From the filmmaker, Marjan Tehrani:
Ultimately it was my goal to tell an intimate and personal story that was accessible and universal at the same time. I hope that the audience walks away from the film with a deeper understanding of Iran/U.S. relations. Over time, the actions—and reactions—of these governments have caused enormous misunderstanding and misconception among their citizens, resulting in the absence of even the most basic opportunities for exchange. Both Iranians and Americans have been forced to rely on politicized media representations that have been stripped of their multidimensional perspectives.
Her three favorite films:
This is always a tough question and my list is always changing, but at the present moment:
Slumdog Millionaire—I know this is the hit movie of the year but I believe it to be a perfect film!
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
When We Were Kings
Her advice for aspiring filmmakers:
If you truly love what you do, continue to apply and reapply for grants and convince people to support you and your work! Sometimes it takes multiple attempts to get funding or acknowledgement but if you believe in what you are doing and stay committed, you will start to see results.
Her inspirations for making independent film:
Being able to share people’s stories with them. I love having the experience to be with people in different settings and to learn from them.
Every time I film a subject or collaborate with others, I am brought into a world that I would have never experienced otherwise. I thrive off of learning new things and feeling inspired by others.
Marjan Tehrani is an independent director and producer from Berkeley, California. She founded the production company Tru Films and has directed and produced Her Israel, which premiered on the Sundance Channel in 2004. She is also producing P Star Rising, a feature documentary that follows a 13-year-old female rap star as she fulfills her father's deferred dreams of making it in the music business.
Beyond her independent work, Tehrani has produced several original series for television, including dLIFE TV on CNBC and the Emmy-nominated After School on PBS, which featured celebrity alumni such as Harvey Keitel and Tim Robbins returning to their urban high schools as role models. Through Tru Films, Tehrani is dedicated to promoting dialogue between cultures, sharing the intricate and subtle aspects of identity and capturing the transformative moments of the human experience with both humor and integrity.