The Gift

Excited to attend Fareed’s birthday party, Danny finds out why his mother is concerned about this friendship.

Creative team

Writer/director: Zahra Faraji
Producers: Zahra Faraji, Reza Shirvani

Filmmaker’s statement

My childhood is filled with war memories: eight years of war between Iran and Iraq. In my teenage years, unaware of the effects, I could see myself joining the army and going to the battlefield.

Film study changed my world. Film school opened my eyes to see the bitter truth that my society was trying to hide: the violence behind the war and its long-term psychological effect on people. I moved to Canada to experience a diverse society and a different lifestyle where society does not encourage you to be ready for a probable war.

I started to discover how it feels to live in a peaceful environment, with no hatred, no discrimination and no hard feelings. And becoming a Canadian gave me a new personality, something that does not happen to everyone who picks the third country to reside in.

Living peacefully is not easily achievable for people who have experienced living in a war zone. Most people who deal with war PTSD carry the problem to the new land and even unconsciously transfer the anger to their next generation.

My short film The Gift tries to realistically portray a mother who has lost a loved one in war and struggles to recover.

About Zahra Faraji

Zahra Faraji

Zahra Faraji is an award-winning Iranian-Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto. She has years of experience as a script writer and assistant film editor.

Zahra’s short films have been promoted by film festivals, earning her awards and recognition. Her previous experience of working closely with successful Iranian filmmakers has made her develop a good sense of storytelling.

She is passionate about social issues and her stories often relate to what affects human society.

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