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AMPHIBIOUS - still #1
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US Premiere

Director: Ghazal Partou

Canada, 2023, 13 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2024

Category:Narrative Short

Cast:Raha Rouhollahi

Crew:Writer: Ghazal Partou. Producer: Ghazal Partou. Music Composer: Aryan Shaban; Editor: Sepidar Valian; Costume designer: Ghazal Partou


When Raha, a 27-year-old Iranian-Canadian immigrant, finally decides to meet a man she has only seen in a photo after ten years of isolation, Iran undergoes a significant upheaval and revolution. She finds herself caught in a whirlwind of events and torn between her homeland, people, and her personal life in Canada. Shortly after the tragic death of Mahsa Gina Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian girl who was killed by the morality police for not wearing an appropriate hijab, sparking widespread protests, the news continuously reports on arrests, injuries, and casualties in the streets. The Iranian government's internet shutdown makes it incredibly challenging to communicate with her family in Iran. Alongside these challenges, she must prepare for her date with Dave at 6:00 p.m. Raha realizes that she lacks a suitable outfit for the occasion, and over the years, her self-confidence in her appearance has waned, even causing her to forget how to apply makeup properly. As time swiftly passes, her mental anxiety, combined with news from Iran, becomes a chaotic jumble of thoughts. With only a few hours left until her meeting, she desperately leaves home to find suitable clothes. Once again, she faces intense contradictions between where she lives and her motherland. This encounter with the harsh reality weighs heavily on her and becomes so exhausting that it shatters her mental turmoil, leaving her with no solution but to seek refuge in nature for tranquility.


About the director

She has been honoured with numerous awards, including the "Lead Actress" Special Mention from the Five Continents International Film Festival, the Best Acting award from the Ark Gate International Film Festival, the Toronto Arts Foundation/TELUS "Newcomer Artist" award, the Persbook Contemporary Art award, and the National Sculpture Biennial award in Tehran. Ghazal earned her B.A. and acting degree in Iran and continued her education at the Toronto Film School.

Her extensive knowledge of visual art and drama has empowered her to broaden her creative horizons. She strives to establish an engaging connection with her audience, sparking fresh inquiries in their minds. By reimagining and transforming familiar concepts, she uses them as a means for fresh expression, an expression deeply rooted in daily life yet ultimately revealing and narrating the concealed layers beneath those familiar themes.

Since she arrived in Canada, Ghazal has actively participated in various thought-provoking artistic projects, serving as an actor, performance artist, director, creative director, and designer. Her overarching aspiration is to fully embrace Toronto's multicultural potential, discover a universal artistic language, and forge connections at the core of humanity that transcend race, language, nationality, and ethnicity. She seeks to narrate and illustrate all those untold stories of human life.

Website Filmography

Filmmaker's note

Amphibious is an attempt to illustrate the intricate process of forging a new identity and navigating the challenges immigrants face while carrying the weight of their roots from another land. The character of Raha, a young Iranian-Canadian immigrant, intimately captures the profound struggle of adapting memories, a sense of belonging, and the complexities of her dual existence. The film delves into her arduous journey of finding equilibrium amidst the tumultuous events in her homeland, the chaotic political landscape of the world, and the life she is building.

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