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#56: Puzzleys

Directed by: Mehdi Ganji
2017 / 70 mins
Persian with English Subtitles

“Puzzley” is the name of a four-member group of IT students who, in spite of suitable job opportunities and the opposition expressed by their families, want to start up their own business. Other than their education and determination, all they have is an idea. They need backing, experience and business knowledge, so they leave their small town to go to the capital city of Tehran to realize their dreams. They take time off from university and cram into the baggage compartment of a bus for a 15-hour trip to Tehran where the real challenges begin.

“For my generation who lived through the Iran/Iraq war and the turbulent 1980s in Iran, our greatest wish was to become a doctor or an engineer. We were taught to leave others behind in the marathon of life and work hard in order to attain our common stereotypes of success. Our dream was to live the life of a wealthy doctor or engineer as a member of the nouveau riche. Nobody taught us how to live creatively or which path to take for life or career. We were the products of a conformist mentality and our only duty was to keep our bank accounts full in order to maintain our living standards. This may be why, as a filmmaker, I have always been attracted to people who choose a different path, who change something and create new values. In fact, I believe I am searching for the missing parts of my own character.

Young people who take risks and stray from traditional and safe paths are positive role models. These people face all the difficulties that starting up a new business entails. They believe that collaboration and teamwork are more effective than trying to advance single-handedly. Spending time filming the stories of these ordinary extraordinary people who will never appear on the covers of bestselling magazines has inspired me and changed my life.”