Award Winning Filmmaker / Artist / Poet, 2016
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Digital Film & Television
My advice to students who aspire to become filmmakers is to be hard working and follow what they think is correct because in art you can never be wrong.
29 July 2016
Amin Maher: Young Film Maestro
Amin Maher, award winning filmmaker, artist and poet is leaving indelible marks on the Iranian and international film industry; the first movie he acted on ‘Ten’ saw eleven film festival nominations in Europe and the USA from 2002-2004 and it was screened in more than 60 international film festivals around the world.
It was nominated for Palme d’Or Cannes International Festival in France and ranked number 447 in Empire Magazine’s 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time. The movie also ranked number 47 in Empire Magazine’s ‘100 Best Films of World Cinema’ in 2010.
“I started to be involved in the movie industry at a very young age of 10. My mother, ‘Mania Akbari’ is a very famous Iranian Filmmaker; when she made movies I used to be behind the scenes to see how things are done.
In 2006, Amin Maher acted in Mania Akbari’s movie ‘10+4’ and from 2007-2008 it won at six film competitions in Spain, Turkey, France and India and nominated at two festivals. “10+4” was nominated for best film in more than 40 international film festivals around the world.
“When I grew older, I worked alongside her for more than 6 years as an assistant director for the movie ‘From Tehran to London’ and acted in five before joining Limkokwing University.”
“How I came to Malaysia was completely accidental, I lived in Dubai before but the environment was not my cup of tea. Then I came to Malaysia and looked for the best University that offered Arts and the best one was Limkokwing University.”
Amin joined Limkokwing University March of 2013 under the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Digital Film & Television programme. He mentioned that he actively pursued his filmmaking passion then because the University presented him with more room to grow and engage with students from around the world on projects.
“I continued to make my own films. One of them was ‘Sweet Gin and Cold Wine’ which won an award of recognition at Bangladesh’s Creative International Open Film Festival in 2016,” chimed Amin.
‘Sweet Gin and Wine’ has been nominated for the ‘Best Short Film’ at the 2014 Oldenburg International Film Festival in Germany and received the ‘Confirmation Certificate of Participation’ at the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival in Australia.
Also in 2015, he made an experimental short film called ‘Orange’ which screened at the Eko International Film Festival in Nigeria and Pangkor Island Festival, Malaysia.
The 24 year old Amin stated that his greatest achievement was working alongside Abbas Kiavostami who was an Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer.
“Abbas Kiarostami passed away on July 4, 2016; it was a very sad moment in the history of Iranian cinema because he was the one who introduced it to the world and international stage. Working with him is truly my greatest achievement to date,” said Amin.
Amin Maher, who graduated in July 2016, credited Limkokwing University for giving him the freedom to tap fully onto his creative potential during his studies.
“The environment at Limkokwing University was really great; I had the freedom to work in anything that I want which is really important. Lecturer’s do not force you to work they let you work on any concepts/ideas that you choose, this results in very creative and unmatched projects by students.”
“Globalisation at Limkokwing University is one other factor that contributes to its unique environment; I got to know cultures that I may not have known if I hadn’t joined the university.”
“My mentors in Limkokwing University are Mr. Raymond Krill and Dr. Qiao Li who guided me every step of the way.”
Despite all the success he continues to attain, Amin Maher acknowledged that facing challenges is inevitable.
“I faced a lot of challenges in the history of my career; I always want create artwork using my inner voice, but sometimes I fear thinking if what I’m doing is the right thing or not. Besides, the film industry is a very competitive field, but I worked hard and hard work pays off all the time.”
“I am currently working on the post production of my second feature film. In 10 years I want to be a well established filmmaker. My advice to students who aspire to become filmmakers is to be hard working and follow what they think is correct because in art you can never be wrong,” Amin Maher concluded.