ISA award-winning Maryam Pirband: “When I saw the videos of ISIS, I was shocked”

Iranian ISA award-winning Maryam Pirband talks on “Fermysk”, a short film about a young pregnant Kurdish girl who survived an ISIS attack. Watch below also her video statement.


ISA: Congratulations, Maryam! Tell us about your award and your experience in Independent Shorts Awards?

Maryam: Thank you very much. Actually, this is a great experience and affected my film journey. For me, the best gift is letting my film be seen by audiences and receiving feedbacks and when it is chosen by such a great, popular festival like ISA and awarded it happens better and my film can be seen better.

ISA: Which festivals “Fermysk” attended so far?

Maryam: I started the distribution recently and I submitted “Fermysk” in 5 festivals. Three of them selected it: Action On Film and Hollywood Dreamz Festivals and Independent Shorts Awards, in which it was awarded. Before that, I submitted “Fermysk”‘s script in some festivals and it was selected by International LasVegas Screenwriting Competition and Baku International Film Festival.

ISA: About “Fermysk”, how did the idea come from?

Maryam: It’s based on a real story. Now everyone knows about ISIS and what they did to some countries. I am not from that country but I worked there for 7 months so I knew the area. There was a beautiful small village between the mountains. When I saw the videos of ISIS there, I was shocked. I saw the video of a teenage girl, who was pregnant after they raped her and the other girls and put them in cages to sell them. This girl escaped from them. The idea comes that night to my mind.

ISA: What does “Fermysk mean?

Maryam: In their language, Kurdistan Iraq, it means tear! Those tears when someone is sad that come to her/his eyes.

ISA: Why did you decide to tell this story in another country and in another language?

Maryam: It came to the story itself. I imagined if this girl could continue her life in another place what will happen to her when she even cannot speak other languages. Another reason came from some traditions and beliefs in those parts of the world. This girl was raped so she cannot live there like before. I imagined if a soldier or a man who was in a war and now he is regretful and wants to cover his moral, what he would do? The idea of a volunteer who helped people who are affected by war came to my mind. It means war destroys both sides, even soldiers.

ISA: This is the first time you have made a film with different languages?

Maryam: Yes, it was my first time making a film in a new country between two languages. It was hard. Especially finding a teenage actress who could speak fluent Kurdish in LA. It took me three months to find an actress and during our rehearsal, I decided to do it as a play so I could find my way to tell this story between these two cultures. Then I applied my previous way of directing in shooting.

Maryam Pirband on the set of "Fermysk"
Maryam Pirband on the set of “Fermysk”

ISA: Your films usually are about young mothers who have some problems. Does it come from your own experience?

Maryam: I don’t have the experience to be a mother but I was affected a lot by young mother’s problems. Look! if you have a problem in a society like Iran or Iraq with some borders and red lights, how it comes when you have a baby or you are pregnant? It comes worst. And how it comes when the problem exactly related to that child? Motherhood is something else, it is about responsibilities and love. So, my audiences can feel the issue stronger.

ISA: Next project?

Maryam: Now I am preparing myself for my feature. I wrote the script and I will shoot it in LA. It is a love story but in a different way.

Independent Shorts Awards 2018 © All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply