Flight of imagination

Hassan M Nejad, director of Asylum Birds reveals his inspiration.

by Jennie Kermode

Jennie Kermode: What first gave you the idea for Asylum Birds?

Hassan Nejad: I always wanted to make a film to express my feelings, but I had no idea about making a short film. When I saw an advertisement about film-making in my friend's office, I spoke with her about the amazing opportunity that could help me to make a film. Then my friend gave me directions to the class. When I went to the class, the teacher, Tina Gharavi, told us about a project which was about making short films. For the end, of course, all of us would make a film.

JK: Did you have any previous filmmaking experience?

HN: As a teenager, I borrowed a camera to take film from any parties for my friends and my family. I love watching people’s movement from small lenses, even though I did not have any education in film-making.

JK: So how did you develop your idea for this film?

HN: It was not very easy to make it. First, I thought about a bird and then I realized that is very difficult working with one of those. I had some images in my mind but I found that that was just an idea. I could make it in my mind, not bring it in front of the camera. So I tried to think how to show what I imagined and develop it. One day, when I was window shopping, which is cheap, I passed a book shop. I turned back and looked at those books in the window. Then the idea came. I was not sure if I could make it or not. I spoke with Tina about it. When she gave me permission to do it, the film went to next step, and you can see the result.

JK: What was the message you hoped to express in the film?

HN: I believe that every day, all around us, there are lots of messages, which people need to get ready to receive. Getting messages depends on people being open to feeling.

JK: Asylum Birds deals with themes of disability and freedom. How personal are these issues to you?

HN: I always cope with my difficulties. I never ever give up my career. Yet in every direction, in every place, I am confirmed a prisoner!

JK: Has making this film had a positive effect on your life?

HN: When I achieve any of my goals then I go forward to the next step. This film enabled me to go to the next step, in which I learned about scriptwriting. I am also writing my first short story. I think the most positive way for people to change their lives could be finding the best way that they can express their feelings.

JK: So what does the future hold for you?

HN: I have some ideas about films but, first, I have to finish my first short story.

I would like to thank my friends who helped me to find the coach project. And my special thanks to my lovely teacher Ms Tina Gharavi, who is very kind and was very patient in helping me make my film. Also I would like to thank the other teachers who taught me about other parts of filmmaking in that time. I thank everyone who takes the time to watch Asylum birds. I hope you enjoy it.

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