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Real-time Combat

From Cali to Iran

Have you ever thought about the journey a story can take, from one corner of the world to another? How a simple idea can transform into a captivating tale, captivating readers and listeners alike? I came across such a story, one that travelled from California to Iran, and its journey inspired me to reflect on the power of storytelling.

A few years ago, I participated in a short film-making course led by Mohsen Makmalbaf, an award-winning Iranian director who had immigrated to London.

As part of the course, we were tasked with creating a short film on the theme of conflict and argument, using only a mobile phone or small camera and without any editing. I struggled to come up with an idea until I remembered a story I had read many years ago.

I decided to adapt the story for my film, and with the help of a few friends and a GoPro, I completed the task. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but I felt proud of the result and the experience I gained. Watch the Real-Time Combat.

A year later, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I received an unexpected email from Priscilla herself. She told me that she had written the story 25 years ago while living in a small coastal town in California and that she was happy to see her work being adapted in a different part of the world.

This email touched me deeply. It made me realise the power of storytelling to connect people and transcend borders, cultures, and languages. It reminded me that a story can take on a life of its own and travel far beyond its original context, inspiring and touching people in unexpected ways.

In a world full of challenges and uncertainties, stories provide us with a way to understand and connect with each other. They help us to make sense of the world and our place in it, to empathise with others and learn from their experiences. They inspire us to dream, to hope, to imagine new possibilities.

So, whether you are a writer, a filmmaker, or simply a lover of stories, remember the power of your work. Your stories can travel far and wide, touching the hearts and minds of people across the world.

Nima Akbarpour