at Art Chamber Gallery, Goa, India and at Galeria Jana Koniarka, Trnava – Slovakia. In the next 3 years she exhibited at Niyavaran Cultural Center organized by UN – Tehran; Crimson the Art Resource, Bangalore; Chaumont Gallery, Paris; Sadabad Gallery, Tehran and Kala Ghoda Gallery, Mumbai.
Shiva came to making films and documentaries from a visual arts background where she painted and made sculptures for ten years. But a few years later she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was bedridden for six months. When she got better, she didn’t have the physical power to paint or sculpt. She says, “It was at that time when I thought of getting rid of the two-dimensional structure and put my skills into filmmaking and offer myself a bigger and better frame to express my feelings.”
Iranian documentary filmmaker Shiva Sanjari is known for her documentary “Here the Seats are Vacant”, about the first woman filmmaker of Iran. The movie was shown at the 13th International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Asian Women’s Film Festival. Her film is about Shahrzad (stage name) a young woman in the pre-Iranian revolution days, who was sold by her father. It’s the story of the protagonist rise and fall, where she first struggled as a cabaret dancer and then become an award-winning actress, a great author, and one of the first female directors of that era.
Shiva lives and works in Tehran.