Parisa Barani & Jennifer Blackmer
Los Angeles, California and Vancouver, Canada
Narrative Film, Artistic Activism
Human Terrain is a unique story that explores the War on Terror through a distinctively female lens. During the Iraq War, Mabry Hoffman leaves a life in academia to work in Fallujah for the Human Terrain System. The program employed civilians from the social science disciplines to provide military commanders and staff with a greater understanding of local culture. Hoffman befriends a Muslim-Iraqi woman, but has to choose between friendship and loyalty to her country. The film explores the violent collisions between East and West—the academic world and the military; the oppression of women and feminist liberation; what is seen, and what remains hidden from view. Based on a play by Jennifer Blackmer that was rejected by regional theatres for being “too controversial,” Parisa Barani is developing the work as a feature length film with international theatrical release.
Parisa Barani is an award-winning Iranian American Canadian film director. Barani is currently attached to direct the upcoming features Haram and is in development for her feature based on Jennifer Blackmer’s play Human Terrain. Her proof-of-concept short for Human Terrain stars Maggie Siff and Sarita Choudhury, distribution by Refinery29/Shatterbox. It debuted at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival and was in competition at Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival. Barani is a participant of the 2019/2021 Universal Directors Initiative and a recipient of the Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Grant and a grant from Neda Nobari Foundation. She has been semi-finalist for Sundance Screenwriters Lab, Sony Pictures’ Television Diversity Program and NBC Female Forward/Emerging Director program. Barani has curated and spoken on panels at SXSW and San Francisco State University and teaches at the Youth Cinema Project’s Latino Film Institute. She is a graduate of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women and SITI’s Theatre Intensive Training at Skidmore College, where she was mentored by the legendary Anne Bogart.