The End of the First Year

The End of the First Year

Finally, the time has come and we finished the first year! I cannot believe that it’s been 10 months since I moved to the U.S. and started the program. The most intense 10 months of my life has finally ended. But, that doesn’t mean that I am done. That means I’m just starting!

These 10 months taught me so much not just about filmmaking but also about my life. When I decided to apply to get an MFA degree, the application process made me ask so many questions about myself. But also the education itself is so informative about the life itself. Because, we, as filmmakers are constantly trying to find stories. The stories are coming from us and most of the time they mean a lot. In my first year, I was able to learn so much. The point of being in a film school is to discover and explore. It doesn’t mean that we are going to have the best films that we will make in our lives in the school. The learning process is really difficult but also so much fun.

We screened both of our projects to the faculty members at the end of the semester. I was afraid about the screening but it went really well. We got some useful feedback and some of us want to continue on the films that they shot and they might be using the feedback. After the screenings, we sat with our professor, David Tarleton and discussed how the screenings went. Also, we started talking about our thesis ideas!

The summer is almost here. Although the weather in Chicago doesn’t show much of the summer, but I believe it will soon. We have already started talking about our thesis ideas and developing them. In fact, we pitched some ideas to the faculty members that are potentially our thesis advisors. I am still indecisive about my thesis and I’m developing a couple ideas with my producer Urwa Zubair who is also an international student like me, she is a Creative Producing student. One of the most fun experiences at Columbia is being able to talk about your ideas with your collaborators and develop them. From the beginning of the year, I have had great experiences with Urwa, on set and outside of set. I am so happy that I have already found my producer and she agreed producing the thesis for me. We are still developing a couple ideas and we might be doing a co-thesis (which means the film that we will be shooting will be mine and also Urwa’s thesis).

Besides filmmaking, Columbia College Chicago’s Urban Art Festival, Manifest happened! It was a festival on the street and all around the campus. It was a great experience because so many students shared their creative works and there was music and games! I enjoyed seeing different creative works from different students. Also, my brother visited me again and I wanted to show the campus to him on the Manifest day! I also had to work for some time of the day. So, my friends and my brother were able to see more than me. He even went to some other buildings that I’ve never been to see some shows.

Manifest banner.


Concert by senior music students at Manifest.


Concert in 1104 S. Wabash Ave. building.

There is more to come in summer and I’m hoping to develop an idea for my thesis. Let’s see how much work I can get done!