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LOCATION International Fixers by Harry Amies S ay Iran. Do most people think of CGI outsourcing, VFX and a multi-million dollar movie industry? If Harry Amies and Amir Rezazadeh of UK based co-producers HarryAmir have anything to do with it they probably would. HarryAmir is a UK-based company, that helps international productions, co-productions and post companies to work in Iran. Run by Brit Harry Amies and Iranian Amir Rezazadeh they act as a bridge and introductions service to create partnerships between independent companies in Iran and the western world. They help their clients overcome political nerves, meet the right people, secure deals and build trust on both sides. An excerpt from a normal commissioning meeting for us goes like this: “OK let’s do it” says the commissioner, “Great!” - I say, trying not to audibly whoop...“So – what’s next?” “First of all we need to know everything about you, your full detailed histories, where you were born, how you met, who you’ve worked for, how you got here, as much detail as you can, this’ll have to be cleared at the top... and I’ll need to make sure neither of you are spies...”, the commissioner pauses “...actually I’ve no idea how I’ll do that.”. Even when working in TV, the medium of the devil, if the commissioner suspects you’re working directly with Beelzebub himself, expect a careful risk assessment. Being suspected as agents from the dark side is, quite understandably, the impression we seem to give when we fi rst speak to companies in the UK. The perception, and the suspicion of Iran so total, that when you suggest the idea of fi lming there - with it’s world famous Oscar winning writers, directors and crews - people tend to look at you like your are actually insane. But after the election in Iran last year of President Rouhani – an Iranian premier who has been working hand over fi st to present a completely different face of Iran to the world. My partner/ 58 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 88 APRIL 2014 co-producer Amir, a London-based Iranian, and I, decided that if that was the policy – and from our experience within the country, it is defi nitely the hope of the people we work with – that we were in a great position to support that. So, at the beginning of 2014 – we decided to take the bull by the horns, stick our neck out – and start a company HarryAmir (harryamir. com) to help support Iranian and international fi lm and media companies who wanted to collaborate and co-produce. But you may wonder, why – and how does someone from Britain end up working in Iran? Although Amir lives principally in London now, we met at the Fajr Film Festival in Tehran – Iran’s main annual fi lm festival. However I fi rst went to Iran – believe it or not – on a holiday with my partner, back in Christmas 2011.