I’m back. I had a great trip to Kish, a beautiful island in the south of Iran, on the north coast of the Persian Gulf. We had to participate in Moj Short Film Festival, held by the House of Young Filmmakers (HYF), which is an active successful NGO that gives support to young filmmakers who are hardly ever supported by governmental organizations.

HYF had invited some cinematic webloggers and online journalists to cover the news of the festival over the internet. None of the journalists of the public press were invited. What HYF did was a completely new step. No other event had ever been covered like this over the net. The interesting point to me was their attitude to the coverage of their festival, an NGO-type of coverage by NG websites!

We had to watch over 34 films during 4 days. We saw some very good films, with new ideas, beautiful casting, new or rather radical techniques and subjects. Some celebrities were also invited. We stayed at a 5-star hotel, and all the 120 participants became friends with each other. One night we had a party, dancing till morning in one of our friends’ house who lives in Kish. One night we went cycling at 2 am and the other night I went to the see with 3 of the participant directors at 2 am. There was a boat that had a glassy bottom with underwater spotlights through which we could see the beautiful magic of the under-the-see world easily. We saw wonderful fish and plant species, and were facinated by the beauty and wonder of the underwater world.

Kish is a city that never sleeps. You hardly can ever have such a night-life in Tehran. My dad never lets me go out so late at night. I felt completely independent there. All by myself, no one telling me ‘Do this’, ‘Don’t do that’. Police give complete freedom to the tourists and let everyone enjoy their trip. The only problem with this city is that it’s really hot and humid. Of course I love humid weather, but people are rarely as crazy as I am!

In the long hot afternoons we went swimming. There is a beach sheltered for exclusive use by women. No man can enter this area. The whole area is covered with plastic walls. You can wear your bikini there, go swimming in the salty transparent water of the Gulf, or sunbathe under the strong life-giving rays of the lady sun. We collected a lots of shells among the hot sands, filling plastic bags with them to bring back as souvenirs.

All in all, the trip was enjoyable but tiring. We had a lot of things to do, as well as participating in the festival. I really needed this trip, since I had a hard time in the last few weeks. Our Women in Iran website has been banned by the government, and people in Iran can’t see the site. Our magazine’s IP is also banned by some I.S.Ps and we have lost a great number of our visitors. I have my thesis to work on, classes to teach, sites and weblogs to update, and a heart to take care of. I needed a great deal of energy to do all this, which I got from the giving lady sun while I was in Kish.