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Iran's youngest filmmaker dreams of Oscar

Source: Mehr News Agency

12-year-old Romina Mohaqeq, believed to be Iran's youngest filmmaker, is dreaming of winning an Oscar someday.

"I will not regard myself a filmmaker until I win an Oscar," she remarks. Born in 1998 in Tehran, she has so far directed several documentaries and short films and has received several awards at national and international festivals.

"I made my first doc when I was eight years old. The idea came to my mind when I saw an Afghan boy who was collecting scraps of discarded paper in a trash can near our house. I thought it might be a good topic for a doc," she told the Persian service of ISNA in a session held on Thursday at the venue of the agency in the presence of her filmmaker dad Mohsen Mohaqeq.

"I asked my dad to make a movie about this boy but he said that it would not be an interesting issue. He told me to work on the topic myself if I liked it, so I made my first doc and named it 'Long Way'.

Romina's "Long Way" grabbed the best film award at Roshd International Film Festival in 2007, encouraging her to continue filmmaking. "Next, I adapted a story published in a magazine and made the short film 'A Box Full of Affection'.

She is currently working on "Thought", a new doc about positive thinking.

Romina admits that her dad has been her only advisor all these years, but she also named cineastes Ebrahim Hatamikia, Abolfazl Jalili, and Azita Hajian who have been guiding her at different stages.

"When Romina decided to work on a topic herself at the age of 8, I taught her the whole process of filmmaking within 6 to 7 months. I even worked as a cameraman in some of her productions," her father said.

"We also reviewed the book 'Film Directing Shot by Shot' by Steven D. Katz. We read all the sections together where she learned the entire process from pre-production to post-production.

He continued that Romina has submitted the plot of her first feature-length movie to the Culture Ministry Supervision and Evaluation Office to obtain permission, but has been told that she must wait until she turns 30 before proceeding with the film.

"This will be her first feature, a science fiction film with about 400 actors ranging from 8 to 12 years old. We will wait until the end of this year (March 21, 2011) and if permission is not granted to make it in Iran, we have been negotiating with Turkey and might make the movie there," he explained.

Romina also played in one of her dad's productions when she was 6, and acted in the movie "The Earrings" by Vahid Musaian. She was among the jury members of 39th edition of the Roshd International film Festival.

Romina Mohaqeq's Biography:
Born 1998. Romina Mohaqeq has written and directed a (The Long Way, 2007) , and the short film of A Box Full of Affection (2008) , she is now making a docufiction under the title Speculation. A child actor too, she has appeared in two fiction films: The Zero Green Day (2002,Mohsen Mohaqeq), and, The Earring (2007,Vahid Musaian). Recipient: First Prize of RIFF 2007 (Student Filmmakers Section- Documentary Films) ; The Golden Niluphar Prize of Parvin E'tesami Festival 2007, both for The Long Way; Golden Statuette of Child for child Festival 2008 . Third prize of Veranda of Mirrors Festival 2008, both for A Box Full of Affection. (Source: Roshd International Educational Film Festival)

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