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Cannes
Short Film Corner 2022 
 
Interview

Goli Zarei
FROM THE PAINTER'S VIEW 
May 24, 2022

A six-year-old boy, Siavash, has won a painting award. His parents are trying to analyze his interview in TV about the painting. In the painting there is a home with no walls. Now everyone is trying to find a reason for it, but none of them are right.

 

Hi Goli, it’s great to get to talk with you, how have you been keeping after everything that’s been happening, have you been able to remain positive and creative at least?

 

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about my film “From the Painter’s View”. As you know last two years has been very difficult period for the art world. I think most people have changed a lot, and after seeing all that’s been happening, it is hard to stay positive. Now world is starting a new chapter while people have become lonelier than before. We have got used to living alone and it takes a lot of time for world to go back to whatever it was in the past. I believe you can make opportunities and creativity out of all difficulties only if you keep being hopeful.

 

What does it mean for you to be in the Cannes Short Film Corner section with From The Painter’s View and what do you hope to take away from this experience?

 

I think that Cannes Short Film Corner has the potential to be a very helpful place for artists to get to know each other, make connections for future collaboration and finding distributors and investors. What I will be looking forward to find is mainly distribution options for my short film, as well as making connections and participating in workshops and meetings in this important event.

 

How vital are platforms like Cannes SFC in championing and supporting independent short filmmakers?

 

As an independent short filmmaker who has worked in theatre for many years, making short films is a new season in my life. I believe being present in important cinematic events and gatherings has the benefit to find a way to turn my voice lauder, find future collaborators and find more audience for my films.

 

Can you tell me how From The Painter’s View came about, what was the inspiration behind your film?

 

“From the Painter’s View” is my third short film and more than all theatre and short film experiences that I have done before it comes from my personal life experience. This film is about all children whose feelings and beliefs have been rejected or neglected by their parents and all older people around them. I know many young girls and boys from my generation who has the similar experience, they have been damaged by their uneducated or negligent parents. Also as an Iranian, with a symbolic perspective of the film, sometimes I have similar feelings about my county; a country which is being broken and no one cares about everything happening in it.

From The Painter’s View was written by Payam Saeedi, what was it about this screenplay that connected with you as a filmmaker?

 

I have worked with Payam for many years in theatre and filmmaking. I have directed three plays written by him on stage, and also he has written all my three shorts. After many years working together, now we have similar ideas and we know each other’s way of thinking. Usually we talk about the idea and story in every stage of development of screenplay and we work on concerns that we share.

What was the hardest scene for you to film?

 

Of course you can guess if you watch the film. The “dream” scene was a very difficult scene for us. We had difficulties in production design; a whole apartment was to be demolished in one scene. Also having a little six years old boy as the main character in a very emotional scene playing all the fear, sadness, and anxiety at the same time, was very challenging.

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As a filmmaker how flexible do you allow yourself with the screenplay once you start shooting?

 

I am usually very precise and strict in the step of screenplay development. My writer and I talk a lot about every single detail and usually I start my rehearsals and pre-production after several edits and re-writings of the script. So most of the times, final edits are done in rehearsals by Payam and then I try to stay on screenplay’s lines as much as possible.

 

What is the message you want to convey with From The Painter’s View and do you think you have achieved this?

 

Let’s wait for audience to find the message. I think it is clear and in the plain view in the film. My film has not had many audiences yet, but the limited people who have watched it emphasised on its deep impact on audience.

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

 

I have been in love with cinema from a very young age, but of course, it was mostly the love for playing roles. When I started studying drama at university I realised that I am more into directing than acting.

"So all of us should go ahead and create. I know life is not fair and world is not a beautiful place to live in but the only way to survive is working hard."

How much has your approach to your films changed since you started out?

 

The focal point of all my films is Family. Contextualisation of different family issues has been my main concern throughout the years of my artistic practice. With a socially-oriented view, taking family as the mirror of society, I believe cinema can -and should- address more issues about the constitution of family and study it more extensively to be able to revisit and question the society. That being said, I have changed in my technical understanding of cinema; the more I have worked, the more I have shifted from my theatrical view to a more cinematic vision.

 

Do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?

 

I always prefer to hear their advice. I am still at the beginning of filmmaking career but the only think I can say for sure is that I have learned a lot from making films and experimenting with the medium. So all of us should go ahead and create. I know life is not fair and world is not a beautiful place to live in but the only way to survive is working hard.

 

And finally, what would you like audiences to take away from From The Painter’s View?

 

In this film I am trying to picture the pressure. The pressure parents can put on their children. The pressure world can put on people. The pressure of watching a home being demolished, a spirit being ruined… I think if I am successful in picturing this pressure, the audience would think about the film even after film is finished and this is the best I can earn.