Interview with Filmmaker Sara Zia Ebrahimi (THE FBI BLEW UP MY ICE SKATES)

THE FBI BLEW UP MY ICE SKATES played to rave reviews at the February 2018 FEMALE Feedback Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Sara Zia Ebrahimi: This film is based on a true story that happened to one of my (Sara’s) cousins. When she told me the story it immediately jumped out at me as being an example of something so absurd that you couldn’t script it; often real life offers the best stories. I then approached Lindsey about adapting it into an animation format and codirecting with me. I was a big fan of her previous work and loved the nostalgic early 80s aesthetic that she envisioned for the piece.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

We completed the film in a little under 12 months.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Xenophobia realness

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

It took me a while to find the right person to work with the achieve an aesthetic that fit the piece, but once Lindsey and I started it was smooth sailing honestly. We worked really well together as co-directors.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My films are about the intersection of public policies with individual lives and I loved hearing that that seemed to clearly work in this film. It’s been a great feeling for us both to have audiences respond exactly the way we hoped they would.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

As I mentioned earlier, this is a true story that happened to a family member. When Lindsey and I talked about adapting it, part of the fun was imagining what we thought did happened between the box being shipped from the warehouse to her house and then her receiving that letter. As filmmakers we both are interested in using art as a tool for social change, so much of our inspiration was also asking ourselves what we could create that would spark a conversation about the ongoing Islamophobia that continues today.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I know, that’s three movies). And since I’m already over one I’ll a fourth: Bladerunner.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I love FilmFreeway. I find the interface very usable and it helps streamline my submission processes.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

It’s hard to pick one. “Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode maybe? It’s hard to say for sure if we’re talking my whole life. If the question was about just recently it’d be different.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I have been working recently as a producer on two other directors’ projects: a web series called Resistance: the battle of Philadelphia (by M. Asli Dukan), and a short film called Recurrence Plot: The Family Circle (by Bryan Oliver Green). Both are scifi inspired stories. Lindsey is currently working on her first feature length film, Little Wilderness—a narrative film looking at the effects of ecological devastation in a small West Virginia town on a family.

 

 

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