Here we are again in The Green Room with the super talented Pegah Ghaemi
Writer, director, producer, entrepreneur….where do you find the time?
I don’t 😄 I must admit as a creative it is the hardest thing. To manage yourself, the million ideas, scripts, films in your head, plus the “realising them” in the real world. I’ve recently launched my own film company as well so the business, my gorgeous dog, family and some close friends are what I get to see most. So what gives is your social life (and even some social skills that are lost along with it!) – my spare time is otherwise spent in the gym. Sad, but true.
In 2004 you graduated from University in Australia…tell us the next steps to working your way up the ladder in such a busy industry?
Graduating from the University of New South Wales in Sydney early 2004 and not knowing a soul in the film industry, the fastest way in was appearing onscreen. Although I’d already built up a vast performing and acting background in Australia, I decided to join an “extra’s agency”. This gave me the opportunity for an almost uninterrupted (and paid!) learning experience. For the next 8 months, almost everyday, I became a “fly on the wall” on big budget, highly professional, film and television productions in Australia. Before that and almost all through my life, I had been involved in theatre, acting, writing and directing. At university I also began acting in short films too.
What advice would you give anyone looking to do the same?
Find your strength first, how can you get in and what exactly do you want to do, how does what you already know help you? And let that be your torch forward. I thought I only wanted to act, and it suddenly shifted in my very early 20’s when I realised I love storytelling.
We know you are very passionate about the work you do! Would you say that you have a particular filmmaking style?
I would say that everything I make has 2 endings, the ending after the ending. Things never really end, so there is always this wondering at the end of my films, I suppose it’s my little replica of life. The “thrill” element and mystery is something I am always fascinated with, the “fantastic” and things being beyond what we consider “reality” are what draw me most, and I guess also what come through my work. Some things look raw and real but are actually uncanny, I’m sure we’ve all seen and felt this before, in and beyond film!
How was the transition for you moving from Australia to living in Iran?
I needed to get myself to a jungle. I needed a place not so clean cut and so that I could learn more about my art in a raw way, less dependent on technology and comfort but more on story, drive and a version of reality I hadn’t known. Iran to me was and is mystical.
What is it you love about independent film?
The independence of 100 different decision makers, the freedom to tell a story close to your heart and let it finding its own audience. I was lucky that a story close to my heart many times over found audiences that can make a difference in the world.
You are the founder of My Film Works, such a great platform for independent creatives. What was the idea behind this and what are the next steps as you continue to grow?
I am the founding film director of My Film Works. The idea came together with my business partner at the time through my experience as a filmmaker, independent, and with many films that had done their festival rounds and had well seated themselves on a shelf somewhere. We thought, there are 1,000,000 other filmmakers like this, why not give their films a home? The next steps are a growth towards and with awesome entities such as yourselves – Fusion Film Festival, that help storytellers around the world stay motivated and continue to thrive and share their inner worlds with us.
Your career so far has taken you to many countries offering a vast variety of experiences, how has this shaped you as a filmmaker and as a person?
Amongst many things, it has taught me that we need to be more open to each other, we need to be open to learn and help and to learn to BE helped. People are much more unified than they think – and the differences we are “taught” to believe in, are meaningless and a lot of it is embedded in language and the culture it carries with it. As a filmmaker, I’ve learned that there are 1 billion ways to tell the same story, and there are a trillion ways to hear/see it. In essence, people will take away from the story you are telling in their own unique way, but hopefully encapsulated by how you want it experienced.
Is it true we can expect to see your work next on Fox & National Geographic?
Yes absolutely and hopefully more! But can’t tell right now!
It sounds like you are really making big and well deserved steps in the industry. We will certainly be keeping a close eye on everything you do. Thanks so much for joining us. You are now free to leave The Green Room.
Thank you so much for having me, and….what if I want to stay in the green room? It’s pretty cool in here!