FREEDOMTOWN: NOT SO BLACK AND WHITE, 15min., USA
Directed by Morteza Rafiei
Freedom Town: Not So Black And White takes viewers on a journey to explore the tension between activism and police forces around George Floyed's death amidst the 2020 pandemic chaos. Through two filmmaker lenses, we follow an activist and former cop over 2 years as they navigate their respective worlds.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
As a Middle Eastern individual and my creative partner is African American, we embarked on creating a movie that sheds light on our country's challenges during the pandemic and the impact of George Floyd's tragic death. Coming from the Middle East, where I sought freedom upon arriving in this country, witnessing how the police treated their own citizens was truly bewildering. It was astonishing to see the similarities between some of the protests in America and those I had experienced in Iran. With our film, we aimed to delve deeper into the reasons behind the mistreatment of African Americans while also giving voice to the perspective of the police.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took us three years to complete this project, during which we embarked on a captivating three-year journey alongside an activist and former policeman. As we progressed, we witnessed profound transformations and shifts along the way.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Freedom and Love.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
As we navigate through the pandemic and stand in solidarity with protestors, we actively seek meaningful subjects to address. Our goal is to eloquently express ourselves while maintaining readability and ensuring the right choice of words.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
We have an unwavering passion for highlighting the human essence of diverse subjects. Our primary objective is to enable people to genuinely perceive and establish connections with them. Additionally, we aim to foster meaningful conversations.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I participated in the protest, it struck me that we needed to document this significant moment in history.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I greatly appreciate the feedback and how effectively people understood our intended message. Their insight truly resonated with our intentions.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It was amazing.
10. What is your favorite meal?
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Absolutely! Our team is working on an exciting new film, "Generation Revolution." This compelling production sheds light on the fascinating developments in Iran, focusing specifically on women's rights. We closely follow a group of talented theater artists, all of whom are Iranian refugees, as they collaborate on a remarkable show that reflects the stories and struggles of those affected by the Mahsa Amini Protest and the broader women's movement. Prepare to be inspired by their journey toward freedom and liberation.