License denied

Following the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran witnessed Mullahs seize power. As such, Islamic rulings were integrated into the lifestyle of Iranians – some as laws and others as unwritten rules. An example of the latter is a motorcycle ban on women; although there is no law against women riding motorcycles, the police still do not issue motorcycle licenses to women.

Baran Hadizadeh, a 30-year-old woman, is a highly skilled motorcyclist in Iran whose dream is to be able to drive around the streets of Tehran, but due to the aforementioned circumstances, her terrain is limited to the mountains. In response, she chooses to protest and complain against the police in court for not issuing her a motorcycle license. This documentary, therefore, follows Baran’s life, with particular focus on her complaint process in court.

A Pilgrim from the East

The documentary has directed by Hassan Khademi. It is in the last stage of production. Dariush Shayegan is a polymath with a breadth of knowledge encompassing both east and west. He was brought up in Iran, attended boarding school in England, studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, literature in Switzerland and was a professor of Indian studies and comparative philosophy at Tehran university between 1968 and 1979. He has written 17 books — mostly in French — covering Hinduism, Sufism, Islamic societies, Persian poetry, and cultural schizophrenia.

Exposed

This is the story of the Iranian famous photo journalist, Hossein Fatemi, who has over twenty years of experience. Fatemi used to be Iran ex-president Mahmood Ahmadi Nejad’s photographer, but then was recruited as the U.S Army’s photographer in Afghanistan. He then returned back to Iran to work on an independent project called the “An Iranian Journey”, Which depicts Iran in a different, more than conveys Iran as anti-USA chants, Nuclear Energy, Controversial sermons in Fridays Prayer by hard liners, and obligatory hijab. Some years later, Fatemi received a prestigious award from the World Press Photo. Following “An Iranian Journey”, he was forced to leave Iran in 2013 and is now a homeless photographer who is travelling the world, taking photos of both goodness and disarray, particularly in the Middle East.

In Hossein Fatemi’s photos, the Middles East is depicted by fundamentalism like ISIS and Taliban, fight and bloodshed, drought and famine. Throughout, Hossein Fatemi is the story-teller of such misery. Congruent with his depiction of the Middles East, Hossein Fatemi’s private life is also plagued with misery. He does not have a permanent residence, has gotten divorced from his wife, lived with his sixteen year old son for only two years and thus watched him grow up by looking at his pictures and by talking to him over the phone. He is lacking financially, and barely makes ends meet. He always advises his son, who enjoys photography, to pick another career. The story of Hossein Fatemi ultimately encapsulates an individual who left everything behind and sacrificed all he had to capture the suffering of humankind.

This project is in the filming stage and for five years, filmmaker Hassan Khademi has been working alongside Hossein Fatemi and has been documenting various aspects of his life. We have finished approximately 50% of the documentary. We need financial assistance to continue and finish this unique project.