Interview with Filmmaker Arian Nowbahari (IN THE TANK)

IN THE TANK was the winner of BEST FILM at the Under 5 Minute Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Besides filmmaking, I paint. Sometimes it is hard to find inspiration for a new painting.

So I thought that using a fish as a model could be interesting. Instead it has been tremendously stressful: I could not accept the idea that the fish was forced to be in a tank because of my lack of inspiration.

Therefore, what motivated me to make this film was the need to understand what are the limits of my creative process, as an artist.

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

The script writing phase took about 2 days, while the shooting 1 day. Then about 3 days for the editing.

But it took 1 year of artistic research to come to the idea since in the last period I was struggling to get some decent inspiration.

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

Who’s Free?

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

Actually, I did not really free the fish in the lake, because difference in temperature and pH could kill it.

So the main obstacle was to understand what to do with the fish, once the shooting finished.

Luckily, a friend of mine has a big aquarium with the same species. So I gave the fish to him, and it is still alive, and healthy!

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

It has been a touching experience to see the audience’s reactions.

All the viewers understood the main concept behind the film, and so they reflected on the link between freedom and creativity.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I was 14 years old when I realized that Cinematography is, for me, the most beautiful Art.

I started to make short movies, and basically I was using the camera as an “external mind”: something to better understand what I think about myself and the world.

With films, what we see in our mind becomes ‘visible’ to the entire world. It is an extremely powerful instrument.

13 years later, I still think that only through cinematography I can really understand myself as well as the world.

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

“Taste of Cherry” by Abbas Kiarostami.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Nothing. This festival is perfect, because it gives the right space to the artists and their works.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?


10. What is your favorite meal?

Chicken with Plums (Persian Dish)

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

I am currently finishing my PhD in electronic engineering. Meanwhile I am writing a script for a 20 minute short film.



By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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