'Azita’, directed by 18 year old Majid Jafargholi, was nominated for a prestigious First Light Award in the ‘Young Voice’ category.
The 7 min short film ‘Azita’ was completed in September, shot on location in Brighton, including scenes in the Old Police Cells Museum in Brighton Town Hall and Hangleton Community Centre. Young people aged 10-23, some with special educational needs, took part in this summer film project which was funded by First Light digital film and media initiative. Participants were mentored by Maria Lloyd - an award winning Dance for Camera filmmaker.
During the project participants from a variety of different backgrounds (including several young refugees and asylum seekers) had the opportunity to act, to learn to use the video camera, to take stills photos and learnt editing and sound recording as part of their bronze and silver Arts Awards.. ‘Azita’ was based on a true story of a young asylum seeker coming to live in Brighton and features original music made by the participants. The script was developed during BandBazi workshops at Easter 2009.
You can watch the film HERE
Here are some quotes about 'Azita' from the judges at the First Light Awards ceremony in March
"A powerful and poetic film - the use of circus imagery worked brilliantly" Danny leigh, Film Critic
"An interesting point of view account that highlights the trauma of the asylum process in the UK. A mixture of voice over, dramatization and expressive dance help to convey the wide array of emotions during our central character's journey in the film. Indeed the expressive quality of this film is one of its greatest strengths, the delicacy of the dance routine contrasted by the harsher realism is well pitched in exploring the different sides of the main character's story" David Stoddart, Filmmaker
"A beautiful and delicate telling of a harrowing personal journey. Creative, well crafted and imaginative use of movement and technique to explore emotion. Sensitive, graceful and aesthetically pleasing." Debbie Aston, Film Producer
"I really liked this film. The use of circus imagery was very powerful and greatly enhanced the film's ultimate message of hope and possibilities in the face of despair, fear and loneliness." Dougray Scott, Actor
"I loved the use of aerial circus imagery in the film, I though it was a very original way of helping to tell the story. I also enjoyed the use of still images in the scene where Azita is trying to phone her sister, which were another striking visual technique. The film does a really good job of making you connect emotionally with the character of Azita, and I was very impressed by how substantial a story it was able to tell in a short space of time. I was so impressed by the amount of imagination that had clearly been put into this project. it felt to me like a very unique piece of storytelling." Hannah Murray, Actress (Skins)