Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Grenoble Festival du court métrage en plein air

I had the honour to be a member of the jury for this year's festival in Grenoble.
It was an amazing experience and we all got along so well. Thanks to the whole team of the Cinémathèque de Grenoble who organises this festival each year.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

TED Ed lesson on How to turn Protest into Powerful Change

This is my last collaboration with TED Ed

Thanks to Sherry Akrami, Julien Sarti and Amin for helping with the photos. The animation is done by Amin Haghshenas.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Two Animation Films for IDEO

Here are two commissioned films Amin Haghshenas and I made for IDEO, an organisation based in San Francisco, a team of creative problem-solvers that is tackling the world’s biggest challenges through design. they partner with NGOs, governments, foundations, and nonprofits. The project we worked on was about the benefits of reading books to children, destined to parents, especially those in the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

BIAF 2016 Festival Poster

The 18th Bucheon International Animation Festival's poster I designed. 
I also have the honour to be a member of jury this year! and visit Korea for the first time!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

IDEO Project

Recently me and my friend Amin Haghshenas have been working on two videos for IDEO, an organisation based in USA. These videos teache parents the benefits of reading aloud to kids. so we have been directing and animating two videos. both film are almost in post-production.

And the one and only Amin Haghshenas, the man behind all the action!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Animating a TED Ed lesson

Recently I finished directing a commissioned short film (4:20 mins) for TED Ed . The lesson was "What Are Human Rights?" written by the amazing educator, Bennedetta Berti. I had received the VO and had to work according to it. We only had 2 months for the whole project which is really short so I tried to keep things very simple.

Amin Haghshenas did the animating in anime studio and he did a really neat job I think :)
the experience on the whole was really nice, I guess the topic had also a role in making it such a pleasure to work on it too.

After finishing the project, as I was in the US for a festival, I used the opportunity to go and visit the team and my producer Gerta Xhelo at TED Ed, in New York, it was fantastic! here are two links to the video, check it out and let me know what you think :)

Friday, 27 March 2015

Official Selections and Prizes for Beach Flags


Grand Prize, Tindirindis international Aniamtion Festaival 2015 (Lithuania)
Grand Prize, BIAF Animation Festival 2015 (Korea)
Grand Jury Prize, ANIMA, Córdoba International Animation Festival 2015 (Argentina)
Best Animation Film FIJR Granada 2015 (Espagne)
Best of the Show, The Animation Block Party film festival 2015 (USA)
The AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Prize, Giffoni International Film Festival 2015 (Italy)
Best Short Film, Cortos Por Caracoles Festival 2015 (Spain)
Public Prize, Prinanima, Festival 2014 (Hungary)
Best Film Award, international Animé awards 2015 (Japan)
Ex-Aequo Young Jury award Bruz Film Festival 2014 (France)
The Original Music composition award, Bruz Film Festival 2014(France)
Best Animation Film, Aubagne film festival 2015 (France)
The Jury Prize, International Festival Séquence Court-Métrage 2015 (France)
The Rock award, Asiana Festival 2015 (Korea)
3rd prize Monstronale Festival 2015 (Gerany)
BCN Sports Film Festival 2015 (Spain)
Best Screenplay, International Animayo Festival 2015 (Spain)
Second Prize, Literally Short Film Awards 2015 (USA)
Best Animation Film, FestiFrance 2015 (Brazil)

Runner Up - Best Short, SPARK Animation Festival 2015 (Canada)

Official selections:
Sundance Film Festival (USA)
Anibar Animation Festival, Literally Short Film Awards (USA)
Monadnock International Film Festival (USA)
The Animation Block Party film festival (USA)
Lunafest (USA)
Milwaukee Film Festival (USA)
New Hampshire Film Festival (USA),
Clermont Ferrand short film festival, National Competition (France)
Premierplans Festival (France)
Aubagne Film Festival (France)
Festival de Films d’Education (France)
Bruz National Film Festival (France)
Festival Plein la Bobine (France)
Chacun son court Festival (France)
Contis International Festival (France)
Festival du film court en plein air de Grenoble (France)
European Festival of short films of Brest (France)
Pre-selection at César Academy for the animation short film category (France)
Festival International du Film d’Aubagne (France)
Festival de Film d’Altkirch (France)
Short Film Festival of Courtivore (France)
International Film Festival of Nancy-Lorraine (France)
Le Temps Presse Festival, Paris (France)
International Festival of Ciné Rencontres de Prades (France)
International Animation Film Festival of «Les Nuits Magiques» (France)
International Festival Séquence Court-Métrage (France)
ASIANA short film festival (Korea)
Anima mundi International Animation Festival (Brazil)
Anima, Brussels Animation Festival (Belguim)
Les Enfants Terribles Film Festival (Belgium)
Flickerfest Festival (Australia)
Cinanima (Portugal)
Gijon Film Festival (Spain)
Cortos de Caracoles Festival (Spain)
BCN Sports Film Festival (Spain)
FIJR Granada –International Short Film Festival (Spain)
Mecal International Short Film and Animation Festival, Barcelona (Spain)
Visual Effects and Video Games Animayo (Spain)
International Panorama of Cartoons on the Bay (Italy)
Medfilm Festival (Italy)
Milano Film Festival (Italy)
Ozu Film Festival (Italy)
Exsport Movies & TV - Milano International Ficts Fest (Italy)
Prinanima Film Festival (Hungary)
Interfilm, Berlin (Germany)
Monstronale Festival (Germany)
OpenEyes Festival (Germany)
KLIK! Amsterdam (Holland)
Expotoons Festival (Argentina)
Leeds International Film Festival (UK)
London Iranian Film Festival (UK)
The festival REGARD sur le court métrage in Saguenay (Canada)
NexT International Film Festival (Romania)
Tokyo Anime Awards Festival TAAF (Japan)
New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival (Japan)
Short Film Festival in Grimstad (Norway)
Countryside Animafest Cyprus – Views of the World (Cyprus)
Manaki Brothers Festival (Macedonia)
International Festival of animated film for youth and children (Serbia)
European Animated Film Festival BALKANIMA (Serbia)
World Festival of Animated Film in Varna (Bulgaria)
CICDAF Festival (China)
Brussels European FICTS Sports Film Festival (Belgium)
NW Animation Fest's 2015 "Best of the Fest"(USA)
ANIMA2015 - VIII Córdoba International Animation Festival (Argentina)
Giffoni International Film Festival (Italy)
Riga International Film festival 2ANNAS (Latvia)
LUCAS International Children's Film Festival, Frankfurt/Main (Germany)
Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco (USA)
International Animation Film Festival of «Animatou» (Belgium)
Tricky Women International Animation Filmfestival Vienna (Austria)
Wiz-Art International Short Film Festival, Lviv (Ukraine)
Anibar International Animation Festival (Albania)
3D wire Festival (Spain)
Cabbagetown Film Festival (Canada)
BANJALUKA Film Festival (Bosnia)
Ajyal Youth Film Festival (Qatar)
International Film Festival “KIN” (Armenia)
FestiFrance (Brazil), SPARK Animation Festival (Canada),
International Animated Film Festival TINDIRINDIS (Lithuania)
Animateka Animation Film Festival (Slovenia)
Athena Film Festival, NY (USA) 
IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival (Bulgaria)
International Festival Séquence Court-Métrage (France)
IFEMA International Female Film festival (Sweden)
festival Ciné Poème de Bezons (France)
International Animation Festival « El Ventilador » (Argentina)
Etang d’arts Festival Marseille (France)
la Maremetraggio International Film Festival, à Trieste (Italie)
Euganéa Film festival (Italy)
Heart of Gold International Film Festival (Australia)
Motovun Film Festival (Croatia)
Madrid Film Festival FCM-PNR (Spain)
Women Make Waves International Film Festival, Taipei City (Taiwan)

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Beach Flags review

Today I found this really nice review by Joe Bendel on Beach Flags. It is such a joy and it encourages me so much!

Sundance ’15: Beach Flags (short)

They might be lifeguards, but their lives are nothing like Baywatch and Vida is not anything like Pam Anderson. For one thing, she happens to be an excellent lifeguard, but because her team is required to wear headscarves in international competitions, she can only participate in one event: her weakest. It is unnecessarily hard to be a young Iranian woman in Sarah Saidan’s terrific animated short film, Beach Flags (trailer here), which screens during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Vida knows she deserves to represent Iran at the Australian meet, because she is the best on her squad, even when it comes to their only allowable event—a race across the beach to capture the flag. She outclasses everyone until the coach brings in the abnormally tall and fleet Sareh. Try as she might, Vida just cannot catch her. Understandably, she resents the newcomer, vibing her hard. However, when she inadvertently spies on Sareh’s home life, Vida’s perspective changes radically. It turns out it is even harder for Sareh to be a young woman in Iran.

Beach Flags says volumes about the state of women’s rights in Iran, beginning with the absurdity of the restrictions placed on the lifeguard squad, but shifting to the profoundly depressing circumstances faced by Sareh. It is a pivot Saidan makes with considerable grace. Yet, even though the film addresses pressing human rights issues, Beach Flags is really a lovely little coming-of-age tale that will leave viewers feeling good—which is quite a trick to pull off.

Saidan’s animation is not as richly detailed as a Studio Ghibli masterwork, but it has an appropriately Persian vibe that transports the audience to the two very different Irans inhabited by the rival team members. It is a powerful piece of storytelling that also happens to be rather timely. Highly recommended, Beach Flags screens again today (1/24) in Salt Lake and Monday (1/26) and next Saturday (1/31) in Park City as part of the Animation Spotlight shorts program at this year’s Sundance.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

End of Post Production

I still have 2 days of mixing the sounds, and it will be done! Lionel at Vega Prod is the sound engineer and he is doing a great job, I am also very happy with the music. I will just have to work on subtitles during the Christmas holidays. Camille from Sacrebleu is assisting me on the subtitles and the whole post-production. She has done a brilliant job, same as Aubane. Thank you  Sacrebleu team, you are the best!
It is unbelievable, after 2 years of working on this project,  I will finally finish  making Beach Flags by the end of this weak...

Le Ciné-Concert

Our musique residency ended with the Ciné-Concert on friday night which went magnificently well, followed by a delicious persian buffet. We all had such a great time in La Chaise Dieu. Thanks to La communauté de la commune de La Chaise Dieu and Claire Monteillard who made this possible.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

La Chaise Dieu

After two days of Bruitage and Sound editing in Paris, now we are in in a small town in Auvergne, “La Chaise Dieu” for a music residency. Yan Volsy the composer and his group of musicians have travelled from Paris to here and another group of musicians from the conservatoir de puy en velay are also now here. My sister Mariam sings a song that she has written herself. These past two days repeating in the auditorium has been so exciting that I haven’t felt the time go by. Tomorrow we are going to have a Ciné-Concert! here are some pictures of the recordings and preparations before the concert.

As I must have mentioned before, my short film « Beach Flags » is produced by Sacrebleu productions in Paris. But we have a little co production with Folimage as well. And thanks to many regional bourses, I have had the chance to work in many places for my film. I have had a long journey around France for about one whole year. From Abbaye de Fontevraud in the north for script writing in October last year,  Chateau Renault for animation, Valence for post production, to Chaise dieu in Auvergne for a music residency with a ciné-concert for the film’s music this month. It has been a very rich experience but at times a bit challenging.
When you have to change your living conditions according to your work, the project becomes your life somehow, and then you can't even stop from going to work even at night in your dreams.
Last night I had a very strange and scary one, especially for a claustrophobic like me. I walked into a huge building and I wanted to go towards the room where I usually worked, but I couldn't find it. People were at their desks working or passing by in the hallways, some people around the coffee machine were laughing. It reminded me of Minjun's paintings. I kept saying “Bonjour” or “Salut’, but if they ever looked my way, it would be as if they were looking through me and then I realized that I was invisible. As I was passing through labyrinths and feeling lost, the ceilings started to become very low, so I had to bend and finally I could not move. This feeling scared me to an extent that you can only feel in dreams, I mean much exaggerated.
Certainly that nightmare must be the effect of work stress; otherwise where I work is a very welcoming and friendly place with very high ceilings!

Well, I have finished composting and montage in Folimage. I am off to Paris for editing the sound :)