Iran: Hot Tea, Cool Conversations—a revealing documentary that chronicles an American college student's eye-opening journey to Iran. A testament to Citizen Diplomacy, the film highlights unscripted, touching interviews with a number of individuals the filmmaker encounters from all walks of life during this once in a lifetime adventure. The human scale of the film cuts through the political rhetoric of the day unveiling a country full of warm and compassionate people who desire peace and friendship with America and the West.

Director's Statement:

When official diplomacy fails, Citizen Diplomacy is our only hope.

So long I had sat at the television, watching and listening to biased news coverage aimed at isolating Iran as part of the “Axis of Evil.” This portrayal of Iran was difficult for me to believe. The media's antagonism inspired me to set out on a journey that's scope was far greater than I could have ever imagined. That once-in-a-lifetime trip blossomed into Iran: Hot Tea, Cool Conversations.

Here at home, I interviewed many Americans who associated Iran with “War,” “Violence,” and the 1979 “Hostage Crisis.” But I felt there had to be more to the story. I had to see Iran for myself. Little did I know that my journey would be one, not of just travel, but self-discovery.

My journey began with a simple desire to travel off the beaten path and see Iran through my own eyes. The true impact made on me by the Iranian people came not as much during the shooting of the film in Iran , but back at home while putting it all together. Like a hermit on my computer, night, after night, I entered the timeless world of editing. It was not until then, with hours of video to be sorted, that I realized the full effect of this journey. I feel a responsibility to share an honest glimpse into this mystical place with my fellow Americans. This is more than a movie; it is a dedication to citizen diplomacy and citizen diplomats everywhere.

This documentary reflects a lyrical telling of my time in Iran as an American interwoven with my personal journey as a renegade filmmaker. Iran: Hot Tea, Cool Conversations challenges the conventional media portrayal of Iran , a nation steeped in a deep sense of culture and humanity. Beyond all the noise and propaganda designed to separate us from one another, citizen diplomacy brings out the global citizen in all of us.

—Brenden Hamilton

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