photographer: Saeid Khalafbeigi
Visual Communication Artist. Film Director and Animator based in Qazvin, Iran
Sam Chegini was born in an artistic family in Tehran/Iran in 1992, Sam developed a strong passion for Fine Arts from an early age. Growing up alongside his mother's easel, with the smell of painting colors and thinner, the beautiful messiness of charcoal and the matchwood of drawing pencils, he surely got his first inspirations from her as a painter. His first decade of life, spending in art circles and in caress of music and images, was full of amusement and delight. It was there that his passion for moving images and filmmaking provoked. But things started to change afterwards. Being taken away from that artistic atmosphere with all the connections he had and all the scholastic opportunities of the capital and obliged to relocate to the city of Qazvin due to his father's job, he found his dreams for future suddenly distorted. He followed his middle and high school studies in the only Arts School in Qazvin. Pursuing his strong passion in filmmaking, he grasped every opportunity to learn and experience. His mutual love for music and images made music videos one of the areas of his most interest. Hardships of pursuing art and music in Iran and his quest for the up-to-date knowledge led him to reach out to the world beyond the borders of his country, communicating with artists from other nationalities and taking part in several international contests.
In 2006, he decided to found his own home studio under the label of Sam Pictures Productions and started working as a freelance graphic designer, film maker and editor. In 2009, he connected to the Dutch singer/songwriter Linde Nijland through internet after her trip to Iran. Though they never found a chance to meet in person, their contact, which also became a friendship, led to the making of his first official animated music video for one of Linde's songs "Traveller" which tells the story of a traveller who is asking herself symbolic questions about the meaning of life along the way. Traveller has been screened in various international film festivals around the globe and succeeded to win the Royal Reel Award from Canada International Film Festival in 2013. It also won first place in music video category in the My Hero international film festival, second place in Experimental/Music Video category in the 6th Annual Boomtown film and music festival and first place in PBS Reel 13. In early 2014, Sam collaborated as a puppeteer with "The City of Mice 2" project, the sequel to a very nostalgic puppetry feature film directed by legendary Iranian director, Marziyeh Boroumand.
In 2015 Sam was a member of the “Pre-screening Committee” at the “Sprockets International Music Video Festival”, the longest running film festival exclusively for music videos in the world.
Sam’s latest video is made for renowned British comedian/actor/singer Sir Lenny Henry which was produced by legendary producer, Chris Porter.
In 2016-2017 Sam joined the play “MANUS” as Video Artist, Mapping Artist and International Affairs for their international performances in Bangladesh (Chittagong and Dhaka), India (Kerala International Theatre Festival) and Fajr International Theatre festival (Tehran). In 2017, Sam held the 9th Wordless International Short Film Festival as Artistic Director. Same time screening in Qazvin, Iran with Sydney, Australia with 20 shorts from 19 countries.
In 2018 Sam created his own online interview series titled “SamChats”. The first interview featured Internationally acclaimed Guitarist (guitarist for likes of Robbie Williams, Tina Turner, Chris de Burgh) and solo artist, Neil Taylor.
Later in 2018 Sam became a member of the Intercultural Leaders at United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). Sam has attended Cinema and Filmmaking courses with Oliver Stone, Jörn Donner, Roberto Perpignani, Thomas Mauch, Karen Shakhnazarov, Majid Majidi, Mehrdad Oskouei, etc
Awards and Achievements
Young Iranian Filmmaker of the Year – Ali Akbar National Youth Festival
Winner – TASSVIR National Film Festival – Jury Special Prize for Sir Lenny Henry’s The Cops Don’t Know Music Video
Winner – FERA-LUCERO Award United Nations Plural+ International Youth Film Festival for Sir Lenny Henry’s The Cops Don’t Know Music Video
Winner – Monthly Film Festival – Best Music Video of the Month for Sir Lenny Henry’s The Cops Don’t Know Music Video
Winner – ShortPole International Film Festival – Best Music Video for Sir Lenny Henry’s The Cops Don’t Know Music Video
Young Iranian Visual Artist of the Year – Ali Akbar National Youth Festival
Winner 1st place – PBS REEL13 for Traveller Music Video - NYC
Winner 1st place – MY HERO International Film Festival for Traveller - USA
Winner of the Royal Reel Award from Canada International Film Festival for Traveller
2nd place in Experimental/Music Video category from BoomTown Film & Music Festival for Traveller
Official Selection in various film festivals for Traveller
No. 1 Frisian Charts for the Most Popular Music Video of the week- Klipkar+ TV Programme for Traveller
Collaborating with the international cartoonist, Kambiz Derambakhsh in his exhibition, 'Laughter Olympics'
Certificated for holding one of the best workshops in the 'Iranian Youth Cinema Society - Qazvin Branch' for 'A Filmmaker's experiences of making a music video' workshop
Winner of the first SIB national Festival in both poster and cartoon sections
Winner of the Alamoot National Film/Poster Festival for 'Maybe Sky...' as the third place in Poster section
Certificated for participating with 'WFP' United Nations World Food Program'
Winner of the first 'Persbook Art' competition for best video art 'The Lyre of Mesopotamia'
Official Selection in 'National Iranian Youth Visual Arts Festival' in 3 cartoon, poster and film sections
Winner of the best cartoon in the first 'Iranian Art Center Productions festival'
Certificated for participating with 'International Art and Architecture Research Association' and 'United Nations Human Settlements Program'
Mentioned with Special thanks in 'A Musical Journey' album by Linde Nijland and Bert Ridderbos - Netherlands