Today I interviewed Monely Soltani for Feminist Magazine on KPFK 90.7FM. Monely was born in post revolution Iran and grew up amidst the first Gulf War. Her family moved to California where she received an undergraduate degree in Global Studies, and she is currently in preproduction for her thesis film, Desert Lullabies, for her MFA in Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California (USC). In 2012 she was honored by the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), Best Student Directing Award and has been a recipient of the John Frankenheimer Memorial Fellowship.
A strong advocate of empowering women and youth, Monely’s short film Of Truth A Canvas won the awareness prize for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues from USC’s Lambda Association. She has made several other short films with a social justice message and served as a film mentor to youth from South Central and East Los Angeles.
Desert Lullabies is a fairytale, set to the background of war-torn Iran, following the story of Tara, a 7-year old girl, and her mother, who must find the courage to flee. This intergenerational story is inspired by the brave journey of Monely’s own mother, Firouzeh, who for fifteen years sought to flee Iran in spite of all the forces holding her back.
Also make sure to check out the Desert Lullabies Kickstarter campaign. There are only two weeks left for you to help make this film happen!
Monely is an amazing filmmaker who explores stories of her family, her history, and healing. She is also a dear friend! I hope you will support her campaign to tell this story!