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Q&A with producer Sara Nodjoumi and director Till Schauder via Skype following January 20 screeningThe Iran Job follows American basketball player Kevin Sheppard as he accepts a job to play in Iran. With tensions running high between Iran and the West, Kevin tries to separate sports from politics only to find that politics is impossible to escape in Iran. Along the way he forms an unlikely alliance with three outspoken Iranian women. Thanks to these women, his apartment turns into an oasis of free speech, where they discuss everything from politics to religion to gender roles. Kevin’s season in Iran culminates in something much bigger than basketball: the uprising and subsequent suppression of Iran’s reformist Green Movement – a powerful prelude to the sweeping changes across the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring. —www.theiranjob.conSupport for this film has been generously provided by the Houston chapter of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA).Background
Sara Nodjoumi is a film programmer and producer. She co-produced and co-directed a series of documentaries about the Iranian community in America. I Call Myself Persian: Iranians in America, the first of these films, aired on multiple PBS stations and premiered in New York at the MoMA Documentary Fortnight. From 2002 to 2005, Nodjoumi joined director Till Schauder as an associate producer on his feature films Santa Smokes and Duke's House. In 2006, she worked on the marketing and release of Charles Sturridge's critically acclaimed Lassie. From 2004-2009, Nodjoumi worked at the Tribeca Film Festival as an Associate Programmer. In 2009, she launched and programmed the first children's film series at Tribeca Cinemas (rated #1 movie series in NYC for kids by New York Magazine). She is frequently invited to serve on and moderate film festival juries and industry panels, e.g. at the Tribeca Film Festival, Bahamas Intl. Film Festival, and New York Women in Film and Television.Till Schauder got his start in Germany where he wrote and directed the award-winning films including City Bomber. After earning a government grant for the arts he made his U.S. debut with the romantic comedy Santa Smokes which won several international awards, among them Best Director at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award. Duke's House, about Duke Ellington's Harlem home premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. For The Iran Job, Schauder ran one of the most successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaigns of all time together with his producing partner (and wife) Sara Nodjoumi. Through his company Partner Pictures Schauder writes, directs, shoots, and produces for television and film. He has a side career in acting and has been cast in shows such as HBO's Mildred Pierce. Schauder is a graduate of the University of Television and Film, Munich. He teaches film classes at NYU and has been a guest lecturer at various other campuses. He has also been invited to serve on film festival juries and panels, e.g. at the Munich Intl. Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Bahamas Intl. Film Festival.