Our Summer Manifesto


Life itself was Abbas Kiarostami’s greatest inspiration,
so this summer we let ourselves be guided by his words.

His films emerged from the simplest of things, from the smallest of moments. Abbas Kiarostami knew how to find the fascinating in the banalities of life. He didn’t make up extraordinary stories and extraordinary worlds in his movies, but he looked for ordinary lives in exceptional moments. He wanted people to believe in his movies. He liked making movies that showed by not showing, that left questions unanswered, that did not explain, that worked up the viewer’s imagination, and was against the kind of cinema that didn’t ask the audience to think. Rules weren’t an obstacle for him, but rather a way to forever stimulate his imagination. In the simplicity of the people in his native Iran, he found a poetic understanding of life that much compensated for the lack of their technical development.

He was a firm believer that films bind us together in incredible ways, and, even more importantly, that cinema moves us beyond reality, bringing us closer to our dreams. In his filmmaking, he was driven by the philosophy that “you have to have the courage to experiment and take risks without being intimidated by the fact that only six people might see the result”. This is a director whose films I want to watch.

Life itself was Abbas Kiarostami’s greatest inspiration and he and his life lessons have become the inspiration for our summer manifesto.

Cherish the incidental. Embrace the accidental.

The most wondrous period in the life of a human being is childhood, when encountering even the most minuscule things becomes a process of radical exploration. It’s a pity we leave those times behind so quickly.

Don’t waste a single second. Be yourself now.

Do all you can to enjoy life.

Small projects keep us agile for bigger ones.

Do your work with no expectations beyond personal satisfaction.

Education might be the key to society’s problems, but it can also suffocate, erase personality, and crush the imagination. Knowledge for its own sake isn’t useful. It has to be personalised. Collective thinking troubles me.

Do nothing on anyone else’s terms.

Laziness is a sin.

Can anyone other than you determine the true value of your work?

Self-confidence is vital. But self-importance is unappealing, the most unpleasant of traits. Humility pays dividends.

The more forms of connectivity there are, the more I take shelter from such things.

There is no one in the world who doesn’t have a story to tell.



This summer we’re channelling: Juliette Binoche in Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy”

One day that summer: Pienza, Tuscany

This summer we’re channelling: Sigourney Weaver in “The Year of Living Dangerously”

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