Kaveh Mazaheri’s Iranian film Retouch has enjoyed a successful film festival run, winning at three Oscar qualifying film festivals, including: Tribeca Film Festival (Best Narrative Short), Palm Springs Shortfest (Best Live Action Over 15 Min) and the Krakow Film Festival (Silver Dragon for Best Short Fiction Film). The film stars Sonia Sanjari as Maryam and Mohammad Ziksari as Siyavash. Retouch, is edited by Pooyan Sholehvar and the cinematography created by Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah.
In the corner of the home, Maryam's husband does weightlifting. Suddenly, the weight falls on his throat and puts him between life and death. Maryam tries to save him, but she just decides to stop helping and stand and watch her husband's death…
Director Kaveh Mazaheri was born in Iran. With an interest in cinema, he began writing film criticism for Iranian magazines and after graduating from college created his first short film, Tweezers. To date, he has made five independent short fiction films, and more than twenty documentaries. His recent films include the documentary A Report about Mina and short fiction Retouch.
We talked to Kaveh, and here are the excerpts:
It's a very dark film. What was the most challenging and most inspiring thing about making this film?
The dramatic idea of the film came to me, after watching a funny video on the Facebook. But the dark atmosphere you are talking about probably is because I used to think about my mother when I was working on the script. I was thinking if something like that had happened to my father and my mother had not help him, I would never ask her why and I would fully understand her.
Did any movies in particular act as an inspiration?
There are many films that we get inspirations from as a regular audience or a filmmaker, for our personal and professional lives. This is the essence of performing media.
What other American or International filmmakers you like? And why?
Some of my favorite filmmakers are, Abbas Kiarostami, Michael Haneke, David Fincher, Federico Fellini, Kianoosh Ayari, Buster Keaton, David Lynch, Claude Chabrol, Jean Pierre Melville. The reason I am interested in each of them is different. But in general I could say I get excited seeing many of these filmmaker’s films. Specifically, between all of theme, Abbas Kiarostami’s “Close up” is my most favorite film and I believe it has a very special and unique place in the history of cinema.
What's your message to other aspiring filmmakers and storytellers?
We should be patient.
This exciting short film won Best Narrative Short and The Jury Prize at Tribeca, Best Short Film, the Best Short Fiction Film at Krakow Film Festival, the Best Live Action Short over 15 Minutes at Palm Springs Shortfest, Best Short Fiction Film at Traverse City Film Festival, the Audience Award at Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival, and nominated Best Film of the Short Film Competition (Silver St. George) at the Moscow International Film Festival.