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.

Cultural ReProducers: A model for supporting artist parents

Recentllogoy, I’ve been combing over all the great resources on the Cultural ReProducers website–a group of active cultural workers who are also parents.

An excerpt from their manifesto:

* Being a vital cultural creator and an engaged parent need not be mutually exclusive things. No one should feel they have to choose between having a successful career in the arts and having a family. This has been the case for too long.

* The art world, as it is currently structured, doesn’t know what to do with mothers. Or children. Or fathers actively raising their kids. This affects all of culture: the making, curating, reviewing, experiencing and feeling of it.

* Raising children to value and engage with art benefits them, us, and society as a whole. Creating culture with the perspectives that come from raising another human does, too.

You can read their full manifesto here.

My next goal: how to find folks like this in real life to connect with.

Deadline for IFP Lab for first time feature length filmmakers April 3

markblueHave a narrative film in post-production? Don’t miss out on the Independent Filmmaker Labs deadline in a few weeks.

IFP’s unique year-long mentorship program supports first-time feature directors when they need it most:  through the completion, marketing and distribution of their films.  Focusing exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers.

Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences. Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production.

BlackStar Film Festival now accepting submission!

site-logo-225I’m excited to be on the review committee once again this year for the BlackStar Film Festival here in Philadelphia. The submissions process is now open and eligible applicants are encouraged to submit before May!

The BlackStar Film Festival is a celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of African descent in a global context. BlackStar highlights films that are often overlooked from emerging, established, and mid-career directors, writers and producers working in narrative, documentary, experimental and music video filmmaking.

Seven free tools for creating visuals for social media

social-media-2Here’s a handy list of seven free tools for creating visuals for social media that I learned about at the Nonprofit Technology Network‘s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference this past week.

Quick–app for text overlays on photos

Easel.ly–tool for creating infographics and posters

Infogr.am–tool for creating infographics

Canva–design tool for creating text overlays on images

ThingLink–tool for creating interactive images

Timeline JS–open source tool that allows you to build visually rich interactive timelines

Unsplash–high resolution creative commons photos for use, tools for text overlays

HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

hbo“HBO has announced the launch of the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship which will begin accepting applications on March 4, 2015. The program will give emerging writers from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to attend a week of master classes held at the HBO campus in Santa Monica, California focusing on character and story development, pitching ideas and projects, securing an agent, and networking. Each participant will then enter into an 8-month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive and guided through the script development process. At the conclusion of the program, HBO will hold a reception and staged reading for industry professionals where the writers will be introduced to the entertainment industry.”

Read the full story here on Indiewire.

Creating interactive “choose your own adventure” videos

timebomb music videoEvery other Tuesday Seed & Spark hosts a Twitter chat with a few discussion questions for indie media makers, which you can follow with #filmcurious. I’ve gotten great tips and made new connections with dozens of filmmaker through these chats.

One of the recent chats was focused on interactive storytelling–what stories work well interactively, and what ones don’t? What tools have we used for interactive storytelling and what were our experiences.

I asked a question about peoples’ experience with Interlude, a software that allows you to create interactive videos where audiences can make choices throughout a piece that leads to different outcomes. Nathalie Sejean, who writes for Mentorless, gave an example of a project she worked on with Interlude–and it’s fantastic.

It’s an animated music video for Aloe Blacc’s “Ticking Bomb” that has 16 possible endings. When you watch, you’ll see moments that give you an option to click between two choices. If you don’t click, the video will continue with a randomized choice.

My first time I wanted revolution, but ended up with self-medicating on the couch. I won’t tell you how to get other results–experience it for yourself! Enjoy.

[unfortunately WordPress can’t embed it, so you’ll have to go here]