WCA Presents: Sam Yazdanpanna
Sam Yazdanpanna left his native Iran at the age of sixteen and arrived in the Netherlands in 1998. Initially, he was considered an illegal immigrant, but through an amnesty deal for immigrants his stay was legalized in 2007. Yazdanpanna first studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, following up with a study at The Netherlands Film Academy, also in Amsterdam. He graduated in 2012.
His work is characterized by a recurring main theme. In his own words: "I tell stories by using different perspectives. Working with fragments is my way of creating these perspectives. My theme is the transformation of identity. I am fascinated by the challenge to represent this event. It can happen so fast. Think of that split second when you are about to fall: before you perceive any physical effect, you notice that you lost your balance. You lose control and you don’t know what the next moment will bring."
Filmmaking is a way for him to deal with life:
If my existing reality is a reality that I can live in, then it shall be. If not, I will make progress through my imagination.
Yazdanpanna is also actively involved as a youth manager in the Stichting Vrolijkheid, passing on his cinematic know-how to children living in asylum-seeker accommodation centres, organizing and teaching stop-motion workshops as well as many other creative educational workshops.
During WCA Presents, three short films by Yazdanpanna will be screened: Like Dust, Only Death Never Lies, and Burning Rage. After each screening, he will give a short Q&A with members of the cast & crew. The host of the evening is director and actress Katrien van Beurden.
Sam Yazdanpanna | Netherlands | 2023 | 14'
What is it like to have to flee? Every day, thousands of people go through this bitter experience, many of them children. Sam Yazdanpanna was a 16-year-old teenager when he had to flee his native Iran. Combining archival footage and stunning graphic novel-style animation, Sam shares what this meant to him and his family. Dedicated to his daughters.
+ Q&A with animator Mustafa Kandaz
Only Death Never Lies
Sam Yazdanpanna | Netherlands | 2020 | 18'
A young man accompanies his beloved grandfather to go see a doctor. The doctor tells them that the grandfather is terminally ill. The grandfather does not understand Dutch, and his grandson decides to tell him something completely different in translation, hoping to thus keeping him alive a bit longer. At the same time he has to carry the burden of his lie.
+ Q&A with production designer Farhad Vilkiji
Sam Yazdanpanna | Netherlands | 2023 | 8'
29-year-old MMA fighter Reza is tempted to use doping, but he still has some doubts. In the meantime, he is dealing with his childhood traumas while an important match is coming up. His coach notices that something is wrong. Can Reza defeat the demons of his past and win the match or will the childhood traumas get the upper hand?
+ Q&A with actor Ali Fradi