Tuesday, March 04, 2014

AIFF 2013: Iranian Film Makers Talk about Their Future

Plot 1
She's won a fellowship to leave Iran to study in Berlin.  Her fiance is happy for her.  She's planning her trip when she's raped.  And nothing is the same.

 Plot 2

Film makers' movie gets accepted in film festival in Anchorage, Alaska.  They travel to the festival and meet a lot of people including a blogger who covers the festival.  "Everything is Fine Here" wins honorable mention in the feature category.  They meet with blogger after the festival to talk about their film and their future plans.  

How often do you get to talk with Iranians?  I wanted to know more.  I talked with Pourya Azarbayjani and Mona Sartoveh for about 90 minutes partly in English, but also with the help of a local Farsi speaker. 

Finally I asked them to just talk on camera, without being interrupted with interpretation.  We'd get the interpretation later.

A couple of weeks or so ago, I met with the interpreter and we discussed her interpretation and played around with different words to express what they had said.  And we decided not to try to add subtitles to the video, but rather put the English translation below the video in the post.

So, watch the short video and see how much you can pick up from the body language and tone of voice.  Then read the translation below.

The translation:

Steve:  Ok, you have come to the US and you plan to stay for the moment, you have a sister in Boston, So what do you expect to do for the next three years?

Pourya:  We have decided for now to stay here for a couple of reasons.  The first is to learn how to speak English well, because we can reach more people if we can tell our stories in English than we could in Farsi.  And it is easier to tell these stories in English because there are so many people here who have come from all around the world. We believe we have come to the right place, because of all the people who have come here with the American dream to build their lives and because they have so many different backgrounds and cultures, there are so many different stories to tell.  And I believe that here it’s possible to tell these stories. 

We decided in the next three years to make a film, a very good film, Mona and I together. And we’re hoping that first we can raise the money, and second, we can learn how to reach the American audience, and then the rest of the world. 
Mona, do you agree?

Mona:  I agree with you completely.  I hope we’ll succeed.  I’m sure we will. 

Pourya:  The most important thing is this.  As two Iranians, we love all the people from around the world from any nation, religion, and race.  We believe it’s time that borders and religions should not separate human beings.  We, before anything else, are human.


  1. Replies
    1. Sorry you took it down. It added things I was near, but hadn't yet grasped.

  2. Sorry. I had second thoughts about using a family story that was quite personal and special; it had its moment in print. I wish there was a way to remove posts without appearing to be upset about it -- as others might assume the action represented. It didn't, and I appreciate your response.


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