Episode 9: Underground Arts and Cinematography

In the ninth episode of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s People of the Underground podcast series, Farbod Khoshtinat, a young and renowned Iranian artist, speaks about the notion of underground arts in cinematography. Farbod mentions the many difficulties that young artists face in today’s Iran, given both government-driven obstacles, as well as stigmas and ideologies that run deep in the society. He believes that competition among artists, underground or otherwise, is a lot more rigorous in today’s Iran than a few years ago when he still resided in the country. Farbod states that while this competition adds to all other pressures that a young artist has to face in a difficult environment, it also tests the persistence of those few artists who truly aim to grow in their form of arts. Yet, he fears, that many talented artists also never get a chance to truly test their talent against competition and to rise to the top. Farbod also comments on his experiences of having worked simultaneously as a licensed artist and an underground artist in Iran. He recalls the freedom that he felt in assuming the real audience, the viewer, of his work as himself when he engaged in underground production, rather than engaging with the more official arts stages and environments such as domestic festivals. Nevertheless, he believes all these experiences were key in making him the kind of artist he is today. In conclusion, Farbod speaks about the importance of collaboration with other artists, and the role that such collaborative efforts have played in deepening his understanding of arts beyond his own imagination. He continuously seeks the collaboration of other artists, and in doing so he takes into consideration the talent and techniques of young and emerging artists in today’s Iran.

Farbod Khoshtinat
Farbod Khoshtinat is an award-winning young Iranian director, editor and cinematographer. His work has received awards in film festivals such as Hong Kong's Asian film festival and Los Angeles movie awards. Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, praised him for one of his short films. Farbod has also worked with internationally-renowned actors and actresses such as Monica Belluci and Dominic Purcell alongside the prominent singers like Sean Paul and T-pain. He also has worked closely with Hichkas, the renowned Iranian rapper, as a cinematographer.


  • English
  • Farsi
  • © Siamak Pourzand Foundation, 2014