Babak Payami established the Payam Films Institute upon his return to Iran in 1998. Payam films produced three motion pictures in Iran. “One More Day” was Babak Payami’s debut feature film which premiered at the 2000 Berlinale, Panorama Special program. In 2001, “Secret Ballot” premiered in the main competition of the Venice international film festival and was subsequently released internationally. “Silence Between Two Thoughts” was Payami’s third feature film that was shot in eastern Iran near the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan during 2002. After the original material for Silence… was confiscated by government authorities in Iran, he managed to reconstruct the film from computer files he could salvage after the raid of his offices in Iran. The film was released on a video format in the Upstream Competition of Venice 2003. Since the controversial release of Silence Between Two Thoughts, Babak Payami has endeavored in making films outside of Iran in order to avoid entanglement with certain elements in the Iranian government whose sole purpose is to intimidate and hinder the independent arts community in Iran.