- LOS ANGELES
Production company Interrogate has added director Amelia Hashemi to its roster. This is the first U.S. signing for the London-based Hashemi.
Half-Iranian, half-English Hashemi, who knew by the age of 12 that she wanted to be a director, got her start in the film industry working a variety of roles in the world of theater and feature films. Early jobs included shadowing Stephen Daldry during his work on Billy Elliot: The Musical; Video assist on the 2006 feature Breaking and Entering under director Anthony Minghella, and serving as assistant to casting directors like Susie Figgis and Lucinda Syson, working under directors like Tim Burton, Mike Newell, and Garth Jennings.
To this day, Hashemi’s casting know-how informs her approach as a director. “The first thing I think of in my creative process is the cast, because I know the casting process so well,” she explained. “I’m drawn to the story and how certain performances can capture the moments I want to tell with honesty and authenticity.”
In 2014, Hashemi took her first stab at directing with her short, Don’t Blame Us Cos We’re Famous!, which had its U.K. premiere at the London Short Film Festival, and went on to win Best UK short at the East End Film Festival. The success of the film, which documents a father and son on a day of spontaneous adventures, caught the attention of VW, who tapped Hashemi to film three spots for their Motability Campaign. Those spots included the charmingly portrayed “Brother and Sister,” in which a teen brother picks up his cantankerous younger sister from a birthday party and melts her heart with a trip to the ice cream parlor.
From there, spots for brands like Cadbury and E.Leclerc have followed, as did her 2018 short film, Night Out, which drew on Hashemi’s experience growing up with a Muslim parent. Night Out tells the coming-of-age story of Muslim teen Meena on her way with friends to a nightclub for the first time. The short premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, was nominated for the London Critics’ Circle award and won best short at Leeds International Film Festival.
George Meeker, executive producer/partner of Interrogate, speaks to Hashemi’s singular skillset: “Rarely do directors in our business come from the casting space. It’s unexpected but provides such a unique perspective. Amelia has looked at actors upon actors upon actors, and as a result, is able to find and capture a real sense of honesty in her performances and dialogue.”
With Interrogate, Hashemi is excited to share her whimsical storytelling with the U.S. advertising industry and to continue to grow as a filmmaker. Already Hashemi has two feature films in the works, one of which is for BBC Films with Parkville Pictures.
“I loved the guys at Interrogate immediately because they had followed my work and they understood where I’m coming from with being a mom, and honored that,” said Hashemi. ”I’m so excited about this signing because I’ve always wanted to work in America. I’m so looking forward to expanding my audience.”