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I Was Blacklisted by Thom Powers

Documenting the Backlash

004 / 28 February 2013

When Caveh Zahedi submitted his controversial film work The Sheik and I to the Montclair Film Festival in 2012 he did not expect the reaction by the festival's chief programmer, Thom Powers. After watching the film, Powers not only went on a campaign to block the film from showing at Montclair but also contacted journalists and other festivals, warning them against writing about it or screening it. In response, Zahedi made a short film documenting what happened during the whole situation. Of course, such issues are never black and white; for an objective view from both sides of the argument, take a look at Scott Macaulay's view after having spoken to both Zahedi and Powers, here. The Ibraaz interview with Zahedi, discussing The Sheik and I and how it relates to Zahedi's concerns as a filmmaker, is also viewable here.


About the artist

Caveh Zahedi

Caveh Zahedi began making films while studying philosophy at Yale University. After graduation, he moved to Paris to try to raise money for a film about French poet Arthur Rimbaud, but failed to raise even one centime. Following a period in France, Zahedi applied to the film school at UCLA where he met Greg Watkins, who he collaborated with to produce A Little Stiff (1991), one of Zahedi's first film works. Currently based in New York, Zahedi is a professor of confessional cinema at the European Graduate School.