Ghobadi, much the best-known of contemporary Kurdish filmmakers, was born in Baneh in Iranian Kurdistan on 1 February 1969, and moved with his family to the provincial capital of Sanandaj in 1983, during the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq war. An early interest in photography led him eventually to the study of film in Tehran, where he completed several short 8 millimetre films before approaching Iran’s most distinguished art film director, abbas kiarostami, who was planning to shoot his next film in Kurdistan. Ghobadi worked as second unit director on this film, The Wind Will Carry Us (1999), and also appeared in a small role. He was also cast by Samira Makhmalbaf, daughter of the famous Iranian filmmaker mohsen makhmalbaf, as one of the itinerant teachers in her second feature, the Kurdistan-set Blackboards (2000). Ghobadi was then able to establish a production company, Mij (Kurdish, “fog”) Film to help encourage Kurdish film culture. He has made four feature films as director, writer, and producer.