Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eight Dramatic Minutes, One Continuous Camera Shot

At this weekend's Healdsburgh Arts & International Short Film Festival just north of Santa Rosa, California, a rather remarkable eight-minute drama from Iran will screen, with writer-director Tina Pakravan in attendance.

Showing Friday and Saturday nights (September 21st-22nd), It Was My City (Inja Shahreh Man Bood) tells its story of citizens suddenly caught up in a war in a single, continuous camera shot. As Pakravan told festival organizers, this artistic gambit presented many challenges:

"It was so hard to shoot because of mixing the acting , detailed dialogued and especially choreographed camera movements, precisely timed special effects... All synchronized in a single shot. After half a day rehearsal, we were prepared to shoot. All of a sudden it started pouring rain, so we had to ask everyone go home and come back the next day!"

Pakravan's movie also screened earlier this month at the fifth annual Iranian Film Festival at the San Francisco Art Institute. Pakravan has been working in film since the age of 18, when she started out as an assistant director and production manager. She has directed a total of three shorts and one feature, as well as authored the book of poetry Last Night I lost Around the Pomegranate.

It Was My City is a great reminder of how a short filmmaker can separate themselves from the fray with a little ingenuity.

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