Over the past 9 months since getting the RV micro-grant, I’ve been able to experiment with many aspects of the project. One of the most important realizations that I have made is that the success of the project depends on how well I am able to provide incentive for the filmmakers and how important they find IRAN INSIDE OUT to their goals and future. I believe the need is significant, only that it is a new phenomenon that will take some time to catch on.
- Young Iranians, filmmakers included desire connection to the world
- Filmmakers want recognition and the chance for their films to be seen by many
- Distribution opportunities for short filmmakers in Iran is almost non-existent, but the Internet can change that
- Bettering Iran’s image is important to most filmmakers (however it is a problem sometimes for those who do not care about this)
With this in mind, it is important to create and advertise the needs effectively such that bloggers and filmmakers understand the opportunities that lie behind online video and see the advantages it has for them personally—and also that they realize the contribution they can make to their country.
Accomplishments to date
- Functioning website created
- Informal workshop conducted with 10 filmmakers
- Developed relationships with filmmakers and am working with three of them who understand the potential of IIO and wish to be apart of it into the future
- Two videos made for IIO. One on its way soon.
- Obtaining a collection of re-cuts of other short films and original cuts of short films
- Hired a coordinator and trained him to assist with uploading and collection of films
- IIO educational filmmaker handbook drafted and waiting to be translated
- Attracted attention of online film festival “Culture UnPlugged” who wants to show the two videos in their festival (a great reward for the IIO filmmakers)
- Other relationships formed and being nurtured for the future
Main Weaknesses and Obstacles
- Not enough money and inability to rely on on American grants because of political and legal issues
- Me being remote and also having many other projects on my plate
- Lack of a solid team (Most significant problem)
- People coming in and then leaving the project (I have had people for example make promises to be coordinator or to make films and they later canceled their commitment)
- Political situation in Iran makes everything feel like walking on glass. Filmmakers are always concerned with the intentions of my project and that it is on the Internet. And I myself have to be careful what kind of films are made and how IIO is perceived at all times. This is while the “red lines” are always changing and are very vague. Thereofore one never knows what is really “right” or “wrong”.
Goal for next 6 months
- Finalize handbook in Farsi and make available as a free resource on website and other websites relevant to film
- Growing knowledge and awareness of IIO among filmmakers as well as in the Internet world
- Promoting works and getting recognition for filmmakers in order to create further incentive and motivation
- Providing a framework (like a newsletter or blog) for filmmakers to get news on online festivals and opportunities such as competitions, etc.
- Getting more films in
- Supporting more filmmakers through giving them equipment for filming and developing ideas for videos with them
After 6 months
- A re-evaluation of the project, based on website activity and amount of films submitted
- If I see that films are not being submitted, I will have to move beyond the grassroots level and join forces with a local partner which means that money will have to be raised and spent
WORKING WITH UNIVERSITIES: One idea is to begin working through universities and, such as alongside programs in international communication, journalism, and film schools. There are many benefits to this sucha as the fact that we wont have to deal with the issue of lisences which is the case with DEFC and Young Cinema Society. It might also be a good time for this since certain programs are starting to teach about new media.
Please don’t forget to visit the site, tell your friends about it, and leave comments for the filmmakers! http://iraninsideout.com