9 QUESTIONS WITH FILMMAKER SAYNA FARDARAGHI
Words By: Ajay Woolery / Sayna Fardaraghi
Graphics: Christopher George
Sayna Fardaraghi is a 21 y/o Award-winning Filmmaker and Director based in London. Through her films Sayna hopes to highlight the little thing in our everyday lives. Her films imbue a sense of playfulness, and a sentimentality for the past and a happy place. We spoke with Sayna about everything from transforming her passion into a career to how she’s been coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic and Quarantine.
Q: GIVE US A BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO...
A: Im a 21 y/o artist and filmmaker now based in London, I make short experimental films highly focused on the beauty of 'the little things' in life we seem to forget about - accompanied by lots of strong visuals.
Q: TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU DISCOVERED YOUR PASSION FOR FILM AND WHAT YOUR JOURNEY TO TRANSFORMING A PASSION INTO A CAREER WAS LIKE...
A: I started playing with film by making annual montages of my summer on super 8 cameras - it was something I did just to record my memories and the special, magical moments in my life. What happened shortly after is that lots of people saw these videos, and for some reason could feel the same energy too despite not actually being there to experience it first hand. I fell in love with creating that kind of emotion and decided to start making loose narrative short films and videos that communicate that feeling further, it was something I fell in love with and found that came so naturally to me. At the time I was at art school interning in various production studios ready to go into the field of animation because I didn't feel that I was good enough to pursue film, but as soon as I stepped into university I immediately realised that this isn't for me, and that I should pursue what excites me and feels like me, not some sort of backup. I decided that I didn't want to lead a life of "what-ifs" and immediately changed course and moved to London to pursue film as a career, after all its what I love and comes naturally to me. In the one year I've been here I've managed to enter multiple film festivals, intern for Dazed & NOWNESS and recently win an award for my directing. A leap of faith into what feels like you and what your heart desires really pays off, so make that jump and don't look back!
Source: Sayna Fardaraghi
Q: WALK US THROUGH YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS AS YOU BEGIN A NEW PROJECT AND HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE IT IN ONE WORD?
A: Visualisation. I work backwards in the sense in which I picture my visuals first, then weave in writing to fit and support the feeling I want to communicate, a bit unconventional but it works for me!
Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FILM YOU’VE CREATED?
A: Probably my most recent one, Waiting (Though letters from Greece is a very close second). It's my best work in a technical sense but also the way it was perfectly in time and necessary for when we all went into lockdown. The one thing I want to do in my work is to comfort people and make them feel heard and seen even in the smallest things, and I feel like waiting perfectly communicated that and really said 'hey, I'm stuck in time too but its okay, it will pass'. I like to give myself a pat on the back and pretend I predicted the timing of it but I guess everything just fell into place at the right time!
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE KEY TO A GREAT FILM?
A: It comes from a special place and really means something to its creator, you can easily tell which films came from a place of love and care and which didn’t.
Q: AS A CREATIVE WHO HAS BEEN FACING THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19 AND QUARANTINE, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ENGAGING YOURSELF CREATIVELY AND SPIRITUALLY?
A: I've been trying to focus on myself more and learn to give myself a break, I used to have a really unhealthy relationship with my work and social media - feeling the need to post all the time to keep people happy but I realised the best work comes with the right timing. I tried to force so many little videos to make during quarantine and ended up scrapping all of them because they felt so forced and just wrong, so now im just letting time take the wheel and let things slot into place. I've been much more spiritual too, 444ng333l numbers and all that ish!
SOURCE: Instagram - Sayna Fardaraghi (@ocean.grrrl)
Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FILMS YOU THINK EVERY YOUNG CREATIVE SHOULD WATCH...
A: The Last Black man in San Francisco, La La land, Before sunrise and me Earl & The dying girl.
Q: WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE CREATORS? WHY?
A: Nadia Lee Cohen, Petra Collins, Bardia Zeinalli & Tyler Mitchell. They're all so amazing at what they do in a field of editorial filmmaking which is what I want to pursue, their vision is so fresh and exciting to see in such a saturated market.
Q: FINALLY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD GIVE TO A YOUNG PERSON LOOKING TO GET INTO FILM?
A: Dont let the lack of equipment stop you from making anything, just go and shoot! If something doesn't feel right, its for a reason so make a change until you have a good gut feeling. Dont be afraid to work outside the box.
You’ve reached the end of our short interview, We’d like to extend a special thanks to Sayna for chatting with us! Check out Sayna’s work below and make sure to give her a follow!
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