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Marjan Safinia & Parisa Taghizadeh
An Iranian born independent writer and documentary filmmaker, Marjan was educated in London and Los Angeles, at the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she first discovered her love of storytelling. Upon returning to London, she spent five years gaining a strong commercial background when co-ordinating a company of independent property consultants in the fast-paced Central London property market. In 1999, Marjan left the company to actively pursue her film career, which began with a modest fundraiser film for the revolutionary British charity, Kids Company, which has transformed the state of child mental health care in Great Britain. It has since become a main part of their fundraising package. Marjan then went on to co-produce and co-direct her first documentary, But You Speak Such Good English, a witty and poignant half hour film exploring different aspects of the first generation Iranian immigrant experience from the insider’s perspective. The film has received a tremendous response, playing at over 20 venues on the international festival circuit, including the prestigious Sheffield International Documentary Festival, the Margaret Mead Documentary Festival in New York and the recently acclaimed “Women in Iranian Film” festival at the Barbican Centre in London and the Asia Society in New York. Marjan now resides in Los Angeles has established her own production company, Merge:Media, which is committed to the development and production of innovative and significant documentary content for broadcast, theatrical release and the world-wide web.
Parisa Taghizadeh graduated from Bath Spa University (UK) in 1995 with a degree in Fine Art. She started her career in film and television, working for an independent production company that specialised in making innovative dramas and documentaries for UK broadcasters, Channel 4 and BBC. Parisa worked as a photographer outside office hours and had her first solo exhibition, INSIDE OUT, in a gallery in West London. In 1999, she made her first documentary, BUT YOU SPEAK SUCH GOOD ENGLISH, with colleague Marjan Safinia, about the lives of a group of Iranians living in London. The film has been screened in festivals world-wide including the UK, Canada, Los Angeles, Washington DC and New York. Most recently the film was featured at the “Women in Iranian Cinema” festival at the Barbican Arts Centre in London. Alongside her photography work, Parisa went on to work as a freelance Production Coordinator for independent production companies such as Century Films, 3BM and Wall to Wall Television, all responsible for some of the UK’s most established filmmakers and highly acclaimed television content. Today, Parisa lives and works in London as a freelance photographer, still maintaining her contacts in film and television. She specialises in documenting live art events, performances and publicity stills for feature films, TV dramas and documentaries. Her most recent work was an eight-week shoot in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey for British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom’s latest feature film, scheduled for theatrical release in 2003. Parisa regularly has her work published on book covers, in magazines, journals and supplements including: The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Time Out, The New Scientist, Tank, Dazed & Confused, Flux and Untitled. Examples of her recent work will also be published in a book titled The Middle East in London, which is to be published at the end of the year.
Photo: Marjan Safinia & Parisa Taghizadeh
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