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Iranian Student Film needs the support of the Iranian Community

"1979" is an NYU undergraduate thesis film that will begin principal photography in late June 2013. The film centers on three Iranian immigrants in small town America during the time of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. We follow Reza and witness the comedic culture clash that follows him and his friends, Masoud and Ata, as they try their hardest to assimilate. They are arrested for disturbing the peace in a public park and it is at this time that TV's all over the country are playing the news that the American embassy in Iran has been taken over. The tables turn and these Iranians are in the worst possible place at the worst possible time. This half comedy and half drama highlight the Iranian immigrant experience during a tragic time.

We believe that it is important to tell this story now because similarly to our characters, many Iranians abroad currently have to face the consequences of hostile politics between Iran and the United States.

Part of our mission is to raise awareness of the Iranian-American community and how Iranians in the United States have suffered as a consequence of politics. 

We need your help to tell this story! Our budget for the film is $24,000 which is very low for a film like this. This covers transportation costs, equipment rental, feeding the crew, post production facilities, etc. Also, we have received fiscal sponsorship from a non-profit organization that supports the arts so all donations to the film will be tax-deductable. All donations could be made through a secure link on our website or by check. If you wish to donate by check, please contact us for details at

For more information and to donate online, please visit our website at

A letter from the writer and director of the film:

For your consideration:

History is something that has always fascinated me-the multiplicity of truths, the things unsaid, the details that were omitted, or the people that were never mentioned. I am an Iranian-American-born in America, raised in Iran.

I was almost seventeen when I moved to the U.S. with the goal of acquiring a better film education than what was available to me in Iran. I soon became aware of what it meant to be an immigrant. I understood that you don't have to live in your native country to be affected by what happens there. In many ways, I felt left out. I felt like nobody considered the consequences of political hostility that landed between the U.S. and Iran-the hostility that people like me face daily.

My generation is not the first generation of Iranian immigrants to feel the pressure of political hostility back home. My parents were students in America during the 1979 revolution and hostage crisis.

My father was an undergraduate student at Kansas University and my mother was in high school in Northern Virginia. I remember my father telling me that when asked, he and his Iranian friends lied about their ethnicity because they were afraid of being attacked. My mother was bullied in high school simply because she was Iranian. Unfortunately, racial prejudice has many forms and it is easy to overlook many of them. These stories about the people who are found in hostile politics are not often what we hear when discussing this time period.

            As an Iranian-American filmmaker, I feel that it is my duty to tell the stories untold, especially those I know very closely. These are stories that I am very familiar with-stories that represent the personal histories of people whose histories are often omitted. I find it my duty to tell these stories to an audience who might not be familiar with them in order to evoke awareness and embrace the complexities involved with such politics.

            The film industry is a very competitive world--that's no secret. However, I have never let these difficulties and competitions discourage me from pursuing the career of my dreams and I must say that God has blessed me with the most supportive community that has sought after my success and encouraged me to keep going. Now equipped with this immense support as well as the best film education I could have possibly asked for, I am ready to make my thesis film and graduate from NYU. This verse from a poem by Hafez, has always kept me going when times have been hard:

در بیابان گر به شوق کعبه خواهی زد قدم
سرزنش ها  گر کند خار مغیلان، غم مخور

As you step through the desert longing for the Ka'aba
The thorns may reproach you, do not grieve

With much gratitude,
Mohammad Tavakoli

... Payvand News - 05/14/13 ... --

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