The independent filmmaker best known for “The Sheik and I” and “I Am a Sex Addict,” is set visit Columbus to host a screening of his new series.
Caveh Zahedi is set to screen “The Show About The Show” at the Gateway Film Center on Sunday. The scripted online meta-series follows the life of a Brooklyn filmmaker, with each episode chronicling the making of the previous episode.
Students have the chance to hear from Zahedi — the writer, producer, director and star of the series — in a question-and-answer session following the screening.
Although the recipient of several awards — one being the Gotham Independent Film Award for “Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You” — Zahedi experienced difficulty when initially pitching the series to producers.
“I’ve been trying to document my life for a long time now… everybody would always say to me, ‘Why would anybody care about your life?’” he said. “Everything is way more interesting than it seems (and) you could really make a film about the things that go unnoticed and try to make those things visible.”
John Umland, vice president of operations at the Gateway, said the show presents a new way of thinking about stories and the way they are shared and understood. He added the event provides a valuable opportunity for students interested in production or who simply want to be entertained by someone with an experienced perspective on the industry and filmmaking.
“Caveh is someone who has worked in independent film and television and now in online content creation for a long time,” Umland said. “Storytelling is pretty much the medium we use to communicate… this is a great opportunity to learn from someone who has hands on experience and has accomplished a lot in his career.”
Aside from his scripted work, Zahedi released “Digging My Own Grave” in 2015, a box set with a collection of his films that also includes about 17 hours of autobiographical footage. He said he hopes to continue documenting his life until the day he dies — in which case he hopes someone else will film his funeral. Zahedi said he finds meaning in the seemingly small and insignificant moments that makes up one’s human experience.
“What are the moments that exhibit an understanding of what a person’s life meant or was?”he said. “Everyone is a different manifestation of God and what is possible and… what it is to be alive, to be human, to be mortal.”
He said he wonders what it would mean to edit a lifetime into a two-hour film, contemplating what scenes he would pick.
“I think that’s an interesting one,” Zahedi said. ”It’s all the little ones that often are the ones that mean the most. It’s really just a question of editing. How would you edit your life?”
The screening is set to begin at 5 p.m. and is set to end at 6:30 p.m. It includes the first five episodes of the series. Tickets are $6.50 for students and $8 for adults.