Interview with Farhad Z

farhad-z-15Farhad Z is simply beautiful. After coming across some of his work via blogs and discovering he was not only a model but a film maker, I thought it would be cool to get a little insight into this artist, director and model.
farhad-z-12Me: Would you like to share a few things about yourself?

Farhad: Sure, I’m an Iranian-American filmmaker (born in Mt. Kisco, NY, raised in NJ) living in the great city of New York for the past 8 years. Although I’m a filmmaker by trade (studied at Columbia University), I’ve been working in the distribution end of the film industry for the past 5 years.
farhad-z-13Me: What have been your biggest influences?

Farhad: My biggest influences cinematically definitely lie in the European avanta-guarde movements of the late 60s and 70s. And although I grew up — like so many young Americans — on awful but irresistable television programs of the 80s and 90s, when I went to make my own films they never resembled what I had consumed. So my favorite directors in no particular order are: Jean Luc-Godard, Alain Resnais, Luis Bunuel, Maya Deren (the pioneer of experimental cinema in America), Roman Polanski (pre 1980), Ingmar Bergman and Michaelangelo Antonioni.
farhad-z-7Me: You went to Columbia in New York. Best memories?

Farhad: My years at Columbia University were a bit hit and miss to be honest. While I did learn under some amazing professors who were working in the business, I felt the film program itself was a bit too conventional for me (and too pricey LOL!)

Me: You made a movie about the entertainer Googoosh, an incredible woman. What attracted you to her story and why was it important to make this film for you?

Farhad: Well, as an Iranian-American who lived in Iran for a short time in the 70s — Googoosh was an amazing, omnipresent talent. Her silence for more than 20 years had captivated all of us living in different regions of the world in exile — so, I thought making a film about her and about happened in post-colonial Iran was a great way to tackle issues that had preplexed me all my life.
farhad-z-14Me: What film projects are you working on currently?

Farhad: Currently, I have taken a hiatus from filmmaking. I financed all of my own projects ever since I started in film and it has been a tremendous financial burden. I hope to return soon.

Me: How did you get into modeling?

Farhad: Well, a few years ago I was approached by a great NYC-based photographer who asked me to some fitness modelling. This was in 2006 — and after I did that project I continued to get requests. So this year I joined Model Mayhem in effort to turn it into something creative as well as a way to make some money.
farhad-z-11Me: What is the most enjoyable aspect of modeling for you?

Farhad: The most enjoyable aspect of modeling has to be collaborating with the photographers to create something interesting and thought-provoking (and even fun). So far I’ve had many interesting experiences.

Me: What has been your favorite shoot to date?

Farhad: I’ve had many great shoots… but one of the most memorable was with a German photographer who came to NYC to shoot me (or so he claimed… 😉 ) We came up with an interesting narrative involving a wanderer and a laundryroom. Those are some of my favorite photos.

Me: Was the photographer Felix Drobek? 

Farhad: Yes, Felix Drobek took the laundry pics, and they remain among my favorites. He was also a joy to work with (funny and professional).  

farhad-z-5Me: Are their any photographers and work you particularly admire?

Farhad: There are many photographers but ManRay is the one that stands out for me.

Me: What new shoots do you have coming out soon?

Farhad: I have a few shoots coming up (some even have me clothed believe it or not! LOL… there’s an interesting Helmut Newton-inspired shoot in 2009 that I will let you know more about as soon as I know.
farhad-z-6Me: What are the things you love most about living in New York? And, do you have any special places you’d recommend a visitor to the city should go see/do/eat?

Farhad: Well, I’m still very much in love with NYC (although Paris ranks up there as well). I guess what I love most is the energy the flow through the streets here. There’s never a dull moment and everything is within reach.

Me: Finally, what book have you given as a gift the most often?

Well, one of my favorite reads is Lolita by Nabokov (I also like Crash by JG Ballard). But Lolita reamins the one novel I recommend the most. I also love existentialist literature (Sartre, Camus, Dostoevsky)

Many, many thanks Farhad for responding to my questions. You do the most beautiful work in photos and film and I am so looking forward to the Helmut Newton inspired shoot! 

You can check out Farhad’s modeling profile at Model Mayhem and his movie via myspace.
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14 thoughts on “Interview with Farhad Z

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  1. Farhad Z! Welcome to Rain on the Roof! You’ve got a little fan base over here (and..er..elsewhere) with the ladies. What a fabulous interview! I drive by Mt. Kisco (and through it) and have had a few meals at the Mt. Kisco dinner.

  2. New York and Paris are two of my favorite cities as well. I spent my honeymoon in Paris. Sigh. I’ll be in New York next spring for Book Expo America. Last time I was there I discovered some great restaurants. Farhad, can you recommend any in particular? What about off the beaten path nightclubs, etc.?

    I’m curious if you also like experimental theater in addition to experimental cinema.

    Do you you write your own scripts?

    As lisabea told you, you have a few, ahem, fans among the bloggers. 😉

  3. I have to thank Sarah for contacting me and asking me to do the interview. I honestly had no idea that these blogs existed…

    To answer Samantha’s question: I do write, produce, direct, and edit all of my films. I’m hoping to get into more collaborations but often have the need to control every aspect of my filmmaking 😉 And you should try restaurant row in Hell’s Kitchen (46th street) — there are amazing restaurants…

    Thanks again!
    FZ

  4. Sam, I’m on for dinner with you in NYC. Just a hop, skip, and a jump (train) from here. Let’s doooo eeeeet.

    Farhad, We exist to amuse each other, mostly. So glad to finally ‘meet’ you.

  5. Absolutely LB, we do exist to amuse each other!

    Unfortunately I will not be joining you for dinner ladies, there is a bit of water in the way! One day…

    Thanks Farhad! It was such a pleasure to chat. 😉

  6. I… um… Oh, I’m speechless! Farhad, believe me when I tell you that neither Sam nor Lisabea were exaggerating when they said you have a fan base around here.

    And now that we know that there is much, MUCH more to you than your beauty, I’m afraid that your fanbase is only going to grow larger.

    Thank you for indulging us by visiting Sarah’s blog.

  7. Oh my goodness…I’m surprised Lisabea and Sam are still conscious after reading this interview and looking at all those photos. 😀

    Great interview, Sarah and Farhad!

  8. Well Sarah wasn’t this a wonderful surprise when I hopped over today! An interview with Farhad Z? *thud* You rock woman!

    I had no idea that he was a film maker as well as model – that’s so very cool.

  9. I’m sorry I fell off the planet after I posted yesterday. Or as JenB guessed, I had to pick myself up off the floor. 😉

    Farhad, thanks for the restaurant rec! lisabea and I will be there next year. If, you know, you’d like to look us up. (I’m sure you’ll be haunting restaurant row looking for us. snort.) Actually, the last time I was in NYC I ate at a great Italian place on 46th. Argh! I can’t remember the name. Best pasta ever. We went there right after we saw Spamalot. Hmm, maybe that was 42nd St.

    I totally get the control freak thing. I think that’s easier for an author than a filmmaker. I’m allowed to live in my own little world in my tiny little office and everyone else STAYS AWAY!! Except my editor, who is very gentle when she manhandles my ego.

    Thanks for playing, Farhad.

    Sarah ~ After paying for dinner with lb I’ll be too broke to pay for airfare. 😉 Just kidding. Right, lb? lb? Right?

  10. Hey there… I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years since this interview! It still remains among my favorites. I just wanted to let you know that I have a fanpage now on Facebook — so if you want to see more pics, please come by and LIKE me 🙂 Hope all is well! Farhad

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