Reframe Iran is a cross platform documentary about Iranian artists in Iran and the diaspora. The documentary includes Virtual Reality, photography and video.
The project started as a vision of Matteo Lonardi, a photographer, who had been focusing on portraying different countries through artists perspectives: Morocco, India, Italy. At Columbia University he met with film director Joao Inada, Data Journalist Alexandra Glorioso and Stanford Engineer Matt Yu: Reframe Iran was born.
The virtual reality video takes users into the intimate studio spaces of Iranian artists in the diaspora. These immersive spaces offer an uncommon perspective into contemporary Iran, through the eyes of its displaced artists. The team meets modern masters who fled the country in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution, their lives and art inextricable from the traumas of revolution, war, and exile. Also they meet contemporary artists born after the revolution, whose work seeks to move beyond an Iranian identity by exploring themes of globalization and economic injustice. Once inside, viewers are challenged to reframe their perceptions of Iran through the eyes of the artist.
HD documentary begins in Tehran. Behind the facade of revolutionary symbols and “Death to America” slogans, we discover the work and aspirations of three young emerging artists. These artists – Hani Najm, Shahrzad Malekian, and Negar Jahanbaksch – are an eclectic mix that share one thing in common. They are all finalists for the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize. The competition, held in London, offers a huge opportunity for our artists: the chance to share their work with the West. Art is their passport out of Iran – and into the international marketplace. But the route to London is ridden with obstacles and unforeseen consequences. On this journey, we are forced to ask ourselves: Are these three Iranians elevated because they are exceptional artists, or because they titillate the Western imagination? Are they masters of their own fates,or pawns in a political game?
This briliant film-making team, Matteo Lonardi and João Inada, as well as the whole Reframe Iran VR team won the top prize at the inaugural World Virtual Reality Forum in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
- Newsha Tavakolian, 34, is an award-winning photojournalist and artist.
- Azra Aghighi, photo credits: Matteo Lonardi