Piran Zarifian was born on August 28th, 1983 in Tehran, Iran. Being Jewish, he found it difficult to live there. Consequently, just before his 17th birthday, in August of 1999, he emigrated to Vienna where he applied for a U.S Visa and about a year later he arrived in Los Angeles. Shortly after his move, Piran attended University High School. There, he took a History of Cinema class sponsored by Santa Monica City College, and it was then that his passion for movies first developed. Piran soon realized other subjects in his high school education were inadequate for him, so he dropped out of high school at the age of 19 and attended Santa Monica College where he resumed his education in Film Studies. In college, Piran soon found SMC's Student Filmmaker Association, known as the "Film Club," to be the place where he fit right in. He started collaborating with his fellow classmates and Film Club members on short film projects as an editor. As he was learning the tools of the trade, he started developing and writing his first short film project "Hallucinated Realities." Piran wrote, directed, and edited his first film with the help of his film club friends and got it into the school's film festival. Upon seeing his film on the big screen with an audience, he then realized that filmmaking is truly what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Piran continued making films in the subsequent semesters and also became the elected president of the Film Club. Progressively, he became closer to his film professors from who he learned all of his primary knowledge about movies and filmmaking. Piran excelled in his classes; even the Corsair, SMC's weekly newspaper, wrote an article on him as a student and leader of the Film Club. In 2006 Piran graduated from SMC and received his Associate of Arts in Film Studies. Simultaneously, Piran received his GED.
After SMC, in July of 2006, Piran transferred to Columbia College Hollywood where he continued his film education through their hands-on teaching approach. Having made a couple of short films prior to film school, Piran knew his strengths and weaknesses and used that knowledge to his advantage in deciding what he needs to learn and improve upon. At CCH, Piran made several short films and music videos, amongst them "Der Mann, Der Nichts Hat" (The Man Who Has Nothing (2008)), a World War II movie that was shot on black and white 16mm film. As per class rules, it was shot in an extremely limited four hour time-frame as an assignment with practically no budget. Nonetheless, it went on to win 'Best Project' in the school's film festival. A year into the program, Piran started working on his thesis film. He often referred to it as "Project Miracle." Knowing it was going to be the biggest project he has ever made, Piran spent the next year and the half writing and developing it. By the end of the first year Piran had already reached senior status and had once again become the statue in all his classes. In his senior year, Piran paired up with classmates, Sara Lara Hernandez (Producer) and Markus Lanxinger (cinematographer) to start the pre-production on Project Miracle, now known as Eldad (2009). Before even a single frame was shot, "Eldad" had already become the most anticipated and talked-about film in school. Putting the project together was no easy task. Piran spent four months in pre-production and planning until everything was ready and everyone was on-board. On May 8th, 2008, the camera started rolling on "Eldad." Piran financed the movie himself and employed state of the art technology. He was among the first students to shoot his project on the RED One camera. A week later the project was "in the can" and ready to be edited. The next three months were spent in the editing room day and night.
In July of 2008 Piran received his Bachelor of Arts in Motion Picture and Television with an emphasis in directing from Columbia College Hollywood after completing "Eldad." Shortly after, "Eldad" received the Audience Choice Award from Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. Piran has continued to make noteworthy films after graduation such as A Conversation to Remember (2010) which screened in several festivals in the U.S., including Miami's Women's International Film and Arts Festival and the 4th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles, and received acclaim.
During filming Eldad (2009), Piran had an on-set interpreter to translate his direction to Spanish for Lupe Sevill who did not speak English at all.
He worked for Ridley Scott's Production company, RSA, while he was in film school.
He worked for Phoenix Pictures with the producers of Shutter Island (2010) while he was in film school.
Wrote, directed, and edited Freedom Fighter (2010) in just ten days.
In 2006, he was the president of Santa Monica College's Student Filmmakers Association.
His work is inspired by such filmmakers as Alejandro González Iñárritu, Shane Black, and David Fincher.
Frequently works with cinematographer Saman Yaghmai-Aledavoud.
Frequently works with actor Oliver Finn.
Speaks Farsi and English fluently. Most of his films are in two or more languages.
Has made movies in German (The Man Who Has Nothing (2008)), English, and Farsi (A Conversation to Remember (2010)).
Where Are They Now
(August 2011) Los Angeles, CA, USA: Attending the 4th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival with his film, "A Conversation to Remember."
(July 2011) Las Vegas, NV, USA: Attending the 4th Annual Las Vegas Film Festival for the premiere of his producing project, "$lowdown."
(June 2009) Philadelphia, PA, USA: Attending the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival for the premiere of his new film, "Eldad."
Miscellaneous Crew (1 title)
2009 That Morning Show (TV series) (production coordinator - 12 episodes)
– Episode dated 7 November 2009 (2009) (production coordinator)
– Episode dated 2 November 2009 (2009) (production coordinator)
– Episode dated 30 October 2009 (2009) (production coordinator)
– Episode dated 29 October 2009 (2009) (production coordinator)
– Episode dated 28 October 2009 (2009) (production coordinator)
See all 12 episodes »
Producer (6 titles)
2011 $lowdown (short) (producer)
2010 Freedom Fighter (short) (producer)
2010 A Conversation to Remember (short) (producer)
2009 Eldad (short) (executive producer)
2008 The Man Who Has Nothing (short) (executive producer, producer)
2007 The Red Dress (short) (executive producer, producer)
Director (5 titles)
2010 Freedom Fighter (short)
2010 A Conversation to Remember (short)
2009 Eldad (short)
2008 The Man Who Has Nothing (short)
2007 The Red Dress (short)
Writer (4 titles)
2010 Freedom Fighter (short) (screenplay / story)
2009 Eldad (short) (screenplay)
2008 The Man Who Has Nothing (short) (screenplay / story)
2007 The Red Dress (short) (story)
Editor (2 titles)
2010 Freedom Fighter (short)
2007 The Red Dress (short)