‘In the Name of the Nameless’ was selected to be a part of the Short Film Corner at Festival De Cannes in 2016. The prestigious Short Film Corner is the essential rendez-vous for filmmakers, and since 2004, short film producers and directors have chosen the Short Film Corner as the place to present their films, make meetings a reality and take decisive steps for their future careers. ‘In the Name of the Nameless’ was produced Kristina Rich and Armen Shahrigian, and executive produced by Amir Niknam and Suzanne DeLaurentiis. Written by Mark Bacci and directed by Dale Fabrigar, the short is currently being developed into a full length feature film, which is important, because the message of this film is undeniably powerful and warrants a longer narrative.
It’s obvious from the first shots of the film that Amir Niknam has a definite agenda, but it’s played out expertly and never does the audience feel like they are being force fed a vegetarian diet. This is not an easy thing to do, especially when the subject is animal rights. It’s an issue that people are passionate about; one that riles emotions up and draws a clear line in the sand. I’ve rarely seen this particular issue discussed without it turning into a full blown argument, but the way that Amir presents the material doesn’t leave the audience with these kinds of feelings. Rather, it leaves them thinking.
Born in 1960, Amir Niknam grew up in Abadan in the Persian Gulf, where he lived with his family until they moved to Tehran in 1970. Amir’s parents immigrated after the fall of the Shah. In August of 1975, he moved to America to attend high school in New York City, where he lived for two years before moving to California to further his education and career. Amir earned his business degree in finance. He has worked in sales for nearly three decades, has always been passionate about protecting animal rights, and has begun working on developing and producing his own original content in film and television.
And what he’s producing thus far is work of the highest caliber. In a cinematic world where we are surrounded by CGI and unrealistic superheroes, it’s refreshing to see somebody working on a subject that truly comes from the heart, which ‘In the Name of the Nameless’ clearly does. This is a movie that needs to be seen so there aren’t going to be any spoilers here, but there are some points I would like to touch upon.
First and foremost, this isn’t a film about saving the penguins or saving the dolphins; it takes on a much larger task than that. It’s about stopping cruelty to all animals, and, impressively, this objective was accomplished in under twenty minutes. It’s clear that Mr. Niknam has a big heart and perhaps an even bigger understanding of the global impact that killing any animal eventually has on us. Or maybe he’s just holding the mirror up so that we can see the ugly side of humanity; something we don’t always want to see, but which, inevitably, is always there.
And he does so very subtly. In his film, man is killing animals, and then somebody, some vigilante, is speaking up for the animals who can’t speak for themselves. Is the vigilante going too far, or in the grand scheme of things, is he barely even tipping the scale in the right direction? These are questions that you are going to have to answer for yourself, because, like any good piece of cinema, it leaves you reflecting.
Also, like any good motion picture, the characters are brought to life by a talented cast of actors, without whom this would be just another great story; they are the ones that give it life and translate the story to the screen. In particular, Everette Wallin and Arvid Edward stand out as the ‘clean- up crew,’ assisted by their newly converted vegan investigator Katie, played by Caitlyn Fletcher. Additional cast includes: David Cooley, Kevin Brewerton, Matthew Payne, Eric Martin, Marc Mazur, Taylor Vale, Maria Hanson, Philip D'Amore, Kathryn Castellaw, Lexie Rich and Atticus Baccaus.
This isn’t just a movie you watch and forget about; it’s something you watch and discuss with others because it sticks in your head. And it sticks in your head because it’s effective -Chris Hlad...