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"Tell Me of the Seas," A film by Reza Allamehzadeh
Reza Allamehzadeh is an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, film critic and writer based in the Netherlands since 1983. Allamehzadeh was born in 1943 in Sari, Iran.
He studied film directing at the Tehran Academy of Film and Television from 1966 to 1969. Alongside with filmmaking he is regularly writing and publishing children’s books, novels and short stories.
He teaches film and TV courses at various universities around the world, including Hollins University in Virginia (U.S.), Leeds Metropolitan,University (U.K.) and International R/TV Training Center in the Netherlands.
Some of his films include:
• “The Trap” (1973); awarded Grand Prix at the 12th International film festival for Children and Youth in Gijon, Spain.
• “A Few Simple Sentences” (1986); awarded the Best Short at the 1986 Stockholm International Immigrant Film Festival, Best Children’s Film at Tomar 1987 International Festival of Cinema for Children and Youth and the Best Children’s Film by the jury of the International Centre of Films for Children and Youth (CIFEJ) at International Moscow Film Festival in 1987.
• “Guests of Hotel Astoria” (1988); feature length, selected for the Venice, Moscow, Montreal and Chicago Film Festivals.
• “Holy Crime”; a controversial documentary on State terrorism of Islamic government of Iran in European countries.
His latest documentary, “Iranian Taboo” (2011), on the issue of persecution of Baha’i believers in Iran has been received warmly and been distributed all over the world.
A tale of two mothers and daughters, one imaginary (Roya and Darya), the other real (Azar and Nina) sharing a cell in prison. Roya is a young sketch artist who was arrested on the day her exhibit was to open in Tehran. And Azar is a young mother incarcerated with her young daughter Nina in Evin prison.
The narrative of the film is a combination of reality and imagination; it uses Roya's designs (of infant Nina's first steps in prison to her own appearance before the Death Committee) to describe the shocking story of political prisoners killed by Khomeini's Fatwa in 1988, and buried in unmarked mass graves in Khavaran.
Does Darya, the imaginary daughter of Roya, get the chance to fulfill her mother's wishes by finding Nina and retrieving the lost sketches of her own childhood in prison?