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TIFF Women Directors: Meet Iram Haq

Interviews
by Kerensa Cadenas
September 12, 2013 3:00 PM
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I Am Yours

Iram Haq studied art direction at Westerdals School of Communication in Oslo. She has acted in the features Import-Export (05), Fallen Angels (08), and Tomme tonner (10). She wrote and directed the short film Little Miss Eyeflap (09). I Am Yours (13) is her debut feature.

I Am Yours is playing as part of the Discovery program at TIFF.

Women and Hollywood: Please give us your description of the film playing at TIFF.

Iram Haq: My film, I Am Yours is a portrait of a single mother with a 6 year old son. She has a bad relationship with her parents, is very lonely, is struggling and so she ends up in several bad relationships with men. Her desperate need to be loved fills up her mind and time, and she ends up being not as good of a mother as she wants to be.

WaH: What made you write this script?

IH: I wrote this story because I wanted to tell a story about what kind a life do you live if you are rejected from your family. What will you give to your son, how will you deal with relationships to men and to yourself when you always feel ashamed.

I started to write some notes about my own thoughts and feelings and about my own experiences as a single mother and as a second generation immigrant in Norway and after that I started to fabricate the story.

Wah: What was the biggest challenge?

IH: The biggest challenge for me was to tell the story as honest and truthful as possible, not to hide behind humor, fancy production design, behind special effects or very cool sound.

I wanted to make a female portrait. A picture of a single mother who has a bad relationship to her parents, ends up in bad relationships and can't be as good of a mother as she wants. I wanted also to tell a story about a woman who is very lonely. This is a story about a Norwegian - Pakistani woman as well, the second generation immigrant in Norway who left her roots and she is trying to fix her life all by herself. She is in many ways very lost and lonely. She just wants to be loved and accepted. She wants that so badly so she ends up in bad relationships and she does everything for the men and ends up not taking good care of her son.

WaH: What advice do you have for other female directors?

IH: My advice to other female filmmakers is to make stories that you really believe in and stories they want to tell. Follow your intuition and be uncompromising.

WaH: What's the biggest misconception about you and your work?

IH: Maybe that people believe that I am the main character in real life, which is not true. Of course I am very much inspired by my own experiences and thoughts and feeling, but I've managed to take my thoughts, feelings and personal experiences and put them into a new story.

WaH: Name your favorite women directed film and why.

My favorite female director is Andrea Arnold. She makes stories that feel true and I like the subjects in her films, especially Fish Tank. Fish Tank describes emotions and feelings without trying to be beautiful, it feels real.

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