Interview with multi-talented Bijan - A film director and pilot in Marbella16-11-2011 Comments (8)
Born on the southern shores of Caspian Sea, Bijan initially studied electronics and aeronautics in Europe. Later as a research scientist driven by innovative ideas, he patented and won several prestigious awards for his pioneering scientific works mainly in advanced medical imaging for early detection of breast cancer collaborating with top scientists worldwide.
Passionate about photography and filmmaking at an early age and attracted to works of mythical directors and writers such as Bergman and Brecht, he turned to filmmaking having learnt theatre mise en scène in Switzerland and France followed by film schools in United Kingdom and United States. Polyglot and enthusiastic pilot, Bijan travelled the world as a freelance ciné-journalist interviewing many renowned international film stars and film directors and participated as filmmaker in numerous quality film and TV productions. In 1996 he started ArtaFilms dedicated to cinematic works of a distinctive style and sensibility, fruit of his nonconformist vision and multicultural background. i-Marbella decided to find out more about Bijan..
1. What exactly made you change from electronics to art such as filmmaking?
I knew I wanted to be a film director since I was 14, but my father was totally against it and those days he didn’t find it a dignifying career in an upper class family! Consequently I studied electronics and aeronautics and later as a research scientist working with top researchers across the world I patented a number of advanced systems in medical imaging and early diagnosis of breast cancer for which I received several prestigious international awards; but my heart was always beating for independent cinema that is why finally I took up filmmaking. Anyhow inventing a scientific equipment or making a film is very similar as for both big dose of creativity is needed.
2. What kind of films do you produce?
I consider cinema as an art and from the beginning I favored quality cinema by masters such as Bergman, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky and others; I never was keen on action packed special effects commercial movies. Films that I relish are more like a poetry written with images and not succession of images resembling a video game.
3. What makes a good movie?
When we were kids we loved to hear stories told by our parents before bedtime, in general we remain that way later on in life. Good story telling is the key to making a good movie: good story, right cast and perceptive director are the main elements. Of course cinematography and technical aspects are extremely important but the most sophisticated techniques would be useless in making a quality movie without those main three elements. There are unforgettable and magnificent small budget films that often change our perception of life vis-à-vis some very expensive super productions that are so hollow and forgotten as soon as we leave the cinema.
4. Have you worked with celebrities in the movie industry? With who?
I was lucky enough to meet, interview, work and learn about cinema and filmmaking from some legendary directors, cinematographers, producers and international actors such as Emma Thompson, Willem Dafoe, Dani de vito, Salma Hayek; Saul Zaentz producer of famous film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The English Patient or Tim Burton and Jean-Jacques Beineix innovative directors of many remarkable Movies.
5. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?
I am not pretentious and don’t normally talk about myself however when I look back I am proud of some of my scientific research works in collaboration with scientist in Europe, USA and Japan mainly in the field of early diagnosis and treatment of breast and lung cancer. If my works have contributed in reducing so much pain and suffering then I consider that to be my greatest achievement.
6. What are your ambitions?
I would love to kick start a campaign against famine and poverty around the world which is getting worse by day; and of course produce some quality feature films and TV series. For these I would welcome any serious proposals or support: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. What are your other passions?
Flying is my second passion after cinema; I enjoy piloting planes and flying paragliders. Also since couple of years I love cooking and sharing it with good friends.
8. How did you end up in Marbella? What made you stay here?
We used to come to Marbella for long holidays when it still was a little village many years ago. After my wife tragically passed away I traveled around the world to find a new place for living far from painful memories. However, I always felt at home in Spain especially Andalusia and have a special connection with people here, therefore finally I decided Marbella had everything I wanted: good weather, hospitable people, cosmopolitan atmosphere and a sense of well-being.
9. What are you working on at the moment?
At present I am working on a prototype using very advanced imaging & laser system for medical diagnosis and non invasive treatment of some cancers in collaboration with the European Union; I am also preparing an independent feature film, a contemporary poetic drama to be shot in a desert region in the middle east, also have plans for some TV series.
10. What is your motto in life?
I am extremely passionate, that's why love is my motto in all my works and private life.
By: Tene Sommer
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