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Farzad Samsami winner of HP Bridging The Borders Award talks about his experience with HP ZBook

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On June 22, 2014 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and Market named FOAD (Norway), directed by Farzad Samsami as the winner of HP’s 2014 Bridging the Borders Award, presented by Cinema Without Borders.

The award ceremony was held at Palm Springs’ Camelot Theatre. The Editor-in-Chief of CWB, Bijan Tehrani, presented the award for this year's HP Bridging the Borders winner. Farzad Samsami received a gift certificate for an HP ZBook 15 Mobile Workstation with a DreamColor color critical display panel. An approximate $3000 value, awarded from our generous sponsors.

Farzad Samsami , an Iranian/ Norwegian filmmaker founded his production company GorillaFilm (at Oslo, Norway) in 2005, and since then he has directed music videos for established artists in Norway and abroad.. He has also directed several low budget shorts, Foad is his debut film (first professional short film) funded by Norwegian Film Institut in 2013.  Farzad Samsami is a rising star in the field of filmmaking in Scandinavia. Almost five months after he won HP Bridging The Borders Award, we had the opportunity to talk to him about the award, his plans for the future and cinema in Norway.

Bijan Tehrani: Are you working on any new project after Foad?
Farzad Samsami: Since Foad I have used my time to write a feature film screeplay and now I am working on getting funds from the Norwegian Film Institute. The aim is to start shooting it in spring 2015.

BT:  Please tell us about your experience at Palm Springs Film Festival 2014?
FS: I had great time during the festival, I met many incredibly talented filmmakers from around the world and some of them I have kept in touch with after the festival. I took with me a lot of good advices from the lectures I attended and the parties at festival nights were epics!
I hope I can come back to Palm Springs with my feature film.

BT:  Did winning HP Bridging The Borders Award help to promote Foad?
FS: Yes, a film award as HP Bridging The Borders (Best International Short) at Palm Springs Film ShortFest was like a quality stamp for the film, and it helped the film to be shown in other film festivals and television channels. After Foad received this award it has been sold to TV channels and taken out on many other film festivals. I was surprised to learn that so many people in Europe knew about HP Bridging The Borders Award as an prestigious award of the festival. When I heard that the legendary Andrzej Wajda, one of the most important filmmakers in history of cinema has won the same award, I felt honored.

BT: Your prize was a HP ZBook 15 Mobile Workstation with a DreamColor display, what has been your experience with that Workstation?
FS: From the first moment I set up my HP ZBOOK I got a feeling that this machine means business. I love the fact that such a small portable system works for all my post work as a filmmaker. DreamColor display has given me comfort that the colors I see on screen are exactly the colors that end up on the theater screen. I started testing it with cutting 4k material on my HP Zbook and it went without a single problem. Workflow are virtually completely problem free. Performance of the processor is outstanding. I choose rather now to cut with Premiere Pro on my ZBook instead of using Final Cut on my Macbook pro.

BT: How far new technology achievements helps filmmakers today?
FS: There is no doubt that it has become easier to make films with today's digital technology, as a filmmaker, I appreciate all the technology that can help me with making movies for less cost.

BT: Please tell us about state of independent filmmaking in Norway today?
FS: In Norway it’s the government that hands out funding for the production of films (Norwegian Film Institute). Filmmakers who want to make their films must apply for funding and wait for a response from a short film or a feature film consultant. This is sometimes time consuming and you have to have patience. There are times that as many as 60 projects seeking funding at the same time and it is a difficult hurdle to get your project through.

But in recent years several films have been produced without the support of NFI and as a filmmaker it makes me happy to see that there is so much enthusiasm among Norwegian directors / producers who are working hard to get their films made without the government funding.

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