Well, it's taken about a year of editing, but I've finally got a rough draft of the film.

I'll be cleaning and tightening for the next couple weeks and then I'll send off a rough copy to some folks for notes. I figure it'll take us until April 1st to get picture locked.

After that, the film will be sent off to both the sound mixer and colorist.

Then we'll have a finished film by June 1st and just in time for festival submissions for next year.

All this being said, we still need to raise about $8,000 to finish the film and get about $2000 to submit to festivals. So, if you've been following the progress, please consider donating through the IDA website, or to our upcoming fundraiser March 1st.

We will run a campaign on Indiegogo from February 19th - March 19th.

Our hope is to have the funds by the first day of spring, which also coincides with the Persian New Year of Nowruz.

This film began back in 2016 when Kevin Ramsey asked me what my apocalypse was, and it's now coming to a close four years later.

Thank you all for your support. This film would not happen without everyone who has been part of the journey, and the many more who will support the film through the final edits, the festival season, and its final journey out to the world.

Thanks again,

Pirooz



Last week, I visited SkyArt in Chicago to film one of the final sequences in the film.

After speaking to various adults about the issues of racism, I decided it would be good to get perspectives from the future of America. So, I spent three days with elementary school students, discussing what makes a story and how they could tell their experiences in comics and film.

The children were quick to discuss Trump, immigration, climate change and what they would say to the barber who refused me a haircut when I was nine years old.

Here are some of their comics:

The last day I had a workshop with teenagers. They all had incredible statements that I had them write down both in their comics and also on a whiteboard shaped like a cartoon bubble. One student blew me away when she said she would tell the nine year old me to embrace my differences.

For some reason, when she said that, I felt this weight come off my shoulders.

I wonder if they know how healing they all were -- such beautiful thoughts and support.

Probably the biggest thing I have learned from this experience of exploring racial trauma is that adults tend to see right and wrong very easily. When I tell them about my childhood experience, they are quick to offer their ideologies. The children at SkyArt were very different. For them, it wasn't a question of right or wrong. They simply offered support.

Maybe this is the healthiest thing we can do for people who experience racial trauma -- or any type of traumas in their lives: to support and listen.

Even I have the tendency to form opinions before I actually hear or read the full extent of what someone has to say.

Maybe the first step in healing each other now and in the future is listening.

I'm now in Malta filming for the European Graduate School. Yesterday, the artist, Peter Weibel, presented about how art after WWII was a reaction to the trauma of the Holocaust and Hiroshima. He stressed how painting and poetry's beauty were abandoned in a world of "being and nothingness" and moved away from the canvas -- first by being simply objects, such as a piece of curved metal -- and then for the canvas to be burned or destroyed -- and then for body art and performance art to move away from the canvas entirely.

Peter finally ended his lecture by discussing how media art was now the future of art and that media artists were different from filmmakers because they showed the process of a film coming into being, while filmmakers made these processes hidden like magicians.

That made sense to me.

I suppose we are still recovering from the trauma of war and our own personal traumas, individually. Maybe this is why so many of my films reveal the mistakes and wires behind the curtain. It gives us a glimpse to understanding pain and makes it easier for us to step forward into what our futures will be.

I see lots of things on the horizon. The first will be to finish editing the film.

We are now nearly halfway completed with the edit. And, by we, I mean me. I had tried to see about someone else editing along with me, but now I can see that we can't really afford that, and I'm not sure anyone else could do it without me guiding it along. I'm constantly doing bits, then re-recording, and then writing, and then editing, and the process keeps going like that.

My hope is to have a rough version of the film done by January. If I do, then we will certainly be ready to submit to festivals by summer.

If you're curious about what it looks like so far, here's the first six minutes as I see it so far. The sound and color haven't been finalized -- and I still might mess with it a bit more.

When I get back to LA in November, I'll also need to film the young boy who looks just like me in San Francisco again. Hopefully, the stars align.

If you'd like to donate to the sound or color correction of the film, please do. Every bit helps. We're still taking donations via the International Documentary Association or my Patreon page.

#SometimesIDreaminFarsi #SkyArt #PeterWeibel #EGS #Trauma #Racism #PiroozKalayeh #ComicsandFilm #Documentary #Memoir


Tomorrow is the last day of shooting SOMETIMES I DREAM IN FARSI.

It's been quite a whirlwind.

In May, we went across the country and filmed along the way. Then, I edited a draft of the films all of July. Then, I thought we were done.

I started showing it to friends, and they were like: "It's great! Go for it!"

But a few were wondering if I'd put in more stuff about the road trip and other things I left out of the draft version.

In October, I shot another film in Malta (see above) with Caveh Zahedi. After we started editing that film, Caveh suggested doing a camera address and narrate the Farsi film.

So, I went home and told the story to the camera, but then I thought I needed to make it easier for myself, so, I drew out the whole story in storyboards.

I figured I could sell these or put them in a gallery for people to buy to help fund the rest of the film.

That's basically where we are now. We need about $15K to finish the film. Bare minimum. And I launched this SEED & SPARK campaign as of this posting.

My hope is that people will share it and spread the word. I'm fairly bad about broadcasting things these days. I just have no interest in being on social media, so hopefully, people can share the link via email or other things.

Maybe I can figure out a better way to get people involved.

Who knows? Maybe people will just dig the paintings or the book of all the paintings and want them.

I have no idea.

Anyway, tomorrow, we film in a hair salon on Melrose with the whole family, Brad Warner, and other friends. My dad, Brad, and myself will do one final role-play.

We will see how this goes.

In the meantime, please buy a painting or contribute to the film via this link. We'll need everyone's help, because if we don't raise 80% of the funds, we won't get any.

I'll let all of you know how it goes tomorrow.