Hi. I’m Hossein Martin Fazeli. I am a film director. I make social issue films with a focus on women’s rights. I just launched a crowdfunding campaign to help complete my next film. Ask me anything!

Phoolan
Oct 21, 2017

Hi. I’m Hossein Martin Fazeli. I am a film director. I make social issue films with a focus on women’s rights.   In 2007 I made a documentary called the "Tale of Two Nazanins" on a minor girl on death row in Iran. She was 17 years old at the time. That documentary is believed to have helped save her life by galvanizing public opinion against the case.

You may be interested to know that I have won 37 international awards for my films!

This time I’m making a documentary on this incredible Indian woman called Phoolan Devi who seriously and permanently challenged the patriarchal system in India.

We are 75% complete. But in order to finish the film we need more money (not much!). That’s why we just launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate the necessary support.  You can watch the trailer of the film (second video) and learn about our campaign by pressing here:

kck.st/2xwUa2I

I believe that women’s rights are human rights and that without gender equality there is no way to justice and equilibrium on the planet.

Ask me anything!

You can also follow us on our facebook!

www.facebook.com/PhoolanDeviMovie/

Hoss4.jpgHoss AMA.jpgPhoolan surrender.jpgPhoolan-Poster2.jpg

www.phoolandevimovie.com/

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What makes you different from another director? 

Oct 22, 2:54AM EDT0

What inspire you to focus on human rights films?

Oct 21, 7:15PM EDT0

Your Crowdfunding Campaign page looks amazing!  ( http://kck.st/2xwUa2I ) What would you say is your biggest challenge in launching a crowdfund? 

Oct 21, 3:18PM EDT0

I would say the biggest challenge is to stay on top of things. There are so many things happening at the same time and so many details to take care of that sometimes it seems like you’re losing control! So, you’ve got to have an organized schedule, exercise regularly, reduce your coffee consumption, and most impotently, have FAITH!

And while you’re doing all this, don’t forget to have fun!!! :)

Oct 21, 4:07PM EDT0

What are some of your favorite artists?

Oct 21, 4:41AM EDT0

I have many. But the ones I cherish most are not actually filmmakers!! They’re writers: Rumi, Rimbaud, Dostoievski, Basho, Lao Tzu, Tagore and others. The deepest and most encompassing works of art, in my opinion, have happened in the realms of language and music.

Oct 21, 3:01PM EDT1

Where did you find out about the concept of crowdfunding?

Oct 20, 7:31PM EDT1

I first heard about it from friends and then I researched it myself :)

Oct 21, 3:01PM EDT1

Can you share some strategies in boosting the appeal of a crowdfunding campaign?

Oct 20, 7:00PM EDT1

Well, first of all your project needs to be interesting. Secondly, you should build an online community of like-minded people. Everything starts from there. Some people also think you should get yourself some celebrity endorsement! :)

Oct 21, 3:02PM EDT1

What do you think of independent movies?

Oct 20, 5:04AM EDT0

Depends on the movie! Some independent movies are great. But being independently produced by itself does’t say much about the quality of the film.

Oct 21, 3:03PM EDT1

What part of the population do you think are the best candidates for funding a crowdfunding campaign?

Oct 20, 4:01AM EDT0

It depends on the project! You can ask for different amounts. Our campaign, for example, has donation options from $5 to $10,000! In that sense a lot of people can be your potential contributors!

Oct 21, 3:06PM EDT1

What is your favorite director?

Oct 19, 11:41PM EDT0

That’s a tough one! I don’t really have favourite directors; I have favourite movies! But if I want to stretch myself, I would say Aki kaurismaki (Finland), Howard Hawks (America), Masaki Kobayashi (Japan), and Satyajit Ray (India)!!

Oct 21, 3:10PM EDT1

What are some of your favorite movies?

Oct 19, 3:16PM EDT0

Before the Rain (I highly recommend it), Breaking the Waves, High Noon, 12 Angry Men, A Man Without a Past... and more....

Oct 21, 3:12PM EDT1

Have you considered trying to make a viral video on YouTube to gain followers and investors?

Oct 19, 2:13PM EDT0

Ummm, that's an interesting idea. How do you mean? Can you elaborate?

Oct 21, 3:13PM EDT1

How do you think your movie will impact today’s society?

Oct 19, 1:22PM EDT0

I hope so! The way to impact society is to motivate people to DO things. As an ‘activist’ (I don’t really like the term because it’s been overused and misused badly- but I use it for the lack of a better word) you need to wrestle with two obstacles;

One: put a coherent and open message forward

Two: Get people to pay attention to it

In the case of Phoolan (the film I’m making), for example, we have a great story & message at hand. But that’s not good enough. We should be able to present that in a way that people would react to it. For that we use various means. One of them, for example, is putting together a powerful trailer. Take a look:

vimeo.com/123712399

Other means can be a strong press presence (you’ve got to build it), a strong commitment to helping actual people through the making of your film (providing non-profits, for example, with a platform that is somehow related to your film), etc.

Oct 21, 3:22PM EDT1

How long have you been a film director?

Oct 19, 3:23AM EDT0

17 years :)

Oct 21, 3:23PM EDT1

How long have you been a film director?

Oct 19, 3:22AM EDT0

What motivated you to write about women’s rights?

Oct 18, 10:25PM EDT0

I think women’s rights are human rights. Our fate on this planet is interconnected. When one gender suffers, the other gender suffers too! As the great Persian poet, Saadi, says:

"Human beings are members of a wholeI

In creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,

Other members uneasy will remain."

Oct 21, 3:25PM EDT1

Have you ever used crowdfunding for other movies?

Oct 18, 9:58PM EDT0

No, this is my first time :)

Oct 21, 3:25PM EDT1

Do you have any other movies I can see?

Oct 18, 8:53PM EDT0

Let me send you a short one (30 min only):

vimeo.com/28047732

On the average, and if you’re lucky, a documentary film takes about a year to compete. I did this film in course of 5 weeks! Why? Because it’s a bout a minor on death row. When we started she was scheduled to be retried and executed in 7 weeks. We only had 5 weeks to make a film about her to help her case. And so we did it! The reason why I am sending this is to emphasize two things:

  1. Documentaries can have a real impact

  2. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s impossible! Yes, You Can!! :)

Oct 21, 3:31PM EDT1

Have you approached any famous people or other influencers to promote your movie?

Oct 18, 8:27PM EDT0

We have two celebrities on board now: Parimnder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham) and Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast). I’m sure as we move on, more will jump on our wagon as well :)

You can watch Parmidner’s endorsement video here (go to the third clip): http://kck.st/2xwUa2I

Oct 21, 3:35PM EDT1

How long do you think it would take for this crowdfunding campaign to attain the goals you have?

Oct 18, 7:38PM EDT0

We have 29 more days to go! I hope we attain the goal tomorrow!! So, help us. Get onboard!! :))

http://kck.st/2xwUa2I

Oct 21, 3:35PM EDT1

Hello, and great to have you host an AMA with us :)

Have you captured moments that other films on Phoolan Devi failed to showcase?

Oct 18, 2:15PM EDT0

Definitely! To date, there is only one major film made on Phoolan; and it’s called “Bandit Queen” (1994). It’s a fictional film, not a documentary. And it suffers from A LOT of factual errors. The director of that film, Shekhar Kapur is a good director but in this particular film, he gets it wrong! Perhaps a reason for that is that at the time when he was making the film, there was not a lot of accurate info on Phoolan and her life and so he had to rely on inaccurate sources. Besides, “Bandit Queen” covers Phoolan’s life till 1983 when she surrendered. Our film covers her life till 2001 (most of her adult life). The most important difference is perhaps the fact that our film is based on Phoolan’s OWN words. The basis for the film is her autobiography, “I, Phoolan Devi”, which was published in 1996, two years after Kapur’s movie. If yo’d like to learn more about this, you can check our FB page and ask us any questions there: www.facebook.com/PhoolanDeviMovie/

Oct 21, 3:40PM EDT1
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