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Interview With ‘Eugenia & John’ Filmmakers at Champs Elysee

Interview With 'Eugenia & John' Filmmakers at Champs Elysee

I met and liked this interesting Iranian couple in Paris last week
when their feature dramatic film “Eugenia & John” showed in the US
In Progress
section at Champs Elysee Film Festival.

Hossein Keshave is the Writer / Director and Maryam Ataei produced.
Their families are from Iran and the couple is currently residing together New York City in Morningside Heights.
His parents came from Iran, city of Shiraz and migrated to Brooklyn 1965.
She was born in Tehran where her family was in the TV business.
“Eugenia & John” was one of four US indies competing for
finishing funds in the US In Progress section. (It did not win – too
bad!! It’s a good film.)
The story of this film is about young people stretching, exploring social limits in the US society today.
It tells the New York City story of a 20 something young couple
struggling with life, family and social issues and their relationship.
He’s an Anglo youth coming from a tough family background. Hossein
says. ‘John (the film’s male character name) has a very hard life
precisely because he
comes from a working class background.’ The film story then is of
young people today in the US stretching limits society imposes and
exploring their
possibilities. Immigration for them is a huge social issue affecting
their entire younger generation.

She’s a Latina beauty struggling with boyfriend and race and class
issues which modern America throws at someone – anyone!!! – in her
position. From
Hossein Keshave, ‘I found her situation and struggles and attempts
at resolution particularly compelling. This girl has no opportunities
simply because
she’s undocumented.’

Maryam Ataei, the Producer, met the actress they used in the film in
an immigrant workshop. The woman came to the US undocumented at 3 years
of age and
found it hard to get into school. Maryam says that, ‘This story in
our film tells the difficulties of immigrants here. The woman who
inspired the story had
to wait years for her green card. Millions suffer like this. It made
me, witnessing this, want to tell their story. Our film emotionally
connects with the
issue of what does it mean to be American now?’
Hossein also told of a very interesting family issue for them. His
dad owned property on Staten island and once rented a house to an
African American MD.
“We were actually threatened by some neighbors because of this.’
Social issues seem to predominate in their thinking.
They previously made a very interesting film shot in Iran. “Dog’s
Sweat” was a feature they co wrote. He Directed and she Produced. About
youth in modern
Iran. It was photographed completely underground, off the official
Iranian government (controlling) radar. Among other topics it deals with
the strict
government prohibition on alcohol including and especially the home
made variety.
That film won an award at Rome FF, showed in Austin FF and LAFF and also was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award.

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