News Satire shot using an iPhone and a spy pen. World premiere of Zapata holds a mirror to a spirited Iran

Published: July 03, 2023| 10:03 PM

Director Danesh Eghbashavi says, with exaggeration, that he found the material for his feature debut Zapata by accident lying around in a backpack on the sidewalk. The film looks as if someone has just discovered iPhone memory cards, GoPros and spy pens containing footage from the lives of a man and his cousin, who were so driven by their desire to get funding for their film that they committed a series of kidnappings. “Mainstream artistic creation in Iran is under state control and freedom is being restricted. We wanted creative freedom,” the filmmaker told the audience about the metaphor between the film’s plot and the circumstances that led him to make a fresh black comedy with almost zero budget.

Actor Reza Massoudi stood in for the film protagonists and described the specific conditions of the shoot. “It was hard to act and film at the same time. We were preparing for forty days, we consulted the compositions with the main cameraman, but we had to control the cameras ourselves,” he revealed to the audience. The film, which had its world premiere at the Congress Hall, is included in the Another Birth. Iranian Cinema Here and Now section confirms that a strong generation of young filmmakers is making its presence felt in the hard-pressed Middle Eastern country.


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