Tina Gharavi's BAFTA nominated film has beat all the odds to secure an official release.I Am Nasrine, her first feature film, will be shown in screens across the country during Refugee Week (17-24 June 2013).
The film, which is a coming-of-age story of middle class Iranian siblings forced to start a new life in England, will have its first showing in Cambridge before moving to 15 other cinemas across the UK.
Gharavi says was ‘stunned’ when her micro-budget film received a nomination for best debut by a British director at the BAFTAs, especially since it only just scraped together the requisite number of UK screenings to meet the qualifying criteria.
“ I Am Nasrine was a labour of love," she said. "I didn’t make it to get rich but I did hope that it would find its intended audience. It really is a film that’s made for the big screen and we’ve had a load of people writing on our webpage, asking when the film is coming to their town, so we’ve pushed and pushed to get it out there and now it’s actually happening.”
With mainstream distributors unwilling to spend heavily on promoting the film, Gharavi took the decision to self-distribute via her production company Bridge + Tunnel, a labour-intensive process made harder by the absence of any advertising budget.
Fortunately, the BAFTA exposure brought Gharavi national attention and the film has continued to win plaudits, with some critics confessing they were ‘moved to tears’ by the film.
“I always tell audiences that they’re our marketing budget - they are the oxygen of the film,” says Gharavi. “The audience is growing by word-of-mouth and through social media.
“I Am Nasrine has been a big part of my life for more than 10 years and it’s just amazing that a lot of people are finally going to have the opportunity to see it at their local cinema.”
Gharavi is now focused on developing her second feature, The Good Iranian, a Middle Eastern gangster drama set mainly in Paris. However, she remains determined to ensure that I Am Nasrine finds its intended audience.
Almost all screenings will have Gharavi or one of the leading cast members introducing the film and hosting a Q & A session afterwards.
Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. Anyone can take part by organising, attending or taking part in activities.
published on: 10 June 2013