|Mehdi Ghafourifar, Executive Producer|
Mehdi Ghafourifar has established a track record developing innovative business and social projects. He is a venture-ist with 25+ years of dynamic business experience, in both for profit and non-profit sectors. His life’s work has been dedicated to using business, technology, and media to bring about positive social change.
Mehdi is the Executive Producer of the feature documentary, Iran: Hot Tea, Cool Conversations. As an opportunity to promote citizen diplomacy, he partnered with American filmmaker, Brenden Hamilton, to produce this film chronicling Hamilton’s eye-opening journey to Iran, an isolated nation often misunderstood by the West.
Prior to his migration to the United States, Mehdi lived in Iran with his father during the first half of the Islamic revolution under martial law decreed by the Shah. During the 444-day Hostage Crisis in Iran, the broken diplomatic and financial ties between the two nations put an end to his father’s support from Iran.
A few years later, with a single client, Mehdi founded his first Silicon Valley start-up. On less than a shoestring budget, quickly he developed his company into the most innovative and successful entity of its type—eventually becoming the number one business organization in Silicon Valley.
Over the years, Mehdi has successfully raised millions of dollars in equity capital, built critical partnerships and alliances, and participated in sales, mergers and acquisitions of various ventures. His client portfolio has included thousands of companies and executives in 350 business categories including media, technology, health, non-profit, energy, travel, entertainment, real estate, retail, manufacturing, education, and business & professional services.
|Brenden Hamilton, Director|
A San Francisco native, Brenden Hamilton was a storyteller from the moment he could speak. Inheriting the gift of gab from his mom and dad, Brenden could always spin a yarn, but it was not until his high school Video Production class, that he truly found his voice—cinema.
A true DV rebel, he spent countless nights, from sundown to sunrise, locked in the video class room, editing video on tape-to-tape. Brenden made a series of student shorts including Braveliver, Green Peace, Searching, and The Journey, to name a few.
Brenden left home to attend California State University, Long Beach, to pursue his filmmaking dreams. Teaming up with long-time friend and fellow filmmaker Ryan O'Halloran, the two established Stakeout Productions and made their first feature documentary, Bound. This enlightening film underscores the real life struggle of college basketball star Robert Johnson on his quest to the NBA, all the while bound for the professional leagues in Europe.
After Bound, Brenden received his Bachelor’s degree in Film from New College of California. His most recent film, Iran: Hot Tea, Cool Conversations, champions the concept of citizen diplomacy and global citizenship. Produced in collaboration with Silicon Valley veteran, Mehdi Ghafourifar, this revealing documentary chronicles Brenden's personal journey to Iran, presenting an unfiltered look at the life and culture in an amazing country isolated by the West.