A feature film by Newcastle University lecturer Tina Gharavi has been nominated for a prestigious BAFTA award.
'I am Nasrine' - which follows a young Iranian girl who is sent to the UK after falling foul of the Iranian regime - has been nominated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in the category 'Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer'.
Tina, a film and digital media lecturer in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University said: "I am absolutely overwhelmed.
"To be nominated for a BAFTA is like winning one - it's just such an honour."
The film follows a young Iranian girl Nasrine, who is sent to the UK after falling foul of the Iranian regime. Once in the UK, she soon falls in with Nichole, a girl from the local travellers’ community in Newcastle, and begins to taste real freedom for the first time, much to the dismay of her brother, Ali. But the new culture is also affecting him more than he realises and soon both world events and personal traumas change their lives forever.
To film in Iran, Tina and her crew pretended to be shooting a different film, assisted by a team of Iranian filmmakers who risked their lives to help her tell the story of what was happening in their country. Tina then had to smuggle the raw footage out of Iran.
Tina said: “Our goal with I Am Nasrine is to show how and why young refugees and asylum seekers end up living in places like Tyneside and to highlight the challenges they face in growing up in a new and very different country.
“Hopefully this film will lead to a law change that allows asylum seekers to work while their claim is processed and it will raise awareness of how the current situation discriminates against asylum seekers and forces them into the black economy and gives them a second trauma.”
The award winners will be announced on Sunday 10th February at London's Royal Opera House.
published on: 9 January 2013