Before the opening night of the UCLA film festival we had the opportunity to have Ana Lily Amirpour screening her recent Sundance sensation ” A girl walks home alone at night”.
Ana Lily Amirpour has graduated from the screenplay writing department of UCLA film school a few years earlier and was there to accept the distinguished alumna award. Her film was screened at Bridge theater at around 4pm, so because of timing, not a whole lot of people showed up to see it, which was a good thing for me as I got the chance to ask her most of the questions during Q&A at the end of the screening. (To be fair I was the only person asking questions beside the host of the evening).
Talking to her was a great experience because I was very curious to know how an immigrant woman of Iranian decent was able to fund a film made in Black and White and spoken in Farsi, since no color and subtitle are the two of the main factors for Americans to not watch a movie as most of the founders need a guarantee to have their money back.
Her response to my question was very straight forward as she clarified that it is no one’s business no ask her how she funded her film. This although didn’t helped me much, but it gave me an idea on how to respond to a similar questions if I was a filmmaker in my next life with a rich benefactor.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed watching her film because there were lots of familiar references to pre revolution Persian cinema, music and culture, not to mention that it was truly heartwarming to see a recent graduate already out there with a feature film that has made it into Sundance! During our conversation she also stressed, that determination and drive was her most important weapon to overcome the adversities of making a film and that bringing this whole vision to life was such an immense goal that she didn’t really thought about bringing the money back. I think we can better realize if her approach can lead to more creative success throughout time as he next projects are out there.