Between 1984 and 1989 Shahin Yazdani worked in Iran on numerous feature films in various capacities. Since 1990, next to his vocation as a film & digital media instructor, he has been working overseas as an independent filmmaker .
1991, feature length filmscript funded by Hamburger Filmbüro, Co-writer
Hinter der Nacht
1991, feature length filmscript , Writer
Der Preis des Ungehorsams (Snare of the Serpent)
1992, feature length filmscript, awarded DM24,000 by Hamburger Filmbüro, Writer
Grief, Fear, Hope
1995, Docudrama, 53 min. - Co-director/Producer, Writer, Videographer, Editor
Having been informed about the imminent death of his mother, an Iranian exile reminisces on the time his parents spent with him during a recent visit to Hamburg. In the course of a rather ephemeral reunion, the family reflects on political and personal events that have changed their lives. Through simple, yet touching conversation, a story of loss, tragedy and endurance emerges. As memories of the past are evoked one realizes how the post-revolutionary experience in Iran matures a traditional woman's sense of love, and undermines a husband's authority over his wife.
Self-portrait of a Sinner
1997, essay film, 17 min. - Director, Writer, Editor and Producer
An exploration of the formation of identity through the questioning of the self as well as the other, a meditative journey across different spaces of the real and the ethereal, the close and the distant, the familiar and the alien, the mythical and the historical; an attempt to understand and provide a basis for understanding the absurdity of social and cultural blindness, of borders that are at work on the geography of our land and our mind.
Narrative,40 min. Super 16, - Director, Scriptwriter, Editor, Producer
Inspired by Hossein Nushazar's short story, Medea, Madi'ya delves into the issue of displacement. The narrative follows a young man's journey, his quest for meaning and a sense of belonging in his new situation. The elusive object of his search is personified in a woman he calls Madi'ya. He sees the elusive Madi'ya as the key to reconciling his past with his present and future, and therefore his only hope of restoring equilibrium to his life. Although to some extent reminiscent of yarns of the traditional hero on a journey of discovery, Madi'ya deliberately distorts this pattern in order to a chieve a subverted interpretation. Here, as opposed to the traditional hero who retains a somewhat fixed identity, the anti/hero faces an identity crisis that bears some relation to the contemporary human condition. Where the traditional hero tends to be summoned by a higher being to undertake a journey in which he overcomes a series of challenges, with the help of a supernatural mentor and leading to his enhanced status and/or self-knowledge, the man in Madi'ya encounters mentors who tend to complicate rather than assist his situation.
Krapp's First Video
1999, Docudrama, 40 min,- Director, Digital Cinematographer, Editor, Sound designer,
Distributed by Bumper Video, New Zealand
"In 1999, poet Alan Brunton goes to Christchurch to act in Samuel Beckett's memory-play,"Krapp's Last Tape". He is followed by the Iranian filmmaker Shahin Yazdani who captures a world of ambiguity that descends on the production. Yazdani is present from the first sessions, as theatre director Falkenberg undertakes a probe of Brunton's mind, demanding his most authentic memories. Yazdani has constructed his film, "Krapp's First Video", as multiple, even contradictory texts, consisting of the juxtaposition of image, word, text and sound effects with memory as their pivot. The film's effective juxtaposition of the parts, in turn, results in a bringing together of the whole as a "stream of consciousness" which no longer differentiates between objectivity and subjectivity, reality and dreams, fact and desire, the past and the pluperfect. At times this collage of video images (of the rehearsal and the performance, as well as those inspired by Beckett's text),sound and text complement one another, and at other times they clash with one another and create a sense of unease and tension. Yazdani returns again and again to the image of a suitcase at a railway station, the container of memory left behind as the train leaves for an unknown destination. Analogous to the suitcase is the film itself, pregnant with unlimited possibilities for containing meanings. Like Beckett, Yazdani situates himself where farce meets tragedy, and thereby manages to represent a film that is insistent, strategic and candid. It is both an inventive fiction and a haunting documentary." Bumper Books, New Zealand
My Father Is A Blue Video
1999, 20min.- A video piece
A visual component of the play, "My Father Is A Blue Video", an avant-garde physical and video text inspired by Samuel Beckett's theatrical end piece " What- Where" performed at the Christchurch Fringe Festival ( July 16- 24 1999).
Krapp's Last Tape
1999, 90 min.- DoP, Editor
A video version of Beckett's memory play, Krapp's Last Tape, performed at the Christchurch Free Theatre.
1999, short film, 5 min. - Director, Writer, Editor
The filmmaker is watching himself watching images of the war in Kosovo on a television screen. He is eating his own shoe for dinner. Intercut are the images of shoe advertisements. Our consumption of the war in Kosovo is revealed to be a consumption of human suffering. Television consumption is shown as an act of voyeuristic cannibalism.
"In this compassionate yet satirical video piece, Shahin Yazdani focuses on the relationship between war, media, and consumerism. While at times acquiring an absurdist edge, the images of "RavOsok" show how depersonalization of modern warfare, coupled with and inspired by televised/cinematic images, has resulted in a loss of any real sense of the atrocities of war on the part of the military individual and the civilians alike. 'Never before in the history of mankind has there been such a depersonalization of war and its unprecedented blending with the image and the element of spectacle.' says Yazdani in a short interview with CinemaIran." http://www.cinemairan.com/news_int.cfm?id=506
2000, a 45 sec. short video piece
A short piece portraying the plight of a shell-shocked soldier.
Christ never stopped at Christchurch (work in progress)
Director, DoP, Editor, Sound designer
In November 2000, a multi-media, site-specific, Christchurch-centred spectacle and film project was created by the Free Theatre in Christchurch New Zealand within a millennial context. Presented in a series of installations throughout the city, the production incorporated current events. Using the video footage of the Nov.2000 Production, the film in progress looks to the past and the present, to New Zealand and elsewhere for signs of the world to come.
Last Days, First Manoeuvre
2000, Video Pieces Director. Digital Cinematographer, Editor
of video projects ranging from 1 to 30 min. completed in conjunction with Free
Theatre Production of Last day's of Mankind-
2001, Bicultural Opera, 52 min- Video Director, DoP, Editor
A video interpretation of Footprints/Tapuwae, an experimental and bicultural opera, informed by Maori myths as well as Wagner's rendition of Germanic myths, and performed at Christchurch Free Theatre. This video production places the mythical against the backdrop of a contemporary political landscape.
2001, Music Theatre Performance, 27min. - Video Director, DoP, Editor
A 27 minute music theatre performance.
2002, Dance Videographer, Editor
A video piece featuring the renowned New Zealand dancer and choreographer, Michael Parmenter during his powerful performances in Christchurch of Wilderness (solo) and weather (joined with Sara Jayne Howard)..
Snow White & Seven Theatres
2002, Mult i Media Production Co-director,Digital Cinematographer & Editor of one of the seven stations
A hybrid production consisting of seven stations as they simultaneously utilize different media and theories of the foremost exponents of modern theatre, to reinvent and reinterpret the Snow White fable.
2003, Theatre Performance, 80 min. Video Director, Videographer
Disco Pig, the Enda Walsh's drama of full-scale physical energy about Pig and Runt, the two contemporary Irish teenagers, is the material for this video production. Directed for stage by Tony Mccaffrey the play was performed at Court Theatre in Christchurch in early 2003 and later went on a tour around New Zealand
Three Riders of Apocalypse
2003, Short film- 8min. Director, DoP, Editor and Sound designer
A surrealistic meditation on the relation of war and machine.
2003, A Multi-Media Production- Video Designer
A multi-media project written by the performance artist and Obie Award-winning playwright Jessica Chalmers, and directed by Marian Weems, Artistic Director of the renowned New York City based performance group, the builders Association. Avanti looks at the demise of the Studebaker Automative corporation and its effects on South bend, Indiana.
2003, Docudrama- Digital Cinematographer, Editor, Co-writer/director
A docudrama focusing on issues pertinent to the crisis in Afghanistan. A day- long peek into the life of three American women of different ethnic/racial backgrounds and artistic interests as they wear a burqa to go about their daily routine in the midst of Chicago's hustle & bustle.
2003, 04-Feature Film- Decoupage (Co/Director) , Director of Photography &
Jacques Rivette's aesthetics meeting the Dogma 95 principles...
A filmic exploration of different ways through which youths in a small city like Christchurch try to make sense of their lives and transcend their everyday, at times of unhappy existences.
2004-Theatre Performance, 90 min- Video Director, Digital Cinematographer & Editor
A video production of Jean Gene's transgressive play "The Maids", directed for stage by Tony McCaffrey and performed at Court Theatre in Christchurch in early 2004
Achternbusch in the Antipodes
2004- A Multi-media Production Sound & Images Coordinator/manipulator
A hybrid production consisting of three duologues by German novelist, playwright, actor, filmmaker and painter, Herbert Achternbusch accompanied by images of his painting as the backdrop.
2005- Essay Film,- Co/Cinematographer , Editing and Digital Effect Consultant
Along the tradition of essay films, this research project by Dr. Alan Wright, a film lecturer at the University of Canterbury, looks at the predicaments of the Russian seamen who were stranded in Christchurch, New Zealand at the dawn of millennium.