We have Afsaneh Aghanezhad and Vali Bagheri with us, the minds behind "For Child Never Born".
Plot: A girl is seeing the loss of her father and her pregnant mother's effort to face societal problems. The girl is happy for her mother's pregnancy but it seems to be a mirage because she has to make big decisions.
Afsaneh and Vali, thank you for being here with us, tell us a bit about yourself.
Afsaneh: Thank you for having us! I come from a theater diploma, became an acting expert, and earned a master's degree in psychology. I then became a consultant psychologist. i started my artistic journey at the age of 15
Vali: I'm a director expert, educational science expert, and senior drama literature expert. I started my artistic journey at the age of 20. We have worked on fiction and feature films and we started making artistic short films with interest.
For Child Never Born is such a raw and intense short, plot and acting wise, what was the process and what inspired this project?
The study and research of behavioral sciences and the experience of psychological counseling sessions with different clients gradually made me realize the repeated cycle of suffering that is passed from one generation to another, and with this impact of the story of the film 'For Child Never Born, was created.
Your cast is so talented, what's your background?
Afsaneh: Playing the role of the mother, which I played myself, was formed with the experience of writing and acting for nearly a year of artistic experience. The role of the girl was played by my own daughter, who grew up in the artistic environment of my family since she was a child, and without taking acting classes, she actually lives the role. The role of the grandmother, who is my grandmother, who has no acting experience, but the experience of living in this society, has left the worried, worn-out, and helpless looks in her dry and blue eyes.
This is a family project, as you are all involved in this beautiful short.
Ttell us how you started working together.
Our films always start from an image, event or character, and they are nurtured in the home environment with mutual thinking, and scenes are created and then come to life on the script pages. After this stage, pre-production, production, and post-production continue and finally, my son (Arman) does the job of broadcasting the film.
Afsaneh, you co-directed with your husband and played an intense character, was it hard to combine these two important roles?
These two combinations are not separate for me or my husband. Because from the stage of consensus about the script, we talk about these scenes many times and live with them, and the best possible situation is created by itself. Therefore, during the filming, I focus completely freely on the act, because the film has already been created for us.
Vali, what was your experience on set, since you co-directed the short?
For me, directing a movie is like life because I play all the roles for myself many times through being there behind the scenes, and I get positively affected by the process.
Are there filmmakers that inspire you? And why? Inspirational filmmaker: Abbas Kiarostami's films such as The Taste of Cherry, which ties art with philosophy and the meaning of life, or Terrence Malick and Tarkovsky, and any thought-provoking film.
You have some hard scenes to watch in your short, and it's important to have them, how did you manage to shoot them?
Let me make a confession. We auditioned the best theater and cinema actors for the character of the mother, but none of them were good because they could not perform the difficult scenes well without dialogue. So I took on this task myself. In the ab*rtion scene, only the sound can be heard, but to create this sound, I had to act in the best possible way. In the ab*rtion scene with the mother's distress and the combination of sound design and light design and the intensity of its impact on the child's decision, my daughter Aylin, with her own eyes, performed this scene perfectly and gave her best performance to cancel the doll's pregnancy.
We completely agree, that scene is painfully, and yet, beautifully depicted and your artistic choices definitely had s huge impact on the audience's reaction and perception of this difficult topic.
We think silence in this project is louder than words, what was your approach to this project regarding the total absence of dialogues?
Making a film without dialogue was a challenging task for us from the writing stage. Because we had to write and perform the basic theme of the film and the cycle of thoughts and emotions of the actors. Therefore, in the writing stage, we scientifically dramaturgized the way the actors performed, the actors' voice and mime, lighting and scene design, sound and direction, so that it would have a good result.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge: conveying the theme of the film without dialogue and filming scenes that did not have permission and we filmed them with difficulty, including the incident on the bridge.
A fun fact about your short.
We decided to leave the presence of pedestrian bridges all over the streets, which are surrounded by advertising billboards, and instead of conveying a sense of security and peace, they create a sense of anxiety and bitter events.
What's the best part of your job, what's your favorite step in the process?
The best part of our job is creating a good and lasting story that we play and live for ourselves over and over again, and in all our films, the characters in the story reach catharsis.
And what's the hardest?
The most difficult stage of work: There is no hardest stage for us because we live and enjoy filmmaking. Creating a work of art is life itself, but if the financial problems are solved, we do not believe in any difficulty.
What would you say to someone who wants to start this path as you did? Especially young filmmakers.
Portray the truth and don't give up your ideals to get money and experience filmmaking with love.
What do you regret and what would you have wanted to know earlier?
I don't regret anything and we don't because we consciously chose this goal.
Who would you suggest this short to, and why?
All women, men, children, and people who think about the future of humanity are the audience of this film.
What do you expect from the future? What do you hope it will bring you on a professional level? Are we going to see you directing and acting again?
We have very impressive ready-made scripts that we have written over the years, but due to financial limitations as an independent filmmaker who wants to tell the truth, no organization supports us and investors are afraid of the risk of making these films. are afraid If we make long and short artistic films, we are sure that they will be welcomed at the highest level in the world, and we will definitely make them.
What's your dream role/ project? Any project that gives me the freedom to express myself authentically.
Your short won different awards with us and earned nominations, we truly enjoyed this work, how is it going with festivals so far?
Thank you for supporting us in your festival. I think good results have been obtained and we hope we will continue to earn our recognition in the future.
What's your final message for our readers?
enjoy life and experience free living and free filmmaking. And for painting the canvas, use your hands instead of the pen to experience all the colors of life with love.
Thank you for your time, we wish you the best for your career and your future projects and we can't wait to see what's next for you! It was an honor having you.
it was a great honor for us and we are so happy that we could be a part of your wonderful festival.
FOR CHILD NEVER BORN TRAILER
Follow their journey here: INSTAGRAM