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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Armstead

Culture Spotlight Featuring Mohamad Razazian

I was born in 1984 in Tehran, Iran and Horse is my first film in 2019. I have an MS in Particle Physics from Sharif University of Technology (2007-2010) and considering my obsession in literature and visual arts passed several courses in film directory, screenplay writing and film editing in Karnameh art & Cultural Institute and Bamdad House in Tehran over past years.

I’ve had several scripts as TV items and one drama which was not permitted to be made. Moreover, I had some translations published here; "Sunflower Sutra"(collection of poems by Allen Ginsburg published in March 2018)," On the Road" (a novel by Jack Kerouac, published in March 2019), "The Subterraneans" (a novel by Jack Kerouac published in February 2019), "Satori in Paris" (a novel by Jack Kerouac published in February 2020), and "Beautiful Losers" (a novel by Leonard Cohen published in August 2020) .

My last film is a mobile short film titled "The Fifth Week" made in July 2020.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival.

It is such a great experience having my film selected by Hip Hop Film Festival, as a high grand opportunity to find specific audiences for different types of movies as mine. However, I’m still looking forward to hearing about the screening schedule, finalists and winners too.

Why are stories from the culture important?

I’m from Iran, the Middle East. I grew up with tones, ethics, taboos and all types of norms with often cultural roots. I found nothing sacred in these rules. They should be reviewed and challenged to have a lively society. While it’s hard here, making movies about culture is a great way to invite people to look again at these manners about their own community, and remember the values that might’ve been forgotten too. Or, come up with more reliable consciousness about other societies apart from what politicians and their mass media tries to imply. In fact one learns about life, history and the world through stories from culture.

What projects are you working on now?

I’ve just made a mobile short film about a man and woman dealing with abortion. The man is from a suppressed religious minority, Bahai, so that they can’t get married according to rules in Iran. But the woman wants to keep the child no matter what happens.

I’m also preparing to make my next short film called Ibrahim (Abraham). This is an adaptation of Epic of Abraham in present day situation with some other archetypes included to challenge some paradigms.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important?

Harlem Film House and the Hip Hop Film Festival could provide a great chance for any independent filmmakers, especially those in search of experiencing new boundaries and styles with many limits, to share their dreams and thoughts with any language in mind.

I made my film "Horse", with such an approach. My film is about a lonely man, a toll road sweeper, living downtown, not doing much at all, but has sophisticated questions about afterlife stories.

On the other hand, Harlem Film House could bring a joint between filmmakers in educational offers and provide a market for them to find their audiences, to do better in the future.

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