“Chicheka Lullaby” is a 90 minute music and anthropological documentary. It pictures the life story of an alternative artist from south of Iran in challenge with his society. The film archives a collection of traditional music and contemporary fusion. It also opens up a window to the depth of the life of the people in southern Iran, showing their culture, believes, their food, their condition and needs.
The film is a tragic-comedy following the life story of the legendary minstrel of south of Iran, Ebrahim Monsefi, who lived a creative life with a strong sense of humor combined with depression. He died 16 years ago in poverty and drug addiction, but within his short life he has created100s of lyrics and recorded more than 200 songs with a small cassette player. He inspired many around him as he sang out with his guitar open and honest about his life and traveled spreading the message of love and freedom. His music and lyrics are still alive and being performed by the new generation today, but his story has never been told.
I followed his footsteps and traveled to different cities, villages and islands that he’s been to, capturing the story of his life and introducing more than 20 contemporary musicians and bands who are performing their own version of his songs, each with their own touch and taste.
This film is told not through the eyes of a stranger-passing-through but it’s through the eyes and camera of a young woman with southern origin, speaking and understanding their dialect and living among them for four years. Lives were captured as they were happening, with the least sense of a present camera.
I’m Raha Faridi, a 33 year old Iranian woman. I have studied drama. Since 2000 I have produced 17 experimental, shorts and documentaries. I've worked as a freelance journalist, radio producer and music researcher for BBC-World service for 8 years. I was born and brought up in Tehran. My Grandmother was a native of the south. She passed away when I was 5 but the small memories I have from her lifestyle and region were extremely inspiring to me. It was always a dream to me to be able to document and record what’s left of the “ancient culture” of my grandparents, the culture that is gradually changing and losing its essence, as every other part of the world being modernized.
The Region & People
BandarAbbas, a hot and humid harbor where music, sea and sun are inevitable parts of people’s lives. The province is rich with natural resources, geographical location, multi culture and religion, but one the most excluded parts of Iran. It’s located in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz. The region is a mixture of Iranian, Indian, African and Arab nations. The music is also a mixer of all these influences combined with beats and rhythm coming from the sea.
I started this project 4 years ago when I left my previous job and decided to be more independent. I traveled throughout the region with a backpack, a small camera and a sound recorder. These years on the way where full of experiences, lessons and obstacles... I've practiced coping with difficult and unknown situations, I got to know many people and heard many stories, I've witnessed different lifestyles and learnt much more not only about this region but also about myself.
The Goal & The Process
I managed doing the whole process of producing this film by myself, i.e. research, shooting, sound recording, interviewing, writing the story and editing. It took me one year to edit this project with my laptop as I was hoping to be able to do the project absolutely independent, so I could tell the story in a unique personal way and not necessarily meeting any corporation or TV channel standards. I had no sponsors so I put all my savings on this project. I also worked at a few part-time jobs which only postponed the process of finishing the film, but the money could hardly meet what’s needed for a professional post production.
It’s a fully edited project on the timeline waiting for a professional post production. It needs to be color corrected, sound mastered, titled and subtitled to be ready for festivals submissions. This entire process needs funding which I’m not capable of fulfilling.
-Color Correcting: The film needs to be color corrected with a qualified and calibrated monitor by a skilled specialist. As many old motions and archived photos with different formats are used in the project and they need to be uniformed and harmonized.
-Sound Mastering: The sound must be worked on in an equipped studio by a skilled sound engineer. It must be heard through qualified speakers, to be able to distinguish the problems. As the film lives through it’s music and there are many old music tracks imported from tapes in to the project, they need sound mastering to bring the best out of it.
-Graphics & Subtitle: The film is spoken in Farsi, so it needs to be translated and subtitled in English and hopefully more languages.
-Copy Rights: I have tried my best to involve the native artist and specialist of the region when I needed any material, work or help for the film. I wanted this project to be a chance for young unheard talented artists to be recognized, not only musicians but also visual artists. Therefore I have used visual materials of few young photographers, graphic artists and painters from BandarAbbas. Not only do I hope to be able to introduce them but also compensate them for their efforts.
-Festival Submissions: I want to submit “Chicheka Lullaby” at many festivals, starting with more creditable ones such as Sundance, HotDocs, IDFA, SXSW and CPH:DOX. This is the only chance for the film to be watched, reviewed and to find its audience and appropriate place. But submitting to each festival requires considerable finance and work.-The Soundtrack: I have recorded about 40 music tracks for this film, in the locations of the musicians where they feel the most comfort. I have made a collection of varieties to be mastered, published and released in a double CD music Album.
Many Thanks & Some Gifts
What I have to offer, In addition to my eternal gratitude to those who have funded this project:
- The original DVD of the film. You will be among the first people to see the finished film!
- The original soundtrack, a double CD music album, varieties of music from south of Iran, as soon as it’s mastered and published.
- Your name will be included in the film credits!
- A one week trip to Iran with the director as your guide! We travel to some of the most beautiful parts of Iran perfectly planned.
- Stream the film online during it’s world premiere.
-An audio CD, Ebrahim Monsefi’s music album.
- Borqeh, an ethnic handmade Souvenir from south of Iran, a mask that some women wear.
- A "Chicheka" postcard including a Personal Thank You Note written and signed.
- A colorful eastern cloth. some use them as scarf, some use as clothes, curtain ...
- A music playlist collected by the director of the greatest musicians from IRAN.
- A collection of photograph & painting postcards of the artists from the region.
- My production diary. You will be included in "Chicheka" digital mailing list. This way you can follow the process and progress of the project. Throughout the summer the page will be updated weekly with behind the scenes photos, stories, videos and news.
The details are in the award column on the right-side of the pagewww.facebook.com/chicheka
BE A PART OF “Chicheka Lullaby”
It’s worth it.
I’m positively sure that each dollar of fund for this project would be a savior of many talents that this film introduces, giving them hope to be heard and recognized and helping them grow. It will also give this film the chance to be released and let many around the world be more familiar with this region of Iran. It will help conveying a more accurate and clear image and understanding of this part of the world and its people.www.rahafaridi.com
Risks and challenges
“Chicheka Lullaby” is an edited, almost finished documentary. It’s in the post-production process … HERE WE HAVE A FILM READY TO WATCH … with your help I’m only trying to upgrade its quality of color and sound. There’s not much risk there, especially as i'm not working on any parallel projects right now and finishing this film is my priority. The only challenge is technical problems which is normal in the process of film-making. In worse scenario if any problem occurs, there might be a delay of approximately one month in getting it done … which hopefully won’t as i'm planning to catch up with winter 2014 and spring 2015 festivals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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