Mona Shahi: “Less is more”

Mona A. Shahi was born in Iran in 1983. She graduated from Sharif University of Technology with a BS in Physics and earned her MA in Directing Animation from Tehran University of Art. She has been working professionally as scriptwriter, director, and animator. Teaching animation aesthetics, directing, and scriptwriting at various academic levels has also been her passion . Her animations had the chance of being selected or presented in festivals like Atlanta, Hiroshima, Stuttgart, Animamundi, Zinebi and other well-known festivals..

What are the most challenging aspects of being a filmmaker?

Telling a valuable story when we are using a big amount of energy for creating a film and also asking myself time to time, to whom do I really make a film audience and my experience or for festivals and making a show off.

What is your source of inspiration for this short film?

The Zoroastrian View on the philosophy of creation, the end of the world, and the story of the movie “Tree of Life”, along with the holy tree in Muse’s story, was the source of inspiration for me in this animation.
Red Fire | Poster
Mona Shahi

What is the theme of this film?

Miracles would not happen accidentally in our lives and our destiny believed to be made by ourselves.

How do you decide on possible ways to promote your film when you are on a tight budget?

Making more films and also choosing a suitable form for the audiovisual of my works. In the last steps, I can ask my friends to help me work on a very tight budget.

How important do you think distribution is in today's marketplace?

In my point of view, short film distribution is highly important in today’s marketplace. We have heard the expression “Less is More” while both words are so hard to gather near each other.

For those considering self-distribution, what is your advice?

I have always had a special tip but most importantly, I suggest filmmakers not to submit their films to random festivals just for the sake of trophies.

How significant do you think short films are for someone venturing into directing films?

Short films help us build our experience of telling our stories and prepares filmmakers for a more complicated field of feature film. Short films should not be overlooked in cinematic art in the world today since this is the starting point for anyone in this job.

What was the worst challenge of your career so far? How did you take it over?

When I finished the story of Red Fire, I did not know if I told a slogan or an honest word, so I asked my therapist to help me analyze it based on my character and life experiences. That is how I could finally finish the story of Red Fire which was a big challenge for me throughout the making of this animation.

What are the factors to making a good film?

A good story and knowing how to retell it through voice and video play an effective role in making a good film. It is just like a bonding tangled of form and meaning.

Is there anything you would change if you could go back to the beginning?

Yes, this became so important to me and I decided to start a new MA in animation as a special program to learn more about form and techniques. I wish I could make my film with more venture.
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