Birth Date: 27 May 1984
Saman's interest in filmmaking developed in his early teenage years while living in Tehran, Iran. In his high school years, he began working on short films as the director of photography. During this period, he worked on the controversial film, "Mordab" (Marsh), which exposed the secret lifestyle of Iranian youth, including online dating, underground parties, and the usage of drugs. The movie was scheduled to be screened during the prestigious Baran Women Short Film Festival's closing night; however, it was banned by the government prior to the screening due to its content.
With the encouragement of his filmmaker friends, Saman decided to try directing in addition to cinematography. He shot and directed his first short film at the age of 18, titled "Allow the Wind," about a day in a young poet's life who is dealing with loneliness as his parents have just left to travel abroad and the disappointment in his girlfriend for forgetting their anniversary.
Saman moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to further his studies in filmmaking. Upon his arrival to the United States, he enjoyed immediate success with "Allow the Wind," which won the Best Directing, Screenwriting, and Cinematography awards from Santa Monica College's Student Filmmakers Association Film Festival. Saman majored in Film Studies and also studied photography and music at Santa Monica College and later received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema with an emphasis in cinematography from Columbia College Hollywood as an honor student. At Columbia, he teamed up with the best of his peers and completed cinematography on several thesis films and independent projects as well as directing a few projects. He also completed an internship with Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC, the Academy Award Nominee cinematographer of "Atonement (2007)" and "Anna Karenina (2012/I)" and Alex Nepomniaschy, ASC.
"The Old Car (2010)", Saman's first short film that he has directed since moving to the United States, was completed in 2009. The film features John Piccione and Rebecca Rainboldt as Charles and Alyssa and tells the heartwarming tale of how a seemingly simple object -- a car -- can send us traveling back in time, reliving old memories. The experience shared by the two characters helps to change their views regarding each other and the car. "The Old Car" was the closing film at the Columbia College Hollywood's Film Festival for the Industry in 2010 and was very well received.
Saman's next short film, "$lowdown (2011)", inspired by the 2008 recession in the United States, premiered at the 4th annual Las Vegas Film Festival and won the Golden Ace Award for "superior filmmaking" in the Student Film Competition. It also received nominations for 'Best Short Film' and 'Best Actor' at the 4th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles. This tragic drama focuses on the story of a homeless man portrayed by Ali Saam (Argo (2012)) and a bank employee portrayed by JT Alexander (10 Cent Pistol (2013)).
Saman is currently (2013) working on a feature documentary titled "Alam High School" about an iconic school in Mashhad, Iran, that opened in 1969 and was closed down following the Islamic Revolution and the pre-production of a feature psychological thriller titled "Committed" with Cortney Palm (Sushi Girl (2012)), Ali Saam, and JT Alexander as a part of the cast. He is also producing a short film titled "Azar" for director and old colleague Piran Zarifian and a feature titled "That's What Makes Her an Icon" for theater writer/director, Olivia Lilley.
As a cinematographer, Saman has worked on numerous short films, documentaries, music videos, and commercials and continues to collaborate on exceptional projects.
His favorite filmmaker is Charles Chaplin.
His favorite movie is Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).
His ancestor on his mother's side is Yaghma Jandaghi, a well-known Persian (Iranian) poet from the 1800s.
Renowned Iranian actor, Dariush Arjmand, is in his extended family and has been an inspiration to him.
Often works with director Piran Zarifian. They became friends while attending Santa Monica College where they were active members of the Student Filmmakers Association.
Has been close friends with composer, Navid Gohari, since first grade. They have worked on several short films together; Navid played the lead role in Saman's directorial debut short film, "Allow the Wind" (2003), and composed music for The Old Car (2010) and $lowdown (2011).
Camera and Electrical Department (10 titles)
2013 Upgrading Zari (short) (director of photography: second unit) (post-production)
2013 Protocol (short) (gaffer) (completed)
2013 Shelf Life (TV series) (first assistant camera - 4 episodes, 2013) (camera operator - 1 episode, 2013)
– I Know What You Did Last Thursday (2013) (camera operator - uncredited)
– Toypocalypse Now (2013) (first assistant camera)
– Hero Worship (2013) (first assistant camera)
– Little Big House (2013) (first assistant camera)
– Siss! Boom! Bug! (2013) (first assistant camera)
2012 FCU: Fact Checkers Unit (TV series) (visual effects still photographer - 1 episode)
– James Franco Is Preggers (2012) (visual effects still photographer)
2011 $lowdown (short) (camera operator - uncredited)
2010 Freedom Fighter (short) (camera operator - uncredited)
2010 A Conversation to Remember (short) (camera operator)
2010 The Old Car (short) (camera operator - uncredited)
2010 Smile. (short) (assistant camera)
2010 Look Not at the Mountains! (short) (gaffer)
Cinematographer (12 titles)
2012 The Journey Part 1 (documentary) (director of photography) (post-production)
2013 Family Products (short) (director of photography) (completed)
2013/II Committed (short) (director of photography)
2012 Ghost in the Machine (short) (director of photography)
2011 Gut Feeling (short) (director of photography)
2011 $lowdown (short) (director of photography)
2011/I The Faithful (short) (director of photography)
2011 Going Up (short) (director of photography)
2011 Underground Story (short) (director of photography)
2010 Freedom Fighter (short) (director of photography)
2010 A Conversation to Remember (short) (director of photography)
2010 The Old Car (short)