Detailing the depths of the remarkable short film ‘Tâm’ – an interview with writer/director Nora Niasari about how and why she made it

“Frankly, I think there’s a lot of untold stories from women, especially women of colour, that are very much buried in shame because they haven’t had the chance to be understood.”

In this profile interview Melbourne writer/director/producer Nora Niasari discusses her remarkable 12-minute film Tâm, which is composed of a single shot.

Filmed in one day and requiring 13 takes, Tâm is made with extraordinary performances and technical precision, delivering several powerful punches as it confronts a range of contemporary hot-button issues.

Shooting Tâm: (from right) cinematographer Sherwin Akbarzadeh; first assistant camera Nick Forster; production designer Eleanora Steiner. Photo: Rebecca-Marian Irene

It’s a revealing conversation that offers a snapshot of Nora Niasari as an emerging filmmaker with formidable potential. If her recent works are any guide, she’s on her way to a brilliant career. So here’s hoping she doesn’t get seduced by Hollywood too quickly.

Here she speaks via Zoom about the making of Tâm, its themes, her love of cinema and how hard it is to shoot long takes in a small, crammed hotel room. (Cinematographer Sherwin Akbarzadeh is mentioned by title in the interview.),

For details about the film’s CinefestOZ screening visit https://tix.cinefestoz.com/Events/TAM

Please enjoy.

Interview index
00:00 Describing the film;
01:23 Why did she make Tâm;
01:46 Addressing untold stories about women;
02:24 The reason for avoiding dialogue;
03:38 Sound design;
04:55 The reason for doing a long single take;
05:44 Frustration with seeing female experiences through a “male lens”;
06:40 Influences for the long shot;
07:32 Mentoring with the late Abbas Kiarostami;
08:15 The difficulties involved in doing a 12-minute single shot;
10:16 Importance of intense rehearsal;
11:20 Directing on set;
11:38 Nailing the most challenging aspect of the shoot;
13:19 The value of having a good first assistant director;
13:58 Hopes about reactions;
14:48 How and why she got into film;
15:14 Falling in love with storytelling;
15:57 Being Iranian-Australian;
17:07 Themes to develop in future work;
18:26 What is it to be Australian?;
19:40 What is the power of cinema?;
20: 55 The possibility of doing comedy;
22:05 Being mentored by Luke Davies;
23:20 Hollywood producer Gary Foster;
23:54 Early works & work ethic;
26:24 The need for balance.

For more about Nora Niasari, including links to some earlier films, check out her website: https://noraniasari.com/