Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ghazaleh Golbakhsh; & The Waking Dream Collective

Ghazaleh Golbakhsh with cinematographer Jarod Murray

It's been thrilling to observe some new trends among New Zealand women who write and direct film. Over the last few years, more of them (us) are also actors. More are or have been part of various diasporas into and out of New Zealand and are global citizens. And, most recently, some have begun to form collectives. These trends profoundly enrich our filmmaking. And Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, like Anita Ross, is a filmmaker who embodies all three.

Ghazaleh’s thesis film Iran in Transit, made for her Masters in Documentary at the University of Auckland, premiered at the International Student Film Festival in Tel Aviv after winning the festival’s Alternative Competition and in 2013 won the Outstanding Student Film award at the Beijing Student Film Festival. She used a Fulbright General Graduate award for further post-graduate studies in film production and screenwriting at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, where she became an intern for Sundance and was elected as the Women of Cinematic Arts Student Board co-chair. As an emerging filmmaker she was selected for the first Commonwealth Writers Film Lab in Auckland.

Last year and this year, Ghazaleh’s feature screenplay At the End of the World, a coming of age road trip comedy, was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and last year it reached the Top 10% in the prestigious Nicholls Fellowship. This year, it’s been selected for the Writers' Lab Aotearoa run by Script to Screen and shortlisted for the 48+ screenwriting programme.

With two other other emerging filmmakers, Nicole Van Heerden and Mojan Javadi, Ghazaleh has set up the Waking Dream Collective and a film company, Waking Dream Productions.