I am a San Francisco-based impact and engagement strategist, researcher, and educator. I believe deeply in the power of story to support social and environmental justice. I also believe that power can be even greater when harnessed in creative and strategic ways and with careful and deliberate planning. This is why I do what I do.
My first exposure to storytelling was through my maman-bozorg (Farsi for “grandmother”) who would share beautiful bedtime tales of old Persian heroes and magical beings who live just on the other side of a thin veil that separates our worlds. Later as an adult, I continued to explore story through creative writing and eventually landing into television production and development in L.A.. But I turned my attention to the intersection of media and social change in 2006 when a colleague and I began producing independent shows for SF Community Access TV to uncover issues that were getting buried in mainstream news. And my specific training and focus on story-based impact and engagement began in 2008 at Active Voice, where I worked under the guidance of Ellen Schneider, a pioneer and visionary in the field, and later under the talented and equally powerful, Shaady Salehi.
When I'm not digging deep into a film's potential to have a lasting impact, I'm either teaching or doing research (latest examples are here and here). My background is in post-colonial anthropology, which turns the anthropological gaze back onto the colonizers to understand how power and privilege shapes meaning-making today so the research we produce together can be emancipatory.
I am especially inspired by work that builds understanding across difference and highlights shared stakes. If you are working on a film that helps do this, I’d love to hear from you!