Hip hop artist turned actor, APoet NomadAli (plays Mohammad in 'I Am Neda' turned up for the shoot with a dislocated shoulder. He never complained once.
This is the first Directorial project for actress Nicole Kian Sadighi, who not only directed it but also wrote, produced and starred in the movie.
Within 6 months of the final cut, 'I Am Neda' has won 2 awards and been in 10 festivals.
The music was especially composed for 'I Am Neda' by an Italian composer, Rino Amato based in Rome, Italy. Because of the time difference Nicole and Rino would be working both in the early morning or late at night in their corresponding time zones sending music files and notes back to one another.
Composer of 'I Am Neda' Rino Amato spoke extremely little English and Director Nicole Kian Sadighi spoke zero Italian. But they found an understanding and a communication through the music.
Nicole Kian Sadighi spent the best of a year researching and re-writing many drafts of Neda's story to make 'I Am Neda'. In fact she was so careful not to put anything false about Neda that she even wanted the smallest of details to reflect who Neda really was. If you look carefully in the film there is one of Neda's favorite books in the movie, Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Nicole searched high and low to get a the Persian Cover version of the book to be identical to the one Neda had read.
Many people have thought that the film was shot in Iran. But in fact it was all shot in the San Fernando Valley, CA.
Two of the actors Nicole Kian Sadighi and Poet Ali could only speak first grade Persian, and so they had to learn the script with the help of a dialogue coach. They trained daily to learn much of the language for the first time.
In total 'I AM NEDA' won 6 awards and has been nominated 20 times at 14 different festivals. At the World Music and Independent Film Festival it was nominated 5 times which included Best Director [Nicole Kian Sadighi], Best Screenplay under 30 minute, Best Actress Short Film [Nicole Kian Sadighi], Best Supporting Actress Short Film [Mary Apick], and eventually won the 5th nomination for Best Short Film. 'I AM NEDA' was Nicole's directorial debut, which she not only wrote and starred in.