June 8, 2023

Ali Azhari talks about his film Kazhal

The first screening of the short film “KAZHAL”, directed and scripted by the Iranian artist Ali Azhari, a lecturer at the Film Design and Management Department at Arkın Creative Arts and Design University (ARUCAD), will open at international festivals, with the premiere night held at the Conference Hall.  The short film, produced by a team of ARUCAD academics, students and staff, using the University’s venues and facilities, features Kazhal, an Iranian woman, who moves to Cyprus in search of a more secure life. Before coming to Cyprus Kazhal participated and was injured in Iran’s recent uprisings, following the death of Mahsa Amini, which demanded women’s liberation and an end to the discrimination they face in everyday life. Kazhal, who is expecting a baby, will also grow a new life as a result of her wound.

Ali Azhari worked professionally in Iranian cinema in the field of screenwriting and cinematography. The research area of Azhari at ARUCAD focuses on interactive cinema and beyond.   ARUCAD Rector Prof. Dr. Asım Vehbi after watching the movie, said: “The short film of Ali Azhari, our Film Design and Management Department lecturer, is a film that reveals both emotional and world realities and contains important messages in this sense. It makes us think about women’s freedom and the future for our children. It is very valuable in that sense. Another proud aspect for us is that this short film was produced at our university. I would like to thank the director Ali Azhari and everyone who contributed to the production. I wish the film to be successful in this journey, which will tour international festivals after its first screening at the university.” 

The film’s director, Ali Azhari, said, “The struggle for women’s freedom in my country where I was born and raised was a process that we always felt with our hearts, even if we lived far away, and our mind was there. My family and friends live in Iran. Being away from them did not prevent me from being a voice for what has happened. I also wanted to use art to tell you what happened.  I dedicate this film to the memory of Masha Amini and those who lost their lives in the protests in Iran.”   

Continuing to talk with the film crew of ARUCAD, consisting of academics, students, and staff, Azhari said; “I was very happy to have the opportunity to bring a film from start to finish at my university. I would like to thank all my academic friends and students who contributed to the film, and the University administration who supported me.”   After the screening, a question-and-answer panel was held under the moderation of Artist Batu Gündal with director Ali Azhari, actors Pariya Vaziri and Elnaz Nasehi, assistant directors Yelis Sezener, camera assistant Mohammed Abdallah. The panel answered questions about filmmaking.

Source (Turkish): Arkın Creative Arts and Design University (ARUCAD)

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