Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "The Green Wave" Director Ali Samadi Ahadi

By Indiewire | Indiewire January 17, 2011 at 5:35AM

In early 2009, a new generation of Iranians hoped for change through the upcoming presidential elections. Fueled by youthful exuberance and media technology, a groundswell - the so-called Green Wave - emerged to challenge the status quo, and caused a seismic shift in the political climate. A new brand of revolution seemed to be at hand. All polls predicted challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would be the country’s next president, however, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the victor, prompting a backlash of unparalleled violence and oppression and a massive surge of human-rights violations that continues today.
0

In early 2009, a new generation of Iranians hoped for change through the upcoming presidential elections. Fueled by youthful exuberance and media technology, a groundswell - the so-called Green Wave - emerged to challenge the status quo, and caused a seismic shift in the political climate. A new brand of revolution seemed to be at hand. All polls predicted challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would be the country’s next president, however, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the victor, prompting a backlash of unparalleled violence and oppression and a massive surge of human-rights violations that continues today.

In this powerful and urgent documentary, filmmaker Ali Samadi Ahadi integrates animation with live-action footage, testimonials, and posts from courageous Iranian bloggers, who dared to tell the world about the anatomy of the movement and its devastating consequences. "The Green Wave" is a remarkable portrait of modern political rebellion, an exposé of government-sanctioned violence, and a vision of peace and hope that continued resistance may galvanize a new Iran. [Synopsis courtesy of the Sundance Institute]

"The Green Wave"
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi
Screenwriter: Ali Samadi Ahadi
Producer: Jan Krueger, Oliver Stoltz
Associate Producer: Roshanak Khodabakhsh, Thomas Saignes
Editor: Barbara Toennieshen, Andreas Menn
Music: Ali N. Askin
Art Director: Ali Soozandeh
Animation: Ali Reza Darwish, Ali Soozandeh

Responses courtesy of "The Green Wave" director Ali Samadi Ahadi.

Work prior to "The Green Wave"...

I was born in 1972 in the north Iranian city of Tabriz. In 1985, when I was 12 years old, I came to Germany without my family and later took my Abitur in Hannover. In Kassel I studied visual communication with a focus on film and television. At the end of the '90s I began a career as a filmmaker. I participated in several documentaries by working as a director, film editor and cinematographer. For my documentary "Culture Clan" I was nominated for the Rose d'Or award, and in Cape Town won the Channel O Award in the category of Best Foreign Music Film. A flood of awards followed soon after for my documentary "Lost Children," in co-production with Oliver Stoltz, which won the German Film Award 2006 as well as numerous international awards (among others the UNICEF Award, Al Jazeera Award). Recently, I made my first feature film "Salami Aleikum" in 2009.

The need to say something...

The unbelievable violence after the election in 2009 in Iran; All these killings, on the streets in Iran; All the informations about torturing and raping in unknown prisons in Iran, brought me to the conclusion that I have to say something.

Finding a way...

The big challenge was for us was to find a way to make the film without being able to travel in Iran. The next challenge was the lack of images from the events that had taken place in the past -- such as streetrallies before the election or the massive suppression after the first demonstrations. The tough stance the regime took against journalists and filmmakers who took images made it very clear to us that we had to find another way to tell the story.

Filling in the gaps

We started to collect all the images we could find via news agencies, the internet or people smuggled for us out of the country. But the majority were in very poor quality and only covered fragments of situations. So we would not be able to tell the whole story with this images. They were just like broken puzzle pieces. They were big gaps in the story.

"The Green Wave" director Ali Samadi Ahadi. Image courtesy of the Sundance Film Institute.

I made the decision to use blogs. Iran is one of the leading blog writing nations. So I read more than 1500 pages of blogs and chose 15 of them. We then developed two fictional characters from the blogs: a young man and a young woman. And I decided to tell their stories through animation. All that work from financing to finalizing the film was completed in ten month! This was a big challenge.

Mixing animation with reality...

The film played very well at IDFA in Amsterdam, then got accepted in competition at Sundance and will be the Opening Film at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. I think the mix between animation and real images in a documentary is quite unique. And this makes the film attractive. The topic is also important. I think the future of the civil movement in Iran can be the key-solution for peace and security in the whole middle east. This should be of interest to Sundance audiences.

For the kids...

I will make a film for children next year and I am also working on a historical film and on a political thriller.

This article is related to: Features, Interviews, The Green Wave






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More