I don't know why biographies are normally written as third person. Of course if one was already dead, that might have been the only way around, but at the moment I’m still alive and apparently was born in November 1959.
After entering high school, life became more unbearable until I left home (1976) and I also left high school, having hardly any interest or motivation to study. But since those days-during the reign of Shah- without a high school certificate, one would have ended up at the bottom of military hierarchy, (as a conscript), I voluntarily had to return to school, after having one year break in between.
I’d supposed to start my military service in Feb 11th, 1980, exactly six days before the victory of the revolution, but in the middle of those chaotic days, so many people like me weren’t bothered about introducing themselves to the army.
Anyway, I ended up to be exempted at the end along with lots of others, since the army simply just had enough of us -conscripts- already, (considering those passionate days of the revolution).
Since I was always interested in experiencing life in another country, after receiving my military exemption (and therefore being able to leave), I quickly went to the Australian embassy and applied for migration-with the support of my aunt who was living there from early 70s- I was in the middle of the paperwork when American hostages were taken and Australia suspended its relation with Iran, so I decided to go to Italy to study cinema, but I was in the middle of the paperwork again when Saddam invaded Iran and I was placed-with lots of others- in the army reserve.
So, in 1981 I opened a photographic shop/studio, but the shortage of photographic equipments, due to the economical effects of the war, forced us to move into the field of hi-fi equipments. But with the war worsening, I later on entered the business of renting films-on VHS- until 1983 that video clubs became illegal...
All these years I was also taking some personal photos and Amir Naderi, (who was our family friend), used to come to our shop. Then I started to use the opportunity to show my photos and asking his opinion until the time came for his Runner (1982) to be made. At first I was supposed to be sound-recorder assistant and stills photographer, but practically I did stills and anything else I could do on the set, but sound.
After The Runner, Water,Wind,Dust (1984-85) arrived, which was later on shelved by its producer, (Iranian TV) for 3 years and then I had to look after few children in The Key (Ibrahim Forouzesh-1985) until Mr. Naderi (upset with the unofficial ban of Water, Wind, Dust) decided to leave Iran. Because of the 4th international screening of The Runner at Sydney Film Festival (June 1986), I was also able to obtain/achieve Australian visa.
I spent the first two years, doing some black works, (waiting for residency). The first year I was watching films and distributing leaflets to people's home. The second year when I could legally apply for the taxi driving license, that's what I did. Meanwhile I had some ideas for films and I was working hard to explain them on the papers, trying to raise some government's funds and subsidies.
After becoming "legal", I approached whatever Australian film bodies available at the time, but I was not receiving much positive feedbacks.
I think may be the main reason was the fact that most of my ideas couldn't easily being explained on the paper. And maybe because of my mentor's influence-Amir Naderi- none of them had much "story" to tell.
between 88 to 91, I was doing different things in the Australian TV and
In those days I could make a reasonable living by driving cab over the weekends and I should say that I was really enjoying it too. Because most of the time, 'happy passengers', having 'happy times' over the weekends, would hardly notice me, and me, being almost invisible, could easily witness and listen to their happy conversations. Also in some cases they were people talking about some personal aspects of their lives, taking you as a stranger passing by, (whom they will never see again).
Until June 1991, that Mr. Naderi asked me to join him on a trip, discovering the wild west of America. He wanted to research for the couple of Native American stories which he had in mind, so we drove in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona.American Dream, Close Up Even though we had a VHS camera for our location scouting, the quality of the picture looked good enough for me to start my first experimental film, Reverse Angle, on my return to Australia.
I should admit that before my time in Australia, I had never taken documentaries seriously (despite the fact that The Runner and Water Wind Dust were both kind of documentaries). But by watching so many interesting documentaries in there, I had probably become more sensitive about the possibilities of this kind of cinema.
Especially withPoint of View I realized that there are always kinds of narrative structure in a documentary situation- even in the rushes- and at the same time, fictional cinema can also be treated like a documentary. At the end there are just different/similar kinds of cinemas…
(For more information please refer to the Films)