‘When L.R. Wept’ admitted into IMPACTE! film festival

Prestigious Catalonian film fes- tival screens UTD Ph.D. student Ahmad Khoshniat’s short film

Ahmad Khoshniat | Courtesy


The short animated film “When L.R. Wept” by Ahmad Khoshniat, a visual and performing arts Ph.D. student, was accepted into the IMPACTE! Film Festival in Catalonia, Spain. IMPACTE! is a film festival focused on human rights issues, receiving over 750 submissions annually, of which 30 are selected and only three receive awards. Khoshniat shared his filming process and artistic vision with The Mercury, hoping his film will challenge viewers’ perception of war. 

Although getting accepted into a film festival is a small indie producer’s dream, Khoshniat said this isn’t the first time his films have been accepted into film festivals. He started making films as an independent artist in 2016 and his very first, a stop-motion called “Unjust Matches,” was accepted into a film festival in Spain. Khoshniat’s previous wins have not dulled the thrill of making it into festivals, however, and he felt the same joy and accomplishment with “When L.R. Wept”’s acceptance. 

 “When you’re a student and when your artwork is selected in a festival, it will be very great,” Khoshniat said. “I really got motivated to work more as an independent artist.” 

“When L.R. Wept” tells the story of the fallen angel Lucifer carelessly annihilating everything in his path, only for him to come to his senses at the end and realize how he has ruined the world. Lucifer is the agent of war — the origin of cruelty depicted in the film. Khoshniat said he was inspired to make this film after seeing footage and photographs depicting war and its effects on children. 

“I made a decision to show the main agents of war, the wars of the world, and that’s why I started thinking about the fall of angels,” Khoshniat said. “From that moment, I started thinking about the creation of oppression.” 

Khoshniat said it took him anywhere from four to four and a half months to complete the film, where he is credited as the writer, producer and director. The project was completed in July 2022, a month prior to when Khoshniat received his admission to UTD. Working by himself poses the challenge of handling every aspect of the creation process, but Khoshniat said he doesn’t mind it, as he’s gotten better at managing the responsibilities. 

“You have control over everything,” Khoshniat said. “But at the end, I think that’s the amount of satisfaction that you achieve as a result of doing this artwork and doing all of these activities.” 

Sourcing his animation films is an important aspect for Khoshniat’s filmmaking process. Sourcing includes taking videos of how the body moves to add to his drawings in the animation software he uses. Khoshniat said other filmmakers find inspiration from sources like YouTube videos, but cautions fellow filmmakers not to dwell on pre-production and to just create. 

“I think that when you have an idea, you should start working on that as soon as possible,” Khoshniat said. “During the process of making, you will have new ideas so you can add them to your project, but it’s important that you start working.” 

Short films are Khoshniat’s specialty despite the medium’s challenges. Khoshniat said short films force him to prioritize the content he includes. Making animated short films has allowed him to express himself in different ways and create his own artistic signature. 

“I like these challenging parts of short films,” Khoshniat said. “When you have to tell your audiences the main message during a short period of time, I always enjoy experiencing this process.” 

Khoshniat said “When L.R. Wept” is an experimental film that goes against mainstream films criteria. Focusing on the process of editing the film, Khoshniat made continuous cuts between scenes and changed the color mood of the shots between these cuts to relate to the film’s subject of war. 

“When the audience is watching the film, it seems as if those continuous cuts are annoying [or] odd,” Khoshniat said. “They are. Those cuts are annoying their eyes since that’s like shooting a gun.” 

He reassured viewers that there is no such thing as a wrong answer when interpreting his film. 

“There are some key elements that motivate audiences to mull over, to speculate about something,” Khoshniat said. “They will have questions as a result of watching those things that are happening in the screen in front of them.” 

The trailer for the short film depicts a red splat falling from the sky and sprouting a black figure. The black figure lets out a grave scream up to the sky before the screen goes dark and the credits roll.  

“Finally, at the end, Lucifer himself is shocked as a result of watching all of these destructions that have happened,” Khoshniat said. “He gets shot and starts dying.” 

The synopsis for his short film is vague and doesn’t give away too much. Khoshniat hopes that “When L.R. Wept” elicits questions from the audience about war and its effects, specifically on children, in the hopes of motivating audiences to create change. 

“They stimulate you to start thinking about something important in your life,” Khoshniat said. “You will be motivated to think maybe you [can] achieve something [or] maybe you will be interested in doing something.” 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *