Productive Frustration

Productive Frustration is a short experimental film investigating an artists’ ongoing, everyday, both conscious and subconscious struggle to remain creatively productive in an exasperating atmosphere that has robbed her of certain sociopolitical conditions that used to define her artistic practices. To be more specific: I am scrutinizing my own position as a politically engaged Iranian filmmaker, or a political activist whose main tool of expression is audiovisual medium.

Combining different mediums, different textures and different means of expression such as stop motion animation, video, 16mm film, still images and voiceovers, Productive Frustration juxtapose thoughts and memories of both examined and unexamined past, present, and possible future.

Productive Frustration ultimately demonstrates hope for a change amid both bitter and humorous paradoxes and questions. It struggles to reach beyond passive reconstructions of memory and illustrations of present to arrive at a hopeful conclusion that making art still makes sense. The title of the film is inspired by an interview with the Lebanese artist Jayce Salloum in which he discusses the motivations and disappointments of filmmakers who live and work in politically unstable zones. Taking Salloum’s comments as my point of departure, and considering my own limitations as a contemporary Iranian filmmaker, I ask how I can accurately represent my concerns through cinema.

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Director: Tara Ahmadi
Director Biography

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