‘Don’t Be Tired’ is a short bilingual film about immigration, unemployment and family obligation, based on my mother's experiences of xenophobia in the US. The post-Hostage Crisis Ronald Reagan era, which backdrops the film, is a poignant mirror to the recent Trump era and its infamous travel ban.
Mission StatementDiversity = strength. As a femme Iranian-American director, this is crucial to me. My cast + crew are made up of strong creative minds, and we are a mixture of different races, nationalities, gender identities, and class backgrounds. I am proud to move forward with such a dynamic, perceptive team.
About The Project
The title of this Senior Thesis film is a translation of an Iranian saying which is an expression of gratitude and politeness in response to someone’s hard work. A more literal translation is “I hope you’re not too tired."
1981. Reagan. Hostage Crisis. Ohio. Paycheck to paycheck. In 'Don't Be Tired', we meet Pardis, a smart, scrappy 20-year-old Iranian woman who has lived in the U.S. for five years. With an absent father who rarely sends money, she is left to fend for her family-- comprised of a mother who cannot work and a younger brother, who is fresh out of high school. The three of them travel to an employment agency outside of town so that Pardis can interview for a part-time secretary job. The application and skill tests are easy for her, however problems arise once she must speak with the owner of the agency to guarantee her employment.
Through this short film, I want to revisit a moment of difficulty, and within it, small moments of tenacity and family. ‘Don’t Be Tired’ is not victorious, in fact, it is a story of rejection and discrimination. The protagonist does not fulfill her goal, however, she persists. She survives. She is not alone.
My influences for this project have primarily been Iranian New Wave cinema-- directors such as Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi who experiment with subtle genre hybridization while presenting the subject rather matter-of-factly. As a director with a passion for cinematography, I will be working behind the camera in order to insure that the film feels authentic. The camera will be a drifting outside observer, almost feeling documentary-like at moments.
‘Don’t Be Tired’ will be 50% in Farsi and 50% in English, featuring two of my family members, my cousin, Keyian, as our uncle, and my own mother as my grandmother. Through this casting, I intend to blur the lines between fiction and reality— the film will be a reframing of sorts with fictional elements added into the story it is based on. Throughout the filming process, the lives of my mother and I will constantly be in conversation.
This project is a love letter to the woman who raised me, and in turn, the family collective I got to experience as a part of the Iranian-American diaspora. I grew up hearing stories from her life— her childhood in Iran, her siblings, her immigration to the States at 15, the drama, the poverty and the prejudice.
This specific story stuck out to me because it is so precise yet so universal, especially today. The post-Hostage Crisis Ronald Reagan era is a poignant mirror to the Trump era and its infamous travel ban, which I lived through at the same age my mother lived through Reagan.
'Don't Be Tired' is the culmination of my 4 years of film education, and I couldn't be more excited to get started. The months of writing, collecting images, and watching reference films will all be put into motion in just a few short weeks! I have put a lot of love into this film and I can't wait for you all to see it.
- Anahita <3
We've got 30 days to raise at least 80% of the budget!
If we do not raise 80% of the budget in pledges, we will not receive any of the funds. Help us spread the word by sharing this fundraiser and following us on social media! Our film update IG account is @dontbetired.mov and my personal account is @anahitarose.
The funds pledged towards this project will go to feeding and paying our cast & crew, purchasing period-appropriate props & costumes, and securing a permit for our location.
Note about COVID-19 Safety Measures: Each member of the cast and crew will be provided with a KN95 or N95 mask, and a negative PCR or rapid test will be required prior to shooting. We are doing our best to keep our team small (and safe) in order to prevent the spread of Covid in NYC!
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About This Team
Director/Producer/Writer/DP: Anahita Amirshahi (she/her/they)
Anahita Amirshahi is a multimedia artist, filmmaker, and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the primary director, writer, cinematographer, editor and producer of her own work, which often explores the nuances of human experience. With a strong guerilla-style approach, she cultivates intimate, low-budget sets which challenge traditional genre + industry boundaries. She is currently finishing up her B.F.A. in Film/Video at Pratt Institute.
Co-Producer: Mackie Mallison (he/him)
Mackie Mallison is a filmmaker, writer, and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Mackie’s work has been screened on Adobe, The Obama White House and in different festivals throughout the country. In addressing divisive topics through his work, Mackie hopes to deconstruct this division by sharing the stories that aren’t often brought to the forefront.
1st Assistant Director: Zakriah Razzak (he/they)
Zakriah Razzak is a multimedia video artist and filmmaker currently based in Brooklyn. His work focuses on identity and performativity, drawing on the various identities of his multiracial family and their intersections with gender, sexuality, and community.
1st Assistant Camera: Griffon Sgroi Jacobs (he/him)
Griffon is a filmmaker and musician from Rockland County, NY. Since a very young age he has been fascinated with the filmmaking process, particularly the equipment and gadgets that bring stories to life. He now studies film at Pratt Institute, specializing in the technical side.
2nd Assistant Camera: Britney Bautista (she/her)
Production Sound Mixer: Rohan Subramaniam (they/them)
Rohan is an artist, specializing in sonic art, sound recording and sound design for film, production design, and clothing construction. Their interest primarily lies in improving and innovating means of production sound recording and mixing. Rohan's personal background is in political science and international relations, a knowledge that enhances and improves artistic ability and global thinking in visual and sonic arts.
Boom Operator: true (she/her)
true is a bronx based filmmaker and artist working mainly in long-form narrative fiction. her work often centers around her schizophrenia, and the ways it manifests itself in love. she is happily devoted to her frenzied way of making art, and to her loving partner bella civorelli. she will never die.
Lizzy Tolentino (she/her)
Lizzy Tolentino is a production designer, prop fabricator, and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She is in her third year at the Pratt Institute, pursuing a BFA in Film/Video with a minor in Interior Design. Lizzy hopes to use her background knowledge in filmmaking to help other creatives bring their vision to life on screen.
Nande Walters (she/they)
Nande Walters is a filmmaker and artist from South Florida based in Brooklyn, NY. Over her 3 years at Pratt Institute, Nande's passions lie in experimental and documentary filmmaking, researching art and history, and production design!
Zenzelé Soa-Clarke (she/he/they)
Zenzelé Soa-Clarke is a multimedia artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Their work often employs video and collage to explore themes of absurdism and surreality in daily life and relationships.
BTS Photographer: Maribel Marmolejo Reyes (she/her/they)
Berin Cubukcuoglu (she/they)
Nur Güzeldere (she/her)
Chloe White (she/her)
Sarina Farhadi as Pardis (she/her)
Sarina Farhadi is an actress who was born in 1998 in Tehran, Iran. She started out acting in television, starring in “Posht-e Konkooruha”, a series by Parisa Bakhtavar. Her most notable roles are “Tambourine” “A Separation” and “A Hero”. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 29th Fajr Film Festival for “A Separation”, Dir. Asghar Farhadi.
Susan O'Doherty as Marci (she/her)
Pardis Amirshahi as Maman (she/her)
Keyian Vafai as Pirouz (he/him)