Tuesday, May 02, 2006


It was Saturday, April 29th, the Moroccan students were on their way in an airplane, and we native New Yorkers were watching the first part of a three part documentary about the exchange by Seifollah Samadian, Abbas Kiarostami's Director of Photography. Most of us hadn't seen it yet and so the otherwise pleasurable and discursive film turned into a high stakes suspense thriller. Who knew what embarrassing thing we would be doing next? But the documentary was more complimentary than compromising and the Hunter students enjoyed being transported back into this unique experience. The doc is shot from many points of view, from the POV of the audience at the opening ceremonies, from each students' POV, from the POV of a student's film subjects (for example you can see Bouchra bouncing her head to a song while watching the little boy who is singing it on her camera monitor.)

The program included "Roads of Kiarostami," a new short film by our master class professor from the first leg of the program. This mesmerized the audience for the first half hour. Seifollah's "Once Upon a Time..." followed. Many people in the audience had heard of the program and/or would have wanted to take a master class with Scorsese or Kiarostami themselves. We got many queries about whether this type of program would happen again. Overall the reception was one of admiration and information. We hope people will be inspired by this film to create more programs like this one. Though we also know the difficulties involved at times like these, we hope that this is a great testament that once a group of good people put their hearts into something it can be accomplished.


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