Watch out, here they come! (part 4)

Conversation with director Ahmad Kiarostami


Watch out, here they come! (part 4)
by Parham

If you haven't read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of this article, maybe you should!

This week, I'm posting the part of the conversation I had with Ahmad Kiarostami, director of the now famed Eshghe Sorat video.

This conversation took place in June 2007, and since then, Kiosk and Ahmad have ended their collaboration together. Any eventual inconsistency with present events is only a result of this delay in publication, for which I apologize.



Ahmad, first things first, one can't help but notice your last name when looking at your profile. So are you related to Makhmalbaf? :-)


Yes we are related. My brother Bahman once attended a film festival where his daughter was present! :-)


I knew it! I always said there was a big resemblance between you and Samira. :-)

Before we get to the subject of the video, how do you know Arash, Babak and the rest of the gang? Do you know them from Iran?


No I didn't know them personally, but of course, I knew of The rock star from his first album, Adame Mamooli, and I knew about Babak/Bamahang from before.

I was in New York while Zartosht (Soltani) was designing O-Hum's Aloodeh cover. He was late and Babak called him to follow up (if you know Zartosht you know that he's ALWAYS late, and needs a lot of back-grabbing -- "peygiri"). Zartosht mentioned something about me being there, and Babak said "make sure no one copies the CD!" This is before I met him and his wife Shaghayegh (and became a follower) for the first time here in San Francisco in a chelo-kababi after Bay-to-Breakers 2006.

I met Arash for the first time at Yoshi's (a famous jazz club here in San Francisco) through a mutual friend, Afshean. This is 5-6 months after I moved to San Francisco. Arash had moved to San Jose just a few weeks before, and was looking for a place here. I recalled I didn't know many people when I moved here, and out of empathy, gave him my number and told him he can call if he needs help to move his stuff. I was fool enough not to remember that he's a rock star, that he knows half of the Bay Area, and the other half he doesn't know, know him! I never helped him to move anything, but later on he helped me with a bookshelf and a BIG couch (and he left me alone in the middle of the move, when it got to the difficult part!).

Do you still want me to tell you about the rest of the gang?!


Sure, if you want to.


Baba I was kidding when I asked if you want to know more!

I know Ardi (and Shadi) since I moved to San Francisco, he not only plays the keyboard, he is also a great graphic artist (Eshghe Sorat's cover), and makes the best ghalyoon in Northern California (by the way, they also made "To Kojayee" music video for Kiosk with Afshean) . I met Anoush a few months ago, he's the sweetest guy! I had a very nice interview/chat with Farzaneh a couple of days before the concert. Ali and Shahrouz, I met here before the concert (in San Francisco), but they were too busy "taking care of the fans"... that's all!

Did you say you want to publish this interview? Where? Zan-e Rooz?


Sure, if you want to. :-)

So how did the idea of you doing the video for Eshghe Sorat come about?


Well, Arash brought up the idea. My job has nothing to do with film and video, but since my brother Bahman has been to a couple of festivals, he thought I should be able to make something. We had a couple of brunches together and talked about ideas, but none of them really made sense, and/or needed a lot of money, which was impossible to do with our tight budget. He also talked to few other friends about this, including Afshean, Adralan, and Shadi (2+1 productions). One night he invited us all there to discuss and make something together. 2+1 got there late, with a very interesting sample of what they wanted to do. But I couldn't contribute anything to that project. It was a very artistic animation video, and I know nothing about animation. It needed A LOT of time, and I didn't have that much. And to be honest with you, when it comes to art and/or management, I don't really believe in democracy! You have to make everyone happy, so each of you compromises something, and in the best case, you end up having something that everyone is "happy" with, but no one "believes" in (unless you are one good solid team, like 2+1). Don't use this against me, but I always thought a good dictator is the best solution to solve a lot our problems. So, that was the end of the video project for me, but the temptation of doing a something was still there.


Yes, I love that video, except for the fly that bugs the hell out of me!! My hat's off to Shadi, Afshean and Ardalan for that.

So what happened next?


I went to Iran for a short two-week visit, and saw Zartosht there. We were back together after several years, a little nostalgic about the days we worked together, and thought about doing something together again. I called Arash and asked him to e-mail me the (still-not-mixed) songs from his new album. After getting the songs (which was a difficult task without a fast connection) I tried to plan something with Zartosht, but he was busy taking care of a little problem. I wish we had done this together though.

I liked the lyrics of both "Eshgh-e Sorat" and "Kolangi Ghabele Sokoonat" very much. The second one was too dark, and I thought it's not a good song for promoting the album. But "Eshgh e Sorat" was very intelligent and bright, and I thought it has a lot of potential. I also liked "Bitarbiat", but couldn't come up with a good idea (without filling the blanks!). So I decided to go with "Eshgh-e Sorat". But you know that two weeks in Iran - with all the friends and family and parties and everything - is too short, and I didn't work on the video till the last 3-4 days of my trip. I thought it's impossible to make something in such a short time, but my father kept telling me that I should start it, even if I don't finish. I'm a little obsessive-compulsive and leaving things unfinished really bothers me, so I preferred not to start it at all.

The night before I started the video, I made a little change in one of the ideas that I had and made it very simple, so I felt it would be possible to finish it in the remaining time. The next day I called my brother early in the morning (the one who goes to festivals) and asked him to bring his camera and come with me to shoot the video. We shot it in a couple of hours, and went to his office (he has an editing studio). I learned Final Cut Pro, edited the video, we shot a couple of more scenes, and finished the video in 2.5 days.

Back in San Francisco, we had talked about the name of the album with Arash, and he had suggested "Eshgh-e Sorat", but wasn't sure about it, I really liked the name though. To encourage him, I took several pictures from some wrecked cars, and Ardi later used the black Peykan for the CD Cover.


So where did the idea for the video come from?

One can see a lot of similarity between your father's work (using real-life people) and the Eshghe Sorat video. Also, had you done any videos prior to this one?


You ask me three different questions in three lines. Don't blame me if this one goes beyond one or two paragraphs here!

The original idea was for "Kolangi Ghabele Sokoonat". The idea was shooting a single-take video, walking from one side of Bazaar Tajreesh to the other side, shooting real people during their daily life, but having "my" people between them, with different looks, styles, and ages, looking at the camera and singing the lyrics. I wanted the whole thing to be in slow motion, slower than the real daily life.

I don't know if it makes sense or not, it's a little difficult to explain the idea in a couple of lines. Something like The Police's "Wrapped Around Your Finger" video. You can see that everything is synchronized there, but in slow motion. I was 13-14 years old when I first saw the clip, and I was mesmerized but this "trick". Oh, let me tell you something here. When I started thinking about doing a video for Arash, I tried to remember all of the videos that I liked. This one was one of them. The other one that I loved, was Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues", because of its simplicity, it somehow feels very honest. I think U2's "Numb" is hilarious, and one would like to see it over and over again. I wanted to put all of the things that I liked into the video. I also LOVE several of Peter Gabriel's videos (for example: Sledgehammer), but that type of video needs a lot of resources and we didn't have any. I also think Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2U" is beautiful, but how can I put this, I wasn't sure how a video like that would come out with Arash in it!

Anyway, in the clip, I wanted to keep up with Arash's dark and intelligent sense of humor (and that's a difficult job!). One day I saw Benetton's shop in Tehran and I thought it's missing a big thing, the only thing that I always liked about Benetton, their ads, people's face. That night, I had a dream. I was in Roger Waters' concert (I went to his concert a few months before my trip to Tehran), and there was a big video on the screen, with Roger Waters singing. Then the camera started showing the face of people, the audience singing his song with him. But all of them were people close-ups, and they looked like Benetton's ads. I woke up, and I knew what I wanted to do; just normal people pronouncing Arash's lyrics in "Eshgh-e Sorat". I just didn't know how to fill the gaps between the lyrics. I called my brother, he came to pick me up, and as soon as we were on the street, I saw a BMW with a "Ya Saheb-Azzaman" sign on it, and I thought I don't need to do much, I can only record these contradictions, and it will do the job. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to get the things that I really wanted to on tape.

To answer your other questions, I have made a couple of one minute videos, but nothing serious, just for fun. And about the similarity with my father's works, well, what can I say?! I grew up watching his films, and I (hopefully) have some of his genes, so either through nature or nurture, I should have his style. But, I also think that was a good form for this video/song, and I chose to do it that way. I might be the same for the next one.

By the way, I'm going to use that slow-motion thing from The Police video in the next video I'm making for Kiosk, and I'm going to exactly copy something from my father!


What? Will you say?

Also, what song will it be for?


Let's wait and see how it comes out first! I have told Arash and Babak that I'll release the video ONLY if I'm happy with the result, otherwise I'm going to keep it in my "private collection"!

I can tell you one thing though: It's not exactly any of the songs you hear on the CD.


Okay! We'll have to keep waiting then...

It's funny you mentioned some of the videos I also "dig" a lot! U2's "Numb", made by Kevin Godley (of Godley & Creme/10cc fame) is one of my all time favorites. In fact, I think Kevin Godley is a heck of a music video producer. I don't know if you remember "Cry" (music also by Godley & Creme), but that was the very first video where they had face metamorphosis, way before the animation techniques that made the procedure easier were invented.

Of course, a lot of people have tried to imitate Godley's ideas, the most recent one being the video for the song "Rejection" by Martin Solveig, which is a direct imitation of Numb.

One of my favorite videos of all time remains from "anonymous" though, as I never found out who it was made by. It's an animation and the storyline and the execution is, i.m.o., excellent. The subject is very close to heart as well. If I had made that video, I'd be ready to die and go to my next life already!

It was made for this song by Supermen Lovers called "Starlight".

Back to you, out of curiosity, what is your favorite movie made by your father -- and probably the one question before last as we'll have to get back to the songs -- what did you grow up watching, meaning what has been playing at the Kiarostami home all these years? I'm sure a lot of people would be curious about that.


I had never seen "Cry", and I loved it! Thanks for sharing. There's something about people's face that mesmerizes me (sitting in a café and people-watching is a great fun!). I actually wanted to do another video with peoples face for "Hamme Ragham Mojood Ast", but Arash vetoed against it, he said we have already done something like that. Maybe he's right, but I can never get enough of people's face!

I have a theory that sometimes makes people upset: I think we are getting to the end of many different forms of art. For example, I think painting is finished, is over. Doesn't matter what you want to do with your paper/pencil/canvas/paint, it's been done before. You can't do anything new. Cinema and video are relatively newer forms of art, so there's still some room left for creativity there, but with the speed we're moving at, we're going to pass the finish line soon. That's why we rarely see good movies these days.

In this type of situation, whatever you do, you will be imitating someone. I shot "Eshgh-e Sorat" in December, and we released it in April. After I released it, I talked to a dear friend of mine, Sam Javanrouh, who lives in Toronto and works for a video production company. After complimenting my video, he said "but have you seen such and such clip? It came out few weeks ago, and it's got exactly the same idea. They have shot it in Toronto, here on the corner of our office." Well, since I shot my video a few months before I released it, I'm sure none of us have imitated the other, but we both probably have imitated some other people's work, maybe unintentionally!

I think these days only exceptional, genius people can make something totally new. The rest of us can only imitate the others. But if we are clever, we can hopefully add something - even a little thing - to the original work. Martin Scorsese was once talking about making "Raging Bull", and how in the last fighting scene, he has used the famous bath scene from Hitchcock’s "Psycho" (and I think he has added A LOT to that scene!). But sometimes things are so well-done that you don't dare touch it! U2's "Numb" is one of those cases, and I think is "Rejection" fails in adding anything to the original idea.

Now after the final two questions, I'm kind of sure you want to publish (at least parts of this interview) in Zan-e Rooz!

I have a dear friend here in San Francisco, Judith Stone. She's 80 something years old, and used to work for SF Chronicle for a different section, including cinema. She's still very sharp, and has recently published a new book from her interviews with different directors and actors from around the world. Whenever someone asks her about her favorite film, or favorite director, she just goes out of control says a lot of nasty things. I just wanted to mention that, just in case you interview her some day.

Having said that, my favorite film made by my father changes with time. For now, I guess it is "Close-up", or maybe it's "Roads", I'm not sure. And my father doesn't really watch films. I remember once I was watching a film (I was probably 13 or so) and he passed by the TV room to go to the bathroom. On his way back, he stopped there for few seconds, and said "why are you watching such a bad film?" I was really upset! I said "but you haven't seen more than 30 seconds of the film, how do you know it's bad?" He said "only one shot is enough to show it's a bad film!" He usually can't follow the story line, he gets caught up in the "directing" and just sees the shots, camera, acting, and things like that, without following the film itself. But he was right, it was a bad film. "At the Kiarostami home" I saw some good films, and a lot of bad films (I still do). Probably just like your home. And I haven't been living at "Kiarostami home" for about 18 years now... well, I mean The Kiarostami home, because technically, my home is "Kiarostami home" too!


About Zane Rooz, as Arash says, don't let me open my mouth! :-)

Okay last question(s) -- Did you run into any problems shooting the video? I remember getting stopped and interrogated in Teheran every time (or almost) I was out doing street photography.

And if you don't mind, is "Kia Sohrabi" your artistic name, meaning will you always be shooting and releasing under that name, or was that only for this case?


No, I was expecting to run into problems, but we didn't. We were very quick. I would go and talk to people on the street, and after getting their agreement, Bahman would take out his camera and shoot. Taking each shot usually didn't take more than 5 minutes. And we also tried to stay away from crowded places, except for the inserts that was again, very quick.

And no, I'm not going to use "Kia Sohrabi" anymore. When I released this video, I somehow didn't want it to be associated with the name "Kiarostami". But after a few days I started getting e-mails from people about the video, and they wrote their emails to "Kia Sohrabi". I answered a couple of them with my new name, but I felt really guilty! It was like I'm stealing someone else's identity, and in return he was stealing my work! I also started hearing a couple of philosophical analogies and conspiracy theories about why I changed my name, and why I chose this name, so I decided to stop the silly game. No more Kia Sohrabi!


That was a good name, I actually liked it, but I see your point. What was funny was that I didn't find many people who made the connection between Kiarostami and Kiasohrabi.

Anyway, thanks for all the info about the video, Ahmad. I wish I could ask you more, but we're running long on this conversation already. I think you've made a great video there, and let's remind everyone it became the most linked video in the music section of YouTube for a day-- an unaccomplished feat for any Iranian clip yet. Let's see what the readers of Zane Rooz think about it now! :-)

Next part: Arash and Babak get even deeper on the Eshghe Sorat album. Stay tuned!


more from Parham

Be happy, Spread Happiness, Avoid darkness of Jealousy

by Arsalan-A (not verified) on

When you see someone putting his heart on a good cause,
When you see someone is pretty good in what he is doing,
When you see the light of human spirit is shining,
Don’t let the darkness of jealousy take over your heart, do your part, enjoy it, learn your lesson, be better than yourself a minute ago, move on and spread happiness.

Keep up the good job Ahmad.


بسه دیگه خواهش

bachehmahal2 (not verified)

بسه دیگه خواهش مئ کنم این ادم میخواد معروف بشه خوب چه عیبی داره بذارین بشه حالا مئ خواد هی بره مصاحبه کنه بگه من این ویدئو را ساختم خوب بذارین بکنه اصلا به ما چه



I Testify for Ahmad

by Arsalan-A (not verified) on

A work of art and culture talks for itself and a lot of Ahmads’ works in different fields has a signature of strength on them that stands out. And thanks to some intelligent people that I saw their supportive comments below those points are clear. On the other hand lack of moral and culture in most of his opponents is so obvious from their comments that does not need any discussion. Let me congratulate Ahmad that his enemies are so obviously in the dark side. That tells a lot.

I know Ahmad for longer than most of the people who had commented below.

Regardless of the fact that Ahmad’s work in the eshgh e Sorat with Kiosk is a work of art, and regardless of the fact that Ahmad is an incredibly capable person who had lived an outstanding life from the productivity point of view, I’m here to tell you that he is a great sole with a lot of personality and a big humbled heart.

For a moment I want to forget all the comments and assume none of us is driven by jealousy and hatred anymore and want to share something that might benefit all.

We live in a world that needs a lot of support. People are suffering in every corner of the world as a direct on indirect result of “lack of culture, tolerance and love.” Most of the people who are capable to make a difference are caught in the routines of their lives. Resources to change this condition are very limited. How about every single of us look around and find capable and caring people like Ahmad and support them the best we can so that they stay in the straight path and help change the world to a better place to live. If we go through this exercise we will find that every single of us has a strong point to share and to be supported, besides there is plenty of space to spend your gift to make a difference and there is no need to be jealous of other’s achievements. We will then spend most of our time supporting or providing constructive opinions to one another.


one way ticket

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

Thats four one-way tickets to Siberia then.


very well said, we all have

by Anonymous3334 (not verified) on

very well said, we all have flaws but there is no need to get angry about it. civilized discourse really works.


Siberian Sejours

by Milo fan (not verified) on

Since the lack of digital storage space seems to be of little consequence to, I want to take the time to say that ....

I would rather (actually would want to) be stuck in Siberia with Nasser, Pardis and the rest of Ahmad's friends - rather than spend eternity in paradise with the rest of you.

go Milo go!


to omidvaar

by Anon (not verified) on

Ditto. SO beautifully written. I was just as moved by your writing as I was by the band and the video.


can I actually talk about the video???

by omidvaar (not verified) on

I think the dust has settled on the personal bashing, rude commentary and hugely irrelevant observations. I would like to comment on the actual work.

First of all, I am thankful that Parham took the time to do an extensive interview with Kiosk and Ahmad K.

I, for one, appreciated getting some of the questions twirling in my mind answered. Isn’t that what journalism is about?

To Ahmad K. and his advocates: (the rest of you need not read this – nothing rude is going to be written, so it won’t be of interest to you)

Every time, without a doubt, that I am behind a red light these days and I see that shomaresh ma’koos, the reverse count down on the traffic light, like Pavlov’s dog I tend to reach for the Kiosk cd so I can put Sorat Eshgh in. That is the power of visual presentation. The song goes, 3, 2, 1 and the first note hits.. The first time I was emailed this video, I was mesmerized by the powerful simplicity of it. The first shot with the omni-potent, ubiquitous mosque dome, puts the viewer right back in the middle of Tehroon and then the count down and the melancholic melody moves the viewer into the lyrics.

The Sorat Eshghe video, in many ways, in all its simplicity, put this song and for that matter the group, on the map and beckoned the well deserved recognition of this band. This is the video keh be del neshast – even though it was a heavy burden on our hearts (I also loved loved the ‘to kojaiee’ video, but from an original, artistic point of view, Sorat Eshghe is what I watched over and over)! It was passed around and around and the storm of Kiosk started taking hold. The audience began to talk and share their feelings and opinions. The lyrics are heart shattering for anyone who loves Iran and actually knows something about its current state.

I couldn’t believe how they managed to shoot this in Tehroon, how they actually got the nose job girls to sing that verse, or convinced the police to do a sing along, or had the chadori lady pose, ever so appropriately with a notable purple bag on the verse that discusses ‘lebas meli’. For anyone who has been to Iran lately, you know this is an astronomical accomplishment and one has to really be ready keh ash’hadesho bekhoone.

The video drove the point of the song home. The idiosyncrasy of our society, the dilemma and the constant struggle between what IS and what is SUPPOSED to be. It is the heaviness that sits with you when you are through watching and listening.

Those of you who chose this forum to stage a personal attack on Ahmad K., why don’t you take a second look and realize what Kiosk and Ahmad K., in conjunction, did. You may be thinking you are only bashing Ahmad, but you are indirectly bashing Kiosk and everyone else who is thrilled to be a supporter of this new voice in our landscape of contradictions.

The Sorat Eshghe video connected us, as the fans, to Kiosk - whether as a music band, or for me personally, as ‘on the dot’ political satirists. So, say good job, mobarak bashe…don’t talk about the guy’s family or make sexual remarks about the writer. Rise above. It is time.

I ask you, does it matter how long it took to shoot the video? NO. Does it matter how it was inspired? NO. Does it matter whether Ahmad is a nice guy (which he really really is) or a crazy person? NO, NO, NO. What matters is that he gave a damn and he put his self out there, on the line, took risks and made a video which made us know Kiosk, which made this movement that has everyone I know buzzing.

In fact, it is sad to say that everyone I know is more into discussing Kiosk these days, than the threat of war against our country. But, communication/connection amongst us expats is good and we’ll take it any shape it comes in. So Hooray for Kiosk and Ahmad for shoving the grim realities of our current society into our faces via a music video!

Ahmad jon, great job, and I personally apologize for the other comments below!!


Khalayegh ra har che layegh!

by Anonymous_1 (not verified) on

Khalayegh ra har che layegh!


Just to set the record straight...

by Parham on

Before we make the Eshghe Sorat video "the most watched video of all time on YouTube"...

The video for Eshghe Sorat was #1 on YouTube's "Most Linked Music Videos" listing on 4/9/2007. That's what it accomplished; not more, not less.

Let's be correct in our statements as much as we can.



Bashing style

by Anonymouswww (not verified) on

Just an observation ...
I noticed many of the insulting and bashing posts about Ahmad Kiarostami have the same style of writing.
They were from users with different user names - many used only once as if the user names were temporary - yet reading them felt very similar. I was not convinced they were from different people.

Most probably somebody here has personal issues with Ahmad K and is trying his/her best to hurt Ahmad.

Those post were not written in a style that I give them any credibility ... I rather to stick to facts about Ahmad K - positive or negative.


to Nasser

by thanks (not verified) on

I am well impressed by your eloquence. Well said and well written. Its a refreshing change to see some constructive replies, especially with correct grammar and spelling.


can't stay quiet any longer

by PardisM (not verified) on

For the last week I have tried to stay out of this conversation, not wanting to dignify these terrible comments with a response, but I can’t stay quiet anymore. Some people have crossed so many lines, it’s actually sickening.

Not that Ahmad needs any defending, he is a solid guy with talent, wit, creativity, and intelligence. Regardless of what you all say or think, he created videos that made an impact, enough people like them and passed them on that it became the most viewed video on Youtube for a few days. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that’s enough to speak for itself.

Now, to those of you who claim to “know” Ahmad (but of course aren’t brave enough to reveal your names), I have a few questions for you: 1)if you have known him for so long, then you have had many years to express these sentiments to him, why haven’t you? Why wait for an article like this to appear to begin voicing your (in my opinion, displaced) anger? 2) The Kiosk video has been out for several months, if you had all these intense emotions with regard to it, why haven’t you said anything before? If the videos bothered you so much, why not say something sooner? Why now? 3) if you “know” Ahmad, then how have you missed his sense of humor? How could you constantly mistake teasing and humor for arrogance? Ahmad has done amazing things in his life, and he is an incredible human being. He is one of the most caring, kind, honest and thoughtful people I know. He isn’t arrogant at all, but he certainly has a right to be, and if you were close to him you would know that.

I am honestly sickened to see this level of discussion taking place on This is not the right forum, nor is it an appropriate way to engage with someone in dialogue. Someone, I might add, who is an incredibly talented, honest, bright and warm-hearted person. Many of your comments make it clear that you don't know Ahmad at all, because if you did, you absolutely wouldn't be responding this way. This conversation (which is more of a one-sided rant) is disheartening and dissappointing. Most of the comments don't even address the interview or the interesting things brought up in the interview (like where is inspiration for making the video came from, or how quickly it was accomplished). Nor are any of these insults based on fact, as Nasser pointed out, they are just coming out of nowhere, with no real grasp of Ahmad's many accomplishments. I encourage many of you to think for just a few minutes before offering a knee-jerk, rude response. They way you are talking is not adding anything productive to our discourse.


Read more carefully my friend!

by Nasser (not verified) on

Dear Anonyyyymous:

1. "The Next India" in that article refers to the "software industry" in Iran and not "Negah". And if you read the article you will see what challenges Iranian companies were facing compared to India. It hardly has anything to do with Negah. I have had my own share of experiencing those issues back in Iran.

Thanks for mentioning this interview though. I cannot help but notice that in his Interview 8 years ago Ahmad has pointed out that "We [Iranian Professionals) have not learned teamwork..." - which is one of the key reasons we see so much bashing, playing down, and belittling in a public conversation like this. We seem to be unable to build on top of each other's strengths, which is what a good team does. Instead, we focus on finding weak points and poking them. The result is very destructive at any scale, whether it's a small team or a community or a country.

2. Negah did not "end like that", I don't know where that comes from, and has certainly done a lot more than just two CDs. Go to their web site and see the links to some of the great web sites they built. But that's not the point. You're missing the context again. Negah did these at a time that nobody about these type of products, both from an artistic and technical point of view. They were an avant-garde company from many points of view. Nowadays kids build web sites or build multimedia presentations. Ten years ago, and in Iran, nobody knew how to approach such products, and Ahmad did it for the first time. He is the type that is not afraid of doing things for the first time, on the contrary, he welcomes (or I have to say he looks for) the challenge. I like people like him because they push the envelope and build new things.

3. What I don't understand is why you are trying every angle to find excuses (andn unfortunately you misrepresent a lot of information in doing so) to make Ahmad look bad. As I said earlier we all have our strong and weak points. Is he less than perfect? Sure, like you and I and everybody else. So what? Is something personal going on? If yes, I don't think a public forum is the right place for it. I don't think the readers appreciate that. Please go talk to him and resolve the issue, we're all adults and should be able to handle a conversation. Please do not magnify something out of context to make a misrepresented point.

Thank you.


Nasser , if it was such a

by Anonyyyymous (not verified) on

Nasser , if it was such a great company with such a great management then what happened to it and why did it end like that? ;) Did you really think with 2 CDs about Football and cinema you would become "The next India" ?? :))))



Artists need an audience ,

by artistsss (not verified) on

Artists need an audience , they dont need managers. Whoever told you that, doesnt understand art or is not an artist.


You're wrong.

by Nasser (not verified) on

I'm not implying anything about Zartosht and I have the highest respect for him, one of his drawings is hanging on the wall in front of me. But artists usually need managers, and he is not an exception. He is a man of art, not projects and deadlines. I love the guy, and by now you must know that bashing people is not my style.

If you were close to Negah I must know you, and I would love to hear about the "abuse" you talk about. Reveal your name and stick to specifics.

It's not a matter of sticking my neck. Ahmad has been a solid friend of mine for many years, and I do not like the way he is being treated here. Unlike you I do not use bad language to wipe out facts. Let's show some dignity and don't make a pubic forum a place for "fahhashi".


Nasser khan you are a

by (not verified) on

Nasser khan you are a hypocrite. You are implying that poor Zartosht never met a deadline and that Ahmad made him deliver on time. You should be ashamed of yourself for bashing Zartosht to make Ahmad look good. Zartosht bichareh has more talent and creativity than Ahmad has ever "dreamed" of, and I know exactly what went on in Negah. This is how Ahmad abuses other peoples talents to make a name for himself. This is his method . Whatever he has accomplished in Negah or other companies does not make him any less of a jerk than he already is. What do you get for sticking your neck out for him , I wonder?


Yes, same Ahmad.

by Nasser (not verified) on

Over the course of 15+ years I've seen him on about 50 projects, and it's rare for him to miss a deadline. I don't know if your age allows you to remember it, but if you ever used the Farsi version of Windows 3.1 - the real one coming from Microsoft - you have been using one of those "on time" projects he delivered.

If you were among the many who learned what "Multimedia" meant by running the "Cinema 76" software, or the people who were eagerly looking for the rare football player pictures on the "Football Encyclopedia" CDs, or if you even backed up your PC files using "PocketSync", or if you have ever searched for a verse of Persian Poetry on the Internet and you ended up on to see the full text you have been unknowingly using some of his other "on time" projects.

I'm sure you know Zartosht Soltani and his great artistic capabilities. What you probably don't know is that in most of his projects the one who managed him to deliver "on time" whas Ahmad. Gosh, Ahmad's company back in Iran, Negah, was well-known for the quality of their art and for their professional on-time delivery of projects. Ask people who happily paid for the services.

And I was sitting next to him through the final edits of the Eshgh-e Sorat video clip, so I have a very good idea about the time line of that project.

Now may I ask if we are talking about the same Ahmad?

Let's avoid bashing personalities and badmouthing people, and stick to facts. I made a point of mentioning some names here that some of the readers may actually know - undisputed facts. It is always easy to come up with vague negative comments and disturb somebody's image, but it's neither fair nor called for.


Nasser said "Somebody said

by TheOne (not verified) on

Nasser said "Somebody said there's no way he could have done all that in 2.5 days, well, yes there is. I have seen Ahmad in action, and I have seen many instances of him pulling things off in such short amounts of time - which the average would call "impossible". The guy has the highest IQ I've ever seen, is fast, has laser precision focus, and is a closer. Not many of us have all that together."

Nasser, are you sure that you are talking about the same Ahmad. :) I have seen him in action too and God he cannot be on time on any project. let alone finishing a project in 2.5 days :) But let him have his few moments of fame :)


I am stunned reading all this.

by Nasser (not verified) on

It's hard to say what I feel. It's sad to see how we treat each other. What happened to constructive criticism and staying polite even if we don't agree to or don't like something or somebody?

Knowing Ahmad for a long time, I beg to differ. He is indeed very talented. A lot of people who have commented here are not familiar with his many creations over a long period of time. You have seen a video clip, but you have not seen "Cinema 76", you have not seen the "Football Encyclopedia", you're probably not a user of Persopedia, and you're not familiar with the many other great things he has done. You can't call him a one trick pony just because you have not seen what he has done in the past. But you're certainly contributing to the "why should I bother making more art" feeling of somebody who is capable of creating - and that's a rare quality.

Somebody said there's no way he could have done all that in 2.5 days, well, yes there is. I have seen Ahmad in action, and I have seen many instances of him pulling things off in such short amounts of time - which the average would call "impossible". The guy has the highest IQ I've ever seen, is fast, has laser precision focus, and is a closer. Not many of us have all that together.

Is his video clip similar to some others? I'm sure it is. He has in fact mentioned some in the interview. Is it a copy? No. The clip is his original idea. It's naive to assume that in our time nobody else has thought of similar ideas. And it's not just the idea. There's also an almost perfect execution. People who saw the video loved it, talked about it, and shared it with others. Like it or not, some 300,000 people watched the video. That sort of "hit rate" is a success by any measure. If I had done the same I would have been very pleased with myself, heck, even if I had copied someone.

Ahmad has an original touch in everything he does, and I have seen it many many times. You walk into his apartment, you see that. You hear him make a comment about a music, or a picture, or a craft, you see that. He's a creative person. Is it the gene? I'm sure the gene has something to do with it. But he has also worked hard to become more and more creative, and do not get "comfortably numb". The part you guys do not see is those long hours and months and years that has made him what he is.

Is he arrogant? A little bit. So what? Don't each of us have our own little idiosyncrasies? He may be arrogant, but he does not bash people like what I see in these comments here, he never uses the language I see here, and he has much more tolerance for differences and opinions.

It's always easy to take things out of context and change what they were meant to be. I was not there at the OC concert, but I know Ahmad's sense of humor very well. I can see him making a comment about his artwork being on the T-shirt, and next thing you know that makes him an arrogant, self-centered person in a public discussion here. Just like his "rock star" comment was used out of context. And these are just examples.

Instead try having a conversation with him, and you will see. You cannot deny that this guy knows a lot, cares a lot, and has his own style of creativity and wit. It is easy to mistake one's having opinion about things with one's being arrogant.

All that said, he does not make videos clips for a living. He made the video for fun, and being a perfectionist he put his best efforts into in, like everything else he does. Either sit back and enjoy the clip, or if you don't like it don't watch it and don't share it with others. He has felt it's ok to share his story of how the video was made with you. If you don't like it there's no need for nasty comments and personality bashing.

Thanks to the Internet, it's easy to create and share, and there's a good judge - the public - out there. As we say, Gar to behtar mizani bestaan bezan.

I have to say reading the thread of comments here hurts, at a very cultural level. You probably know of the book Maa Chegouneh Maa Shodim (How we became who we are). Well, not hard to answer the question, is it?


به bikhiyal shin: شما

Mandana (not verified)

به bikhiyal shin:

شما نگران نباش، شما ماستت رو بخور!
معلومه که تا حالا ندیدن که کسی دو روزه یه نرم افزار جدید رو یاد بگیره یا اینهمه کار بکنه، خوب کسی از شما چنین انتظاری هم نداره، اما حالا اگر کسی از شما انتظاری نداره، دلیل نمی شه که دیگران رو با خودتون مقایسه کنین... نکنین این کارو ممکنه افسردگی بعدش کار دستتون بده. شما همون ماستتون رو بخورین


ta nabashad chizaki...

by jalabbood (not verified) on

ta nabashad chizaki...

where there is smoke there is fire. even if half of what is being said is true here, this guy must be a royal pain in the butt.

very interesting indeed



by andres (not verified) on

Kayvanali, I couldn't agree with you more. I agree with your suggestions, opinions, and facts. Merci.


Keyvanali, its not about the

by 2kalameh2 (not verified) on

Keyvanali, its not about the video, even if he gets 3 million hits more than the Nickelback video he stole the idea from, he is still a jerk. False modesty, overt self promotion, condescending attitude, and claim to genuis revelations in his sleep is what is pissing people off. I would really like to see something new and original from him , but I doubt he has any.


keyvanali joon

by Anonymous68 (not verified) on

Couldn't agree with you more BUT YOU SEE, this guy is a major asshole otherwise there wouldn't be such an unleashing of anger towards him!!! It is really rare that an individual would ignite such contempt, and when it happens it reflects a shade of truth beneath all the pile, a truth that himself,nor his family and friends can escape from!


Fame isn't free! Childooh

by Anonymous3444 (not verified) on

Fame isn't free! Childooh friend and Keyvon. When a person puts themselves up for public viewing, they take the risk of being cruicified. Sad but true. And that has nothing to do with national pass time. It's about time iranians realize they are not much different than other cultures and stop bashing themselves (oops I just did too). Problem is that this guys is arrogant. He is. The responses and his attitude communicate a sense of arrogance. Perhaps he was a nerd and is very modest. But that isn't coming across in this interview. He can work on the Mona Lisa. But if that is how his attitude comes across, then he will be bashed. People hate arrogant people.


4 Facts, 1 opinion, 1 suggestion

by KayvanAli (not verified) on


4 Facts:
* Ahmad created the Eshgh e Sorat video clip, he directed it.
* The clip has been one of the most viewed Iranian clips posted on youtube (382,252 views so far in two posts over 6 months).
* As with any widely viewed clip, this one has helped promote the band, Kiosk.
* All works of art or science anywhere in the world has legitimately, consciously, sub-consciously or accidentally been derived & inspired from other people's work. So what?

1 Opinion:
* I personally get a kick every time I watch the Eshgh e Sorat video clip. It’s brilliant.
But I understand how others may not like it.

1 Suggestion:
* When writing comments on someone's work, before pushing the submit/send button, put ourselves in the shoes of the MOKHAATAB. How would we ourselves, or our brothers, sisters, fathers & mothers react if they read the comment we're about to leave about them.
Just a suggestion…

Azarin Sadegh

Defending Ahmad K.! :)

by Azarin Sadegh on

I just came across this discussion about Ahmad K. It happens that he is one of my husband's childhood friends and we met him several times, before he moved to Bay Area. I am sure he doesn't need anyone to defend him, but still I find these comments unfair. As I remember, besides being a typical nerd, he was also polite and down to earth. Bay Area is known for its high number of computer nerds; it means only interested in certain technical subjects and much focused on these same areas (it means they are uninterested in other stuff, so sometimes they might be perceived as rude or arrogant). Now, don't we have anything better to do (doing something positive and constructive) instead of making fun of others' appearance just because we don't approve of their art work? There are so many other things we can do instead of crushing a harmless guy whose crime is to make a few video clips. Are we running out of really good candidates, as the object of our beloved "national pass-time"? So please calm down and enjoy anything that pleases you! Thanks, Azarin


Dedicated to Ahmad K

by dedication333 (not verified) on

I dedicate this song to Ahmad Kiarostami with all my heart. Be Happy!