Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Post #295 - Sport in Service to Humanity
The other day I posted a link to a webpage for Boarders without Borders. Here is the background on that group, one of the more interesting efforts people are making to forestall war with Iran:
Breaking the Ice, by Shooting the Snow
Boarders Without Borders is a soon-to-be-shot feature-length documentary that will follow 3 professional snowboarders (including Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter) on a journey to the little known yet world-class mountains of Iran. Over the course of the film they will be introduced to and ride with the Iranian youth and discover the uncharted Alborz Moutains. It is here where they will explore their shared passion with the Iranian youth that transcends the cultural and political divides, hopefully creating an understanding between two disparate nations, proving that we as people are not that different. We hope to shed light on a sensitive subject the media leaves out, breaking stereotypes that are portrayed on each countries people while sharing our mutual passions.
When one thinks of Iran, it is typically the political strife and unrest that is widely represented in the media. The last thing that comes to mind is 14,000-foot mountains covered in Utah-like powder, with densely populated resorts and chalets nestled at the base of the slopes.
However, with over 75% of the population of Iran aged 35 and under, counter-cultures like snowboarding are hidden sanctuaries for the youth of Iran. We will explore this unknown world on and off the slopes through the eyes of these three American riders, and experience their journey as they discover a country that has been sealed off from the West for over 30 years As their plane descends through the clouds in preparation for landing, the team of three American snowboarders – Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter, Gabi Viteri, and (male rider TBD), get their first look at Iran, the country that drew them halfway across the globe. These three riders, all free-spirited and spontaneous, have little understanding of Iranian history or culture but are eager to dive into this odyssey with a fearlessness and sense of adventure; the same characteristics that are fundamental to their ascension in the sport of snowboarding.
Their first view of the city below marks the beginning of an epic adventure where they will rip new territory and experience this untamed counterculture that is full of surprises and sees no boundaries or limits. A voyage where they will connect with people whom, despite geographic distance and cultural differences are like-minded souls bound together by not just the love of a sport, but through the embodiment of a mentality that fills their essence. Not citizens of one nation or another – just snowboarders, looking for the next obstacle to surpass. Below them the sprawling urban landscape of Tehran extends towards the horizon and their ultimate destination, the snowy mountains of Alborz.
About the Filmmakers:
Marjan Tehrani is an independent director and producer from Berkeley, California. She received a BA in Community Studies, a major dedicated to social change, from UC Santa Cruz, and an MFA in Media Arts Production with an emphasis in documentary, from the City University of New York.
She founded the production company Tru Films, and has since directed and produced several independent documentaries. Her Israel, her debut documentary follows three women –an Israeli, a Palestinian and a Ukrainian immigrant– in Tel Aviv. Her Israel premiered on the Sundance Channel in 2004.
She also directed and produced Arusi Persian Wedding, a feature documentary co-produced with PBS about Iran/U.S. relations, explored through an Iranian-American and his bride’s journey to be married in Iran. The film premiered on the Emmy PBS Series, Independent Lens for the 2008/09 season, and toured 45 cities nationwide with PBS’s unique Community Cinemas program.
Her latest producing credit is the documentary, P-Star Rising, a feature film that follows a young female rap star phenomenon as she fulfills her father’s deferred dreams of making it in the music business. P-Star Rising has premiered at festivals worldwide and premiered on Independent Lens during the 2009/10 season. Currently Tehrani is producing the documentary “Boarders without Borders” that is scheduled to shoot in Iran, February 2011, which follows three professional American snowboarders who join forces with three Iranian snowboarders to set aside politics and share their ultimate passion in life. She is also in the development phase for adaptation fiction film.
Beyond her independent work, she has senior produced several original series for television, including four seasons of dLife TV on CNBC, a diabetes talk show that informs and educates a target audience of 19 million people regarding the ever-growing epidemic of diabetes; and the Emmy-nominated After School Series which broadcast on WNYE-PBS, which featured celebrity alumni such as Harvey Keitel and Tim Robbins, returning to their urban high schools as role models. She has also produced numerous cooking segments with celebrity chefs such as Michel Nischan for television and the web and created content for major commercial companies such as KRAFT, General Mills and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Through Tru Films, Tehrani is dedicated to promoting dialogue between cultures, sharing the intricate and subtle aspects of identity and capturing the transformative moments of human experience.