Ariana Delawari (Director, Producer) -
Ariana Delawari is a multimedia artist and activist. She is a filmmaker, musician, actor and writer. Delawari graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts. A few months after graduation, she found herself on a plane to Afghanistan for the first time and began a 10-year documentation of her father’s post 9/11 homeland. We Came Home is her award winning feature length directorial debut. The film is the culmination of this documentation, her family story, and the making of her album Lion of Panjshir. The film won Best International Documentary Feature Film at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature Film at the Mexico International Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature Film at Jaipur International film Festival, and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film at the Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival. Lion of Panjshir was recorded in both Kabul and Los Angeles, and was partially produced and mixed by filmmaker David Lynch. Lynch released the album on his record label. Delawari recently released a double album called Entelechy. Entelechy, meaning fulfilling one’s potential in Greek, is Delawari’s second full length album. It is a double album. Entelechy I was produced, co-written, and engineered by Butchy Fuego (a.k.a. Electronic artist San Gabriel) and Entelechy II is the same collection of tracks presented as acoustic and un-produced featuring Salar Nader – a fellow Afghan-American and a famed virtuoso of the tabla. Ariana also wrote and directed a short film of the same name, Entelechy, which is a continuation from the double album. The short film is an experimental docu-musical about global warming. The award winning short film Entelechy is a surreal docu-musical about global warming and dreams.
Delawari has won awards for her photography of Afghanistan in both the International Photography Awards and the Korean Times New York. Some of Delawari’s writing and lyrics were recently published in One Story Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature, which won the silver medal in the Independent Publishing Awards for Best Anthology of 2012. She has also been published in “Our Shared Stories : An Afghan Diary”.
Delawari was a speaker at the inaugural TEDx Kabul in October 2012. As one of the first women of Afghan descent to perform live in Afghanistan in over 30 years, Ariana became a peace activist in Afghanistan, and initiated “Inspire Peace”: an art / activism campaign with the intention of inspiring Afghan youth.
Delawari recently co-wrote and performed a song on Jill Soloway’s tv show I Love Dick.
Yasmine Delawari Johnson (Producer) -
Born in Los Angeles, Yasmine is Ariana Delawari’s sister and has lived through the story of We Came Home. She and her husband Matt Johnson are active philanthropists and political activists, and parents to four children ranging from pre-K to college. Yasmine is a Co-Founder and Co-President of Alliance of Moms, a nonprofit that works to break the intergenerational cycle of babies born to teens in foster care. She sits on the boards of The Alliance for Children’s Rights and Youth Policy Institute. Yasmine was named a Game-Changer in Los Angeles Magazine’s “LA Woman” feature and holds a degree in Political Science from UCLA. Yasmine mentors several young adults in both the United States and Afghanistan.
Emily Lynch (Producer) -
Emily’s involvement with this project began with her passion for Ariana Delawari’s music. As she learned more about Ariana’s family and her plans to record an album in Afghanistan, she immersed herself in the Delawari’s family history, traveling twice to Afghanistan. On both trips, she came armed with a camera and filmed everything from the country’s incredible landscapes to interviews with the film’s subjects.
Emily is a Co-Founder of Alliance of Moms, a nonprofit that works to break the intergenerational cycle of babies born to teens in foster care. She also works closely with the David Lynch Foundation. Emily spent five years working for her friend, Christian Louboutin, in his Los Angeles PR office. She is most proud of her work overseeing his charitable relationships. In 2010, Emily connected Christian Louboutin to the Grameen Foundation, an organization that helps the world’s poorest by providing access to financial services, and information on agriculture and health.
Emily and her husband, filmmaker David Lynch, have a daughter Lula.
Farah X (Editor) -Editor. World Traveler. Dog Lover.Farah’s passion for editing first began when she was 9 years old and would film her friends and family using her dad’s VHS camera. She would edit that footage together, tape to tape, using two VCRs.One summer, at the age of 19, Farah learned how to edit on an Avid, before even entering film school. While she attended USC’s Film Production Program, she honed her craft by editing as many student films as she could get her hands on. During her years at USC, she was hired to edit a project for famed director Clive Barker.Farah graduated USC’s Film Program with honors in 2000 and soon after, she found herself being flown out to NY to work with Mariah Carey — a relationship that is ongoing to this very day.Besides being Mariah’s personal editor, she has worked closely with other top industry icons such as Prince, Jennifer Lopez, and many others.Farah has edited all over the world and enjoys traveling for work. Traveling has led her to cut in some unique locations — including dressing rooms, on planes and private jets, in bookstores, in trailers, — you name it, she’s probably edited there.When Farah is not editing, she can often be found traveling, working on her first novel or hanging with her dog Ziggy. She also likes to give back to the community by volunteering for various animal rescue organizations.Farah X edits on Premiere Pro and Avid. She is currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Max Goldblatt (Editor) -
Max Goldblatt is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker. Some stuff he’s edited: the Slamdance-award winning feature film HUNKY DORY, for director Michael Curtis Johnson… the forthcoming feature IN A RELATIONSHIP, starring Emma Roberts… the music video for MGMT’s “When You Die,” which features visual effects created by an artificial intelligence algorithm named Glooby… and a whole bunch of videos for “Nat & Friends,” a YouTube channel that goes behind the scenes at Google to demystify the technology in our everyday lives. He’s also cut stuff for music-folk Dirty Projectors, Spoon, Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson, and actors-turned-directors Brie Larson, Sarah Ramos, Georgia King, and Michael Angarano. One of Max’s proudest moments was when a Miniature Tigers music video that he directed ended up in the Lowbrow/Brilliant quadrant of New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix.
Rachel Fleischer (Associate Producer) -
Rachel is a Los Angeles based filmmaker, screenwriter and actress. Fleischer earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Film at the USC School of Cinema. Shortly after graduating, she bought a camera and began documenting the lives of the homeless in her native city. Her four year emotional and extraordinary journey, became the award winning film, Without A Home, her first feature. Fleischer is also a singer/songwriter, poet, and photographer. Rachel went to USC’s School of Film/Television with Ariana and Farah. Ariana and Rachel were together on 9/11, watching the day’s horrific events unfold. They have supported each other as they’ve documented the voiceless, whether with Los Angeles’ homeless or Afghanistan’s refugees. They are thrilled to combine their gathered experience while working on this film. You can see more of Rachel’s work here.
Sara Vessal (Associate Producer) -
Sara met Ariana Delawari, Yasmine Delawari Johnson, Emily Lynch and Rachel Fleischer at the very first “Lion of Panjshir” show. As an Iranian American, Sara felt a mystic connection to Ariana’s work. Upon hearing that post-production had begun on We Came Home, Sara expressed an interest to help. She came on as a Production Assistant, but was asked to be an Associate Producer due to her great ability to navigate the essential world of licensing, necessary for the nature of the film’s story.
Ai Matsumiya (Production Assistant) -
Ai is a Japanese homemaker who has participated in various extracurricular activities such as the 56th Japan and American Student Conference (JASC) while a student at Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe, Japan, and Peace Boat’s 51st Voyage around the world. She met Ariana through her musician husband and immediately became fascinated by the project. She currently works for a Japanese-Christian ministry and supports her family band, ESP.