Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Connecting the dots, building the system, assembling the team...

This year at Sundance proved to be an important one for me.  Every film I saw spoke directly to my life and my heart.  A few films especially, some in more ways then one.

Night Catches Us was beautifully crafted and connected to a sense of American history.

Taqwacores dealt with the confrontation of religion and modernity.

Son of Babylon was a masterpiece of the highest order.  I wept many times as I watched it.  This beautiful and important work should be moving to a stone, but as a son of a son of Babylon it was especially moving.  I could die happy  if I ever made a film with as much depth, craft and humanity as it.  I am especially happy that it was made by an Iraqi.

But in spite of these cinematic gifts, perhaps the best thing that comes out of an event like Sundance, is the chance to connect with potential collaborators and like-minded supporters.

For example, at Taqwacores I met several young actors with heritages from around the world- all people I would be happy to cast and who were interested in my work and the things I wanted to say- you can't ask for more.

And when I saw Night Catches Us, I noticed a Persian name for 1st AD and Associate Producer, that of Shahrzad Davani.  Seeing as tbe main character (and several other characters) are Iranian-American in HAPPY FUNERAL, I thought she might perhaps connect with and appreciate the material.  I looked for her after the screening, but she wasn't there, although I did make some great heart connections with some others associated with the film...

When I saw Shahrzad Davani's name again in a Twitter feed, it made me think perhaps that I should reach out to her.  I asked Rainn Wilson if he wouldn't mind connecting us, and sure enough he did.  Sheri (that's what she goes by) turned out to be very supportive and totally like-minded.  She immediately agreed to read the script that Daniel Spurgeon and I have written,  She said she'd get back to me over the weekend. I didn't hear back from her right away and started getting a little nervous.  Then she sent me a one sentence e-mail asking if I was free to meet.  I immediately said yes and we set up a day and time...  But I felt a little unsure, given the terseness of her response.  I thought, perhaps, she didn't like it.

But than I saw her tweet: "Looking forward to mtg with @samahcinema and talking about his great script."

The best part was when Rainn retweeted it and took credit for the meeting.  That's cool, I'm glad Rainn can take time between Emmy nominations and Office episodes to take credit for connecting Sheri and I.  I figure he confused his two million followers that day, though ten of them did start to follow me...

Anway, the meeting went swimmingly and later my co-writer Daniel and I met with Sheri to map out a strategy for the next few months.

Little by little, we're organizing our we're creating a solid and dynamic team...

1 comment:

  1. I'm most glad for you. You've done everything to deserve such developments.