Purple TV presents the extended trailer for Before the Bomb, the short film by Tannaz Hazemi. Set in Staten Island, Before the Bomb tells the story of 10 year old Elsa as she prepares for a visit from Child Services who could separate her from her brother. This week the Iranian-born filmmaker Hazemi won Best Director for Before the Bomb at The European Independent Film Festival in Paris, and just announced today, the film has been selected to show in the pretigious American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2015. We asked Hazemi a few questions on the film and The Great Prentender cover recorded by Soko for the soundtrack.
Purple - How did the story of Before the Bomb come about and what, if any, was the inspiration?
Tannaz Hazemi - The story was inspired by my first girlfriend in High School, who had been adopted when she was 11. Though I don't remember the particulars of her story I do remember the feelings and the impact it made on me.
Purple - The film was crowdfunded raising over $50,000. Can you tell us a bit about the response you got towards the story of the film?
Tannaz Hazemi - This is definitely the most accessible story I've ever tried to tell, and that's why it lent itself so well to crowdfunding. Luckily the response to the movie has been as positive as it was to the script. My previous movies have included a man who can't get an erection and a blind man playing a drinking game, for example.
Purple - How did you first come to hear of the 1955 song The Great Pretender by The Platters?
Tannaz Hazemi - I don't know the first time I heard it, maybe somewhere in a lobby or in a taxi, in a place where you are just momentarily moved because you don't have the leisure of really enjoying a song, and you make a mental note but maybe you forget about it. But I DO know when it really struck me and got under my skin and stayed with me to resurface years later for this project: when I saw it in "The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant."
Purple - Why did you ask Soko to cover this song?
Tannaz Hazemi - She's one of my favorite vocalists. Her voice cracks and soothes, with a naivety and candor and bittersweetness. Her voice was perfect for the song when considering the POV of a 10 year old girl, and generally it captured the vibe of the whole movie. more info
Written and directed by Tannaz Hazemi
Starring: Sterling Jerins, Jesse Dean Peterson, Cindy Cheung, Lori Prince, Paul Samoylov, and Anna Suzuki
DP: Hillary Spera