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Elika Abdollahi

Elika Abdollahi was born in 1996 from Iran. She is a film maker and Graphic designer . Short film “Pass” is her first experience as director, writer and producer. She finalized her first film despite the very restricted atmosphere of filmmaking for women in her country, Iran. Pass short film has been selected to more that 75 festivals
She won several national and international awards for her short film, Pass.
What were you looking for in Mina Hamedani to choose her as your actress? How was the casting?
Mina was my first choice as mrs Ahmadi’s character. People around me said that Mina was well-dressed, so she didn’t fit this character but I was sure she could act well. I felt that Mina had a penetrating look. I really liked her look. The process of choosing the actors took a long time. I went to theaters and acting classes for choosing male characters. I did not like most of them. I found male personalities after a lot of searches. I tried to choose ones whose original personalities are similar to my characters’ attitudes in my script. I feel totally satisfied with my selection.
The script is fantastic, very careful in all the details with a surprising ending. How was its realization? How was the creation of a character as complex as Miss Ahmadi?
I rewrote the script “Pass” many times And I liked to have complex and mysterious characters with deep layers. I wrote an open-ending script, so the audience can figure out the ending whether Mrs Ahmadi tells the truth to her boss Mr Azizi or not? Does she regret what she did? Will she tell the truth to Mr. Azizi? Does Mr. Azizi get  that his brother  had betrayed his trust?
How would you describe Mina Hamedani’s relationship with her boss, Hesam Hosseini?
The relationship between Mrs. Ahmadi and her boss is good. Mr. Azizi has a kind and caring character, he cares for his brother and his needy employee. Mr. Azizi fully trusts Mrs. Ahmadi and Mrs. Ahmadi is always grateful for Mr. Aziz’s kindness, but Mrs. Ahmadi is forced to betray her boss’s trust.
Why did you choose to record the short film with a handheld camera and not using a tripod?

Due to the fact that there is a lot of tension and stress in most of the scenes of the script and there are fight scenes, it was decided to use a hand-held and tripod camera with vibration to convey the feeling of instability and  stress to the audience, so that the audience can identify with the characters. I even thought that the shaking of the camera conveys the stress of Mrs. Ahmadi , who is the main burden of the story and plot, better.

How did you record the fight between the actors Hesam Hosseini and Hesam Hosseini? Did he really slap him? How was working with these two actors?

All three male actors in my film were very intelligent. They knew what I wanted and they implemented it. All the conflict scenes were shot in real life.They really slapped him. Even Mr. Azizi’s brother was fighting with others. I remember that after cutting the fight scenes, all the male actors were nervous as if they had returned from a real fight.

In a sequence, do you record Mina Hamedani’s veil in detail with her back turned, what does the veil symbolize in the film? What instructions did you give to the costume designers Elnaz Abdollahi and Elahe Amini?
The veil is mandatory in Iran. Mrs. Ahmadi is forced to wear a veil just as she was forced to betray her boss Mr Azizi. Elnaz Abdollahi and Elaheh Amini were my set and costume designers. After reading the script, I told them to use the concept and main idea of the script in the scene design. The  fox poster was a symbol of the mysterious character of Mr. Aziz’s brother, who is also in the background of the fight. We could see the fox poster. Hamed, Mr. Azizi’s brother, and his companion wore black clothes to show the blackness and negativity of the characters. The choice of clothes for Ms. Ahmadi was to show that she was poor and a cleaner.
The appearance of the music by Danial Rabeinia and Mehrad Mehdi Pour is minimal but very successful, what instructions did you give him in its realization?
Daniel Rabeinia and Mehrdad Mehdi Pour watched the short film Pass several times. I told Daniyal and Mehrdad to create minimal and mysterious music for the short film “Pass”. When they composed and performed the music for the film, I said that’s exactly what I expected.
How was the approach of the last sequence of the film? What sensation were you looking to convey to the viewer?
In the last sequence, everything is revealed. I intended to surprise the audience and to convey the concept that no one can be trusted, even those we trust a lot. And at the end, I left the film open for the audience to imagine and create the selection of the film in their own mind
Will all be revealed? Does Ahmadi tell the truth to her boss? Does she regret what she did? Will she tell the truth to Mr. Azizi?
What difficulties did you have in making the film?
When I was making the short film Pas, I lacked funds facilities. No one supported me because I was a young filmmaker and girl and this was my first filmmaking experience. Even the film school where I studied did not support me.
Which directors do you follow in contemporary Iranian cinema?
Asghar Farhadi and  Hassan Fathi are my favourite directors
What are your future plans as a film director? Can you tell us about your next projects?
I am working on the characterization of my new script and finalizing the new script. I hope to find a sponsor and producer.