About Sara Zia Ebrahimi

Persian bohemian, indie films cheerleader, Social Media Specialist at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Love to: write, read, sew, eat, cook, run.

Submit your experimental film to David Lynch juried screening at PAFA

dlCan you imagine David Lynch hand-picking your film to exhibit somewhere? (And then winning some money on top of that?) Well, here’s your chance!

Between October 1 and November 30, 2014, filmmakers may submit films 5-minutes or less to PAFA. Juried by David Lynch and his studio, the top 5 films selected will air during an exclusive screening on January 8, 2015. Films submitted are encouraged to be inspired by art, PAFA’s David Lynch exhibition, and the city of Philadelphia — a city that Lynch has said to be both fantastic and terrifying. http://www.pafa.org/filmproject

“Dear White People” opens this week and next in select cities

If you haven’t heard the buzz about Justin Simien‘s upcoming Sundance Award winning feature length film Dear White People, I’m here to add to the buzz and put it on your radar.

I haven’t watched it yet, but the trailer and small clips that they’ve released so far are really promising with a sophisticated and multi-layered comic take on race.

In order to help this film succeed, folks in the four cities where it’s screening starting this Friday October 17 (ATL, NYC, DC and LA) need to come out in full force and max out the ticket sales so it gets added to more theaters nationally.

And Philly, let’s show the film some love when it opens here on October 24.

“Worn Stories” book release party in Philly this Thursday!

The lovely fellows at All Ages Productions (producers of my web series) are hosting a free party tomorrow evening to celebrate the release of a book they made a cool trailer for–Worn Stories by Emily Spivack. The book features stories from: Greta Gerwig, Piper Kerman, Albert Maysles, John Hodgman, Marina Abromovic, Rosanne Cash, Maira Kalman, Ariel Schrag, Matt Wolf, and others

Some reasons to go to the event (in no particular order):

1. Book features stories from a cool list of people and you’ll get to hear some of them
2. There will be drinks, food and AN ICE CREAM BAR from Little Baby’s Ice Cream
3. Support art

Artists Engaging in Social Change: Grant funding opportunity for individual artists

surdna1This was forwarded to me and I thought I’d share since several other people in my world are eligible for this! The Surdna Foundation is now accepting proposals for funding individual artists’ projects for 1-2 years.  Here’s a bit more on the call for proposals from their website:

The Surdna Foundation is now accepting proposals for one- or two-year support to extraordinary artist-driven projects as part of its Artists Engaging in Social Change funding area. All artistic disciplines will be considered, including cross-disciplinary work. The request for proposal (RFP) is open to both 501(c)(3) organizations and individual artists and culture bearers, but artists and collectives that are not incorporated as 501(c)(3)s must apply under a fiscal sponsor. Through this RFP, Surdna will support compelling projects that artists develop in response to their communities’ specific challenges, and will also fund the projects of artists whose long-term, deeply-rooted work has increased social engagement without necessarily being explicitly defined as “activist.” Proposals will be accepted between September 15 and November 12, 2014. Surdna staff, with support from outside experts, will present recommendations to the Surdna board and final decisions will be made in early April, 2015. The Foundation believes this process will allow us to make considered investments in artistic practices that focus on engaging and reflecting communities.  Application guidelines are provided below and frequently asked questions, including grant amounts and definitions of key terms, are available here.

Scriptapalooza Writing Competition: deadline October 17

logo1This screenwriting competition–with a $10,000 cash prize–was forwarded to me and I thought I’d pass it along.

Scriptapalooza Television is now accepting submissions for its Writing Competitions.

The Screenwriting Competition was created to nurture talent and create opportunities for screenwriters. Winners receive $10,000 and exposure to dozens of production companies and literary representatives for their work.

The Television Competition was created so that partners can help top television writers push their project ideas forward by procuring meetings and phone calls with production companies and building relationships. Winners receive more than $3000 in cash prizes.

There are four writing categories for the television competition including pilot, sitcom, reality, and 1-hour drama.

The application deadline is October 17, 2014. Click here for more information about how to apply.

Extra! Extra! Be an extra in this webseries 9/20 or 9/22

casting-calls3I’m looking for some extras for a web series I’m directing that we’re shooting starting this weekend! All extras will have screen time–it’s a great opportunity to add to your reel!


On Saturday, September 20 we’re looking for 15 people to play the co-workers of the main character, Shay, who sit in the conference room and are delivered the news from their boss that the company is downsizing. If you feel up to more acting, the co-worker are also featured packing up boxes, ripping things apart, and freaking out at their cubicles. Call time will be 9am and you should expect to be there until about 5-6pm. Dress for the part is business casual. Location is in the Philadelphia Building at 13th and Walnut in Center City.

On Monday, September 22 we’re looking for 7-10 people to play coffeeshop patrons in the place where both of Shay’s credit cards get declined and she has a run in with some white hipster dudes that results in her getting hot coffee in the face. Some extras will be behind her in line being annoyed at her not being able to pay, others can just read or work on your laptops at tables in the background. Dress is whatever you’d like, as long as it looks like it’s cold/later in the fall (hats, scarfs, hoodies, etc.). Location is Cafe Chismosa, at 4th and Poplar in Northern Liberties.  Call time will be 11am and you should expect to be there until 4:30pm.

If you are available and interested please email Ted Passon at  ted[at]allagesproductions.com with “Extras for Bailout” in the subject line. Be sure to let him know which scene you are available for. 

Unfortunately, the extras roles are unpaid and while we can possibly offer snacks we can’t afford catering for everyone, so you’ll need to provide your own lunch. Making movies is incredibly expensive, and most of our budget is going toward equipment and props to make this look beautiful. But you’ll be treated well, showered with love, and get to spend a day with some cool creative people. We’re hoping that our community of friends can help pull together to make this part happen!

What I’m reading these days: poet Alison Luterman

desire zoo


Most weekday mornings I listen to a podcast called Dharmaseed, which are recordings of talks at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in the Bay Area, CA. One of my favorite writers and teachers, Jack Kornfield, recently did a talk there with a poet friend of his named Alison Luterman, and I absolutely loved her work! I’ve been reading and savoring her reflections on impermanence and mindfulness after listening to that podcast.

Here’s one of my favorite poems by her:


Because even the word obstacle is an obstacle
by Alison Luterman

Try to love everything that gets in your way:
the Chinese women in flowered bathing caps
murmuring together in Mandarin, doing leg exercises in your lane
while you execute thirty-six furious laps,
one for every item on your to-do list.
The heavy-bellied man who goes thrashing through the water
like a horse with a harpoon stuck in its side,
whose breathless tsunamis rock you from your course.
Teachers all. Learn to be small
and swim through obstacles like a minnow
without grudges or memory. Dart
toward your goal, sperm to egg. Thinking Obstacle
is another obstacle. Try to love the teenage girl
idly lounging against the ladder, showing off her new tattoo:
Cette vie est la mienne, This life is mine,
in thick blue-black letters on her ivory instep.
Be glad shell have that to look at all her life,
and keep going, keep going. Swim by an uncle
in the lane next to yours who is teaching his nephew
how to hold his breath underwater,
even though kids arent allowed at this hour. Someday,
years from now, this boy
who is kicking and flailing in the exact place
you want to touch and turn
will be a young man, at a wedding on a boat
raising his champagne glass in a toast
when a huge wave hits, washing everyone overboard.
He’ll come up coughing and spitting like he is now,
but he’ll come up like a cork,
alive. So your moment
of impatience must bow in service to a larger story,
because if something is in your way it is
going your way, the way
of all beings; towards darkness, towards light.