Rouzbeh Rashidi (born in Tehran, 1980) is an Iranian-Irish filmmaker. He has been making films since 2000, at which time he founded the Experimental Film Society in Tehran. He has always worked completely away from mainstream conceptions of filmmaking, striving to escape the stereotypes of conventional storytelling. Instead, he roots his cinematic style in a poetic interaction of image and sound. He generally eschews scriptwriting, seeing the process of making moving images as exploration rather than illustration. His work is deeply engaged with film history.
His films are inspired by, and constructed around, images, locations, and characters and their immediate situations. The stylistic elements that make up his distinctively personal film language include the use of natural light and single light sources, professional and non-professional actors, slow-paced rhythms, abstract plots, static shots, and minimal dialogue. He employs a wide range of different formats and devices to make his films, including video (digital and analogue) especially DSLR cameras (achieving complex visual effects through an elaborate mixture of filters, lenses, and in-camera color grading), Super 8mm, portable lightweight personal cameras (such as GoPro, webcam, and mobile phone). His consistently low-budget work is entirely self-funded and made with complete creative freedom.
Between 2000 and 2008, Rouzbeh Rashidi directed and produced forty no-budget short films. Since 2008 he has focused on feature projects making thirty-one feature-length films, of which twenty-eight were entirely zero-budget and three low-budget productions funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. In 2011 he initiated the Homo Sapiens Project (HSP), an ongoing series of personal experimental video works. Since its inception HSP has undergone a totally organic metamorphosis, drastically mutating from cryptic film diaries and oneiric sketches to fully-polished feature films. As a result, the project has created many different experiences for Rashidi as a filmmaker; yet while HSP is steadily evolving, one thing remains constant: the view to create impressionistic portraits of people and places, suffusing them with an eerie sense of mystery that is perhaps reminiscent of horror and sci-fi cinema. Rashidi has collaborated with a large selection of artists from all over the world and, has so far completed 199 instalments that vary from 1 to 120 minutes in duration. The Homo Sapiens Project has now reached a crucial point in its existence: the 200th instalment will be a major collaborative feature film.
His films have been shown in many film festivals, galleries, and showcases throughout the world, including Iran, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, UAE, USA, Hungary, India, Italy, Greece, France, England, Australia, Croatia, Brazil, Argentina, Philippines, Switzerland, Peru, Chile, Germany, Spain, Poland, Thailand, Russia, Austria, Canada, Portugal and Colombia. Full details HERE.
Rouzbeh Rashidi is the recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland’s ‘Film Project Award’ and ‘Film Bursary Award’ several times for his experimental feature films and Homo Sapiens Project.
Rashidi moved to Ireland in 2004 and currently lives and works in Dublin.