An Edgy New Short Film, "Strangers in a Book" Makes Its European Debut at the Finow Film Festival

"Strangers In a Book" is an official selection of the noted Finow Film and Script Festival in Eberswalde, Germany that is going on this weekend. This film is a bold, psychological thriller that deals with loneliness and isolation in a city as vast as Los Angeles. "Strangers in a Book," written by Pedram Navab and directed by Marc Rezvani, follows Sara in actress Vida Ghaffari's (The Mindy Project, Darling Nikki) dramatic debut, a hip and melancholic Iranian-American, who finds a misplaced book.

​​Strangers In a Book is an official selection of the noted Finow Film and Script Festival in Eberswalde, Germany that is going on this weekend. This film is a bold, psychological thriller that deals with loneliness and isolation in a city as vast as Los Angeles. “Strangers in a Book,” written by Pedram Navab and directed by Marc Rezvani, follows Sara in actress Vida Ghaffari’s (The Mindy Project, Darling Nikki) leading role dramatic film debut, a hip and melancholic Iranian-American, who finds a misplaced book in a café.  Intrigued by its contents, but unable to find the owner, she decides to interview the people in the notebook to decipher the identity of the mysterious man.  The strangers whom she meets, considered the dregs of society, tell Sara stories about the enigmatic owner of the book, who is considered both diabolical and kind.  In her relentless pursuit of the ultimate stranger, Sara is thus plunged into the horror of the unknown, where reality merges with art, and where existence itself is questioned.

Some of the characters Sara meets along the way are an ensemble of noted actors such as Jon Mack (Saw VI, The Effects of Blunt Force Trauma), Christy McGinity Gibel (Little Women: LA), Carl Bressler (Battlefield, The Usual Suspects), Kristin West (Circus of the Dead), Marv Blauvelt (Jurassic City), Candy Fuentes, Pooneh Navab and a special cameo appearance by writer-producer Pedram Navab. This film was directed by Marc Rezvani, who also has a  cameo in the film. David S. Barron was the cinematographer and editor. Myles Christensen and Bob Tiwana did the sound design.

The film enlists bands from the hip and progressive Italians Do it Better label, such as Chromatics, Desire, and Johnny Jewel which really add to the style of the film.  

"I was very excited to play an Iranian-American character with no stereotypes or accents whatsoever. It was refreshing to break away from portraying veiled women or a glitzy Persian inhabitant of Beverly Hills especially in such a politically charged era where Iranians have do deal with many issues. And to have this film make it's European debut at Finow is very exciting," said Ghaffari.

Vida Ghaffari

Award-winning Actress and Voice Over Artist

"There are so many Iranian films that try to portray an "Iranian-American experience," but they mostly hearken to usually ancient customs and traditions and only solidify the West's fictional and stereotypical depictions of the East, said Dr. Navab. Such films use Iranian signifiers, which make us visualize Iran as somehow different, unique, and magical. Instead, we wanted to show an Iranian-American, Sara, who is very much "American," but who still identifies as Iranian, although she may not necessarily interact with other Iranians or dress like them. Her experience is that of being an Iranian, incognito, who is trying to figure out why she is so different and lonely. Is it her heritage or rather the chemicals in her brain that make her who she is?  Obviously, it's both, but the film tries to suggest that you can still have an Iranian-American film, without resorting to Iranian signifiers or what others have come to understand about a mythical Iranian-American or Iran. Sara is her own distinct person."

This film has also received 7 nominations at the prestigious FANtastic Film Festival in San Diego and won Best Guerrilla Film at the popular Action on Film (AOF) Festival in Monrovia, California. 

Having this film screen in Germany first is sort of a homecoming for Ghaffari, as many of her ancestors served in Iran's diplomatic corps. Hon. Abdullah Entezam was the Charge D'Affaires in Berlin and later became Iran's Ambassador to Germany and Hassan Ali Khan Moaven-Doleh II, was also high ranking diplomat. Mohandes Al-Mamalek Ghaffari was a brilliant scholar who was bestowed with the prestigious Order of the Red Eagle for his service. 

Tickets are available at http://www.finowfilmfestival.com/#!tickets/u372p

For more information, go to @StrangersInABook on twitter and their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/StrangersInABook?fref=ts 

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Categories: Movies, Awards, Arts and Entertainment

Tags: Carl Bressler, Christy McGinity Gibel, Darling Nikki, Jon Mack, Kristin West, Pedram Navab, Strangers in a Book, The Mindy Project, Vida Ghaffari


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Joesph Kelbie Williamson is a noted manager, producer and publicist. He was recently appointed as the Director of Publicity for Cinema Epoch. He has recently produced the much buzzed about Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance starring Bai Ling and Tommy