When Oscar Wilde travelled to the US, he was asked what he had to declare at customs. He infamously stated,
I have nothing to declare but my genius.
I had a slightly different experience wtih customs in Israel.
After an intense 5 hour flight, two hour layover and another 11 hour flight (and conversations with a lovely Israeli girl passenger), I arrived back in the Middle East and spent another two hours at customs – in a little room with other bewildered passengers wondering why they there. Though the customs folk were friendly (unlike certain LAX monsters), it was amusing, frustrasting and interesting all in all to be treated so bluntly. Once out of customs however, my experience changed and Tel Aviv (ironically or not) welcomed me with open arms.
Firstly the people in Tel Aviv (like other major cities, I feel a need to differentiate the city from most of the other towns), are beautiful, the food delicious and coffee incredible. There’s something in that holy land. I stayed with two lovely hosts, Ophir and Nuria and after a fabulous opening night, spent the rest of the week at the International Student Film Festival at the Cinematheque in the centre of Tel Aviv.
There were over 140 films to watch, masterclasses and of course parties to attent. I met some amazing people, fellow film makers and festival volunteers who had put this huge event together. There were films from all over the world including a special section on the Middle East. One of the best parts was meeting other filmmakers, many whose works were absolutely brilliant and contrary to what people usually expect from ‘student’ films.
The reception to the film was incredible and well received by the audience. We even got a mention in the national newspaper after meeting Ronny, the man who started the Israel Loves Iran campaign! What an incredible welcome for our first foray into the festival world! So thank you everyone at the festival – organisers Erez and Elaad, our man Asaph who headed the Alternative Competition, the magnfiicent Ana who made sure I came out of customs alive and well and everyone who made it such a success.
More pictures after the jump and more pics of Israel on the blog here.
So as part of the University of Auckland’s Best of Screen 2012, a shorter version of Iran in Transit has been selected to screen with five other thesis films at the Auckland Art Gallery tomorrow night (May 18). We’re also very proud that the film was nominated for a Geoff Evans Memorial Award.
Please go along and show your support for some fantastic student films including Chantelle Burgoyne’s fiction film Tatau and Gemma Duncan’s documentary Bridge Under the Water.
Plus the gallery is now super post-modern, hip and sexy so it’s worth it just for that.
We are delighted to announce that our film will be having its world premiere at the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival next month. To add to the excitement, Iran in Transit was the winner of the alternative competition for the festival, which means Ghazaleh has won flights to attend the event! I’m picturing Ghaz sipping cocktails and schmoozing with international film makers as I write…
Ghazaleh will update the blog with her adventures in Israel soon, but in the meantime, if you haven’t heard of the Tel Aviv International Student Film Fest, it is one of the largest student film festivals in the world, attended by many film making greats and international film makers from all over the globe. Such a validation after the long journey from the editing suite to getting the documentary out there in the world!
Iran in Transit is the only New Zealand film to premiere there this year. Check out the website – we made the news alongside The Dictator
So in order to continually plug the film and send the love out there, we’ve been added to the Internet Movie Database (the mother of all film search engines).
If you have seen the film please add your own reviews and ratings. It may help us with future festival and TV submissions. And virtually we will smother you with hugs and kisses.
Iran in Transit is a pretty international story. Here’s just a few comments from a limited audience who had seen a preview (We love feedback!):
Just watched your documentary. Great film. I question things also as an immigrant who has settled on a land that has been colonized, and I think about our responsibilities towards the Aboriginals of Canada. And that is why I sometimes struggle with what home means to me. In any case, your final comment in the film is food for thought. Thank you for taking the time and creating/sharing this with us. It is a great gift
Really good to see. Believe it or not, but as a god-knows-what generation Pakeha from Ireland, Scotland and a mixture of other places, I can kind of relate. Culture and belonging to a place is a funny and interesting thing
Everyone in our generation will relate to it as Iranian/Canadian. Just awesome, love it
I really enjoyed watching this and it prompted much discussion in our multicultural household!
Apologies for the lack of news updates but we are busy applying for festivals and aiming to start up new projects. In the meantime, if you are this way inclined, you can amuse (or bore) yourself with Ghazaleh’s blog in Los Angeles here. Lots of pictures and rants.