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Fish and the Puddle | An Interview with Ali Barati

Interviewed by Amit Mondal

Fish and the Puddle is based on the true story of Ali Yazdani; a genius engineer’s childhood made of turmoil and triumph.

Ali Barati is a successful writer-director who has struggled throughout his life to be successful. He struggled to choose his studies and also struggled to select his career. After attempts in many subjects and options, he chose Cinema and touched success.

1. Cult Critic -Would you please tell us your story behind making this film?

Ali – The film tells the true story of an elite man in a small town that no one understands him, not his family, not his school, not his community, not the authorities of the city.

2. CC – How does the passion for cinema grow within? What made you think of selecting cinema as a career?

Ali – Due to my scientific activities in the past, and the fact that I had changed my academic and study field several times, as result, I felt that no science could satisfy me, after my success at the Swiss International Festival of Inventions in 2010, I thought that maybe Cinema can and will allow me to get closer to what I think or feel I need or to portray, so I entered this wonderful and of course cruel realm.

3. CC – If you would not become a director what you would be?

Ali – I was probably continuing theoretical physics.

4. CC – Why did you choose FISH AND PUDDLE as your title?

Ali – In the preface of the book “Hyperspace” by Japanese scientist Michio Kaku, he tells a story which the film’s name is taken from. The story is about some fish live in a small pond, the fisherman throws his hook into the pond and one of the fish is fooled and caught, the fisherman lifts the fish but the fish struggles and gets released. The fish that goes back to the glass of water and can talk about that moment for years because he knows that the world he lives in is just a small pond and the world is very big.

5. CC – Would you tell the real story behind the movie? Whose story is portrayed?

Ali – Despite the fact that the real character holds various international licenses in the field of inventions and was praised by presidents and leaders of different countries, but the reason why the prevailing atmosphere in society did not allow him to achieve his purposes and distance himself from science is that he does not want his name to be revealed.

6. CC – What were the biggest challenges you faced during production?

Ali – First, it was my first film and I did not have enough self-confidence and people had a hard time trusting it, and the second is that the strict rules and regulations of filmmaking in Iran really make things difficult.

7. CC – The film has exciting twists and turns. What did you expect from your audience to guess from the film to happen at the climax?

Ali – -Since the genre of film is for children and adolescents, it may not be difficult for non-children and adolescents to guess it, and because of the atmosphere of the film, which is motivating, definitely it can be guessed that after all these problems, it will be accompanied by victory.

8. CC – What would happen to Ali if he had not been released in the airport?

Ali –  Maybe he could never return to his country and he could never continue his work, and his destiny will definitely be different.

9. CC – What is your favourite genre? What do you prefer versatility or specialization?

Ali – My favorite genre is supernatural and mysterious, I prefer variety.

10. CC – Who is/are your favorite contemporary filmmaker’s?

Ali – Giuseppe Tornatore, Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard.

11. CC – Tell us about your next project. What is in line for you?

Ali – My next project, which is in the post-production stage, is called “Qamus”, which has an apocalyptic and horror genre and will be screened in various festivals in the near future.

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