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Outside by Nadji Hedjazi

Outside is about a young boy who is afraid of the world outside. Something terrible happened with him in the past. Now he will be confronted with a situation where he needs courage to overcome his fear and go outside.

TW: Nadji, this is such a great pleasure to be talking with you today. Please tell us about yourself and what has inspired you to create this beautiful short film. (watch film below)
Nadji:  Thank you for your interest in my work. My name is Nadji Hedjazi, I was born and grew up in Germany. My name of course does not sound German, because my parents are from Iran. Due to this combination of culture I could consider myself more as a so called "Persian-German", but because I am a Bahá'í, I consider myself a world citizen who believes in the unity within the diversity of mankind. My parents always supported the artistic part of my life. I learned violin and piano. Though my parents wanted me to study music, I decided to study another passion of mine, which was computer science. Later on my everlasting passion for movies and the development of technology in the computer market allowed my dreams slowly to come true; making films.
TW: When did you start follow your dream of making videos?
Nadji: It’s interesting that you are asking this because it all happened by itself. It all started in 2002 when I was visiting a friend who was in a process of cutting his own comedy movie with a personal computer. I found it very interesting that the whole process of cutting shaped the movie in a form which would be a story in the end. So from thereon I taught myself how to cut. I was really inspired by my friend and wanted to create movies. The ability to control the picture, to control the way people see the final scenes was very exciting for me. I started to edit clips from friends, short videos for the Bahá'í community and finally I believe that the time came to get a digital movie camera in my own hands and get experience in the field. 
TW: Did you study digital filming at school in Germany?
Nadji: No, I never attended a film school. I taught myself through books and lots of readings and information on the internet. It is time consuming and one can get very frustrated at times and now I cannot say that I would not be interested in attending a film school. Maybe I will attend one in the future. 
TW: Making movies is a big job. We all know that it takes a lot of creativity, thinking and patience to do it right. When did you realize that you would be good at it and actually see your own short film viewed by many?
Nadji: I never felt and I still never feel that I am good at making films. You have to take risks in life and go for it so I knew that I should not wait until I am fully ready to make perfect movies.  Especially in the indie film making you learn a lot by doing and getting the now how and experience. Criticism can be a good thing because it helps you rethink what you are doing. It all starts with a lot of preparation. It takes a lot of patience and creative thinking like you mentioned.  A movie maker may either entertain the viewers or bring more knowledge or in the most intellectual cases is to give the audience something to think of, maybe even to change and open up their minds about something important...  like the betterment of the world. To make a film it needs a lot of efforts as well because it won’t happen by itself.  It can be very exhausting just directing the people on the set. It can drag the movie director down and slow the filming process. But all this experience and hard work are important for a director or a movie maker to go through it, otherwise he will never be able to produce better and better movies.
TW: Would you encourage anyone to start making films or does it really take some great talent to make it happen? There is no doubt that one must be creative and willing to spend time doing it.
Nadji:  No, I don’t think that everyone should be encouraged to just go ahead and make a film, but I would certainly encourage those who love making films to just do it. There are many people on this planet who have great talents. It is hard work and never forget this: “Don’t make a movie just by yourself!”  Any film making is a big production. It includes lots of arts. You have the writer, the director, the actors, and the music composer, the person who creates the dresses, the makeup artist, the location finder, and the architects and so on.  You are talking about a lot of people being involved in your little movie. Everyone must be a great team player to make things happen. If someone out there feels that he or she has the capability of doing this... they must go for it. Absolutely!
TW: Is it natural for you to be creative and work so hard to make it right? After all, you are creating a product for all so you need a good story.
Nadji: I think so. I enjoy every moment of it. At first, you must find a good story. If I have a story in my head I share it with my friends. This is very important because you can see what their reactions are. For example, sometimes they have an even better idea for an ending. The perfect story is the one I can bring to real “movie” life. So this comes not naturally. In each level I actually try to work as hard as I can, until I find it right and that goes from writing the script, to the filming, and then the post production. In each level you really have to work hard if your goal is to produce a great movie.
TW: What inspired you to write the story of a child fearing to go outside?  Is it a true story?
Nadji: This year’s topic of the Harmony Film Festival was "Courage". So I decided to work on a story which shows courage. It is not easy if you don’t feel like making a story about a certain topic. The story was gradually built. I was thinking of a character which needs to transform during the movie. I thought about different ages but finally decided to work with a child character. I think that especially children can give something mysterious to a character. It makes it more interesting. Especially if a child acts strange it attracts the audience and they want to know more about the character.  "Outside" is not a true story, but I can imagine that something similar in the world happened many times. Unfortunately there is still hate against other kind of races. Stories and movies can help us to show everyone how difficult it is for someone to live in a cruel world. Each one of us can help change the world by teaching human virtues like compassion, kindness, selflessness, forgiveness, justice and love.
TW: Would you, one day become a great movie director and present your work at the Film Festival of Cannes? How far do you wish to go with your filming?
Nadji: Well, the way to the Film Festival of Cannes is still in my box of dreams. At the moment this isn’t my goal because I still have a lot to learn about making movies. I need much more experience, so for now making short movies for a smaller size of audience is great, but the will of getting bigger will come by each new movie.
TW: Any idea on what subject will your next video be? 
Nadji: There are different Ideas in my head about a new short movie, but there is also an opportunity to make a music video for a group here in Hungary. I like challenges a lot so I might create a music video soon. I don’t know yet but time will tell. No matter what I do, it does take a lot of time, thinking and work but I really enjoy it.
TW: Nadji, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Everyone loves films so I believe that the movie business will remain big for years to come. Films take us to another dimension of understanding life and people around us. Like you said, they are wonderful tools of joy and learning. You have done a wonderful job with “Outside” and we can only wish you all the best to your future short or long productions. You are a talented man. 

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