The above is a self portrait that I once did for a graduate storytelling class. I've come a long way (growing pains).
I was born in Kurdistan during a time when being identified as Kurdish was very dangerous. Fortunately, when I was seven years old, my family escaped the war-torn country; however, this departure was not without leaving behind generations of family history and memories, as well as our only familiar language and culture, Kurdish. With our eyes set on the United States, we traveled for months through various countires, eventually arriving and settling in Connecticut. It was here where I experienced my first taste of "true" American culture--a VHS movie. I was addicted.
During every free moment, I would watch any American movie within reach. Movie after movie, I slowly learned to adapt to the American culture and I slowly began to learn the English language. More so, it was from watching these movies that I knew I wanted to become a filmmaker.
My first filmmaking opportunity occurred after sustaining a wrestling injury while competing on my varsity high school team. In order to stay actively engaged with the team for the remainder of my schooling, I began filming my teammates. Additionally, I was able to couple this personal passion with in-class instruction; I applied to and was accepted into the Fairfax Academy for Professional TV Production, a special career education program offerred through my high school.
By the time I began to apply to college, I knew I wanted to continue to pursue my film passion by taking my education to the next level. I applied to and was accepted into the Savannah College of Art and Design where I enrolled as a film and television student. During my time at SCAD, I engaged with many wonderful artists and passionate professionals. I received my Bachelor's degree and left for Hollywood, where I worked for nearly two years as a freelance filmmaker.
In less than a few months in LA, I scored my first gig as a runner/production assistant with TV One at the Academy Awards; it was a dream come true. I continued to pursue other jobs, working with great filmmakers including Robert Townsend and the late Michael Clark Duncan. It was through these experiences, however, that I would recall how my film passion began: It was from watching countless American films and feeling that underlying connection to each of the films; it was a connection that required not only active watching, but also active listening. It was then when I realized that in order to become a great filmmaker, I needed to learn the art of sound design.
I returned to SCAD to pursue my Master's in sound design, allowing for multiple opportunities for personal film projects as well as professional ventures. In August 2013, I completed my thesis and received my M.F.A. Currently, I am working as a content creator within Marketing at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. My current project is a documentary taking place in La Esperanza, Honduras. I am ready for the challenge and adventures of the future and willing to work with anyone who shares that same dedication and passion for filmmaking.
My best friend and brother from another mother, Michael Glasner and I started a company in 2012 "Racing In The Rain Films, LLC." We worked at it for about a year before we parted ways to pursue other life goals.
My lovely sister and IMy sister is one of my motivations for what I do and having her in my life is a blessing.
LOVE HARD MAN 2012Shooting episode one with my brother Mike who conceived and wrote the screenplay for the short web series.
LOVE HARD MAN 2012A web Series I wore lots of hats on.
The Legend: Richard RoundtreeOn the set of Diary of a Single Mom, directed by Robert Townsand. I ran base camp as a 2nd 2nd Assistant Director. I got to hang with some heavy hitters, Shaft himself, Billy Dee Williams, Monica Calhoun, Vivica A. Fox and many more.
Richard Roundtree educating me on Cigars.
The humble Monica CalhounOn the set of Diary of a Single Mom. 2nd 2nd AD.
I played a cop onceI was a background player in a show in Simi Valley, CA by the name of blackout, a mini series about cyber terrorism.
Documentary In Honduras 2014
Teaching KidsHonduras 2014 Villaro Mesa