Meet Mojtaba Mirshekari
As strange as it may seem, my journey in Cinema started from being a Civil Engineering student back home in Iran. Over my undergraduate studies, I started watching movies more seriously and I found my passion for storytelling. Especially, the works by Stanley Kubrick and Jean-Pierre Jeunet captured my attention. I vividly remember the first time I watched Clockwork Orange. I was mesmerized by the visuals and Kubrick’s point of view towards human psychology. From that moment, I realized that I want to be a part of filmmaking world. Thus, I decided to change my career from engineering to filmmaking. After successfully obtaining a master’s degree in Cinema Studies, and directing and editing several short films, I found moving to United States as the most logical way to fulfill my dream.
Currently, I am a Film Production MFA student with emphasis on Editing at Chapman University. Since 2017 here in US, I participated in several film projects as an editor, director, DIT, and sound designer. Recently, I directed and edited a short film named “Birthday” which has been very well received by festivals around the world. Particularly, Birthday has been nominated in various film festivals such as Top Shorts Film Festival (Won the best editing award), Oaxaca FilmFest (Nominated for best short film), Skyline Indie Film Fest (Nominated for best short film).
I don’t believe that you can find any filmmaker and artist who believe that it was easy for them to be where they are now. We all have sacrificed a lot in our life to become a filmmaker. One of the struggles that all artists are facing along the way, is to make sure that they can earn a living. the other things is that as an artist you should never lose your trust in yourself. At some point, you have this doubt that whether you are going to become a successful filmmaker or not. I think this doubt stays with all artists in their lifetime and the only solution is to keep going and try to make better films each time. That being said, I’m right in the beginning of a long journey which I’m pretty sure is not going to be easy.
I’m an editor/director. When I make a film, I like to see my audiences experience some kind of catharsis through the film. For that reason, I usually try to have a deeper layer beneath the story that is being told on the surface. I never push myself to write about a certain issue. I always let the ideas come from my subconscious because those ideas are the truth about me and my relationship with the world. I think filmmakers must have their own voice and, in order to reach that, they need to trust themselves and stop following others. That being said, my films are dealing with human loneliness, their needs and greed. Right now, I’m editing a documentary and couple of short films. I am also in the pre-production process of my new short film which is an anti-war film.
In my opinion success for artists is to influence their audiences with their art. We all watched masterpiece movies and they changed something inside us forever. Some movies have the power of changing the way of thinking of their audiences or let them feel in a certain way towards a specific subject. I think as an artist, being successful means being able to influence your audiences by your art, and being alive through your artwork for generations.
Of course, getting to that level of filmmaking is not easy. Although solitude is an important part of being an artist, the importance of networking and connecting with other artists is not to be neglected. It takes a village to make a film and you can never be successful unless you know enough people in the film business. Of course, having the knowledge which comes from reading and watching great movies of history is necessary for being successful. And in the end, it’s all about the experience. Each film that you make teaches something new to you and the important thing is to keep going and never stop.