Western Wonderland

Festival Year:
Director: Reza Sixo Safai
Producer: Malcolm Granath
Screenwriter: Reza Sixo Safai

My uncle, Daee Iraj, was the first from our family to move to the United States from Iran back in the 1950\’s. After we escaped Iran following the 1979 revolution, Daee Iraj passed on to me his love of American pop culture, which included 1950\’s television western series. On re-runs we watched many of them including Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Tales of Wells Fargo and The Roy Rogers Show. While watching them, probably like most American boys my age, I wanted to be the cowboy I saw on TV and I got the feeling my uncle did too. Of course back in the 50\’s there were no Iranian cowboys on TV, and you know what, nor are there any now for that matter. In the spirit of representation matters, I decided to change that. I made a 50\’s TV western much like the ones my uncle and I loved, not only embracing many of their signature traits – black & white cinematography, 4:3 aspect ratio, narration, western talk, sentimentality, cliff hangers and fighting bad guys – but also sprinkling it with a dash of a modern sensibility.

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