***Update: Instance screens at #VIWIFF2015 on March 5, at 6:30 PM. Purchase Tickets here.***
It’s the first time I’ve met Panta, yet when she bounds into the coffee shop we are meeting at, she greets me with a big warm hug like we’ve been friends for years. Hugs are also doled out to all the coffee shop staff.
Panta isn’t your average young actress, she’s bubbly and quippy yes, but she’s also very smart and determined. Panta also doesn’t listen to the word “NO”. As an actor you hear it a lot, so you develop a thick skin. Panta, however, takes all the no’s as a personal challenge. She is forging her own path by not listening to the no’s and creating her own films for herself to star in.
Panta was born in Iran, but her family moved to Canada when she was very young. Panta has wanted to be an actress for a long time, and even snuck theatre classes into her college workload so she could pursue acting without being caught by her parents. She spent a few years in Japan as a singer and radio host (under the faux name Kuween Latysha) before moving back to B.C. looking to kick-start a career as an actress.
“I wanted to get my name out there as an actress, and I feel like I have a story to tell, so what better way than getting people together and actually just doing it,” she says.
Actually, ‘just do it’ she did. Panta co-wrote, produced and starred in her first short film, Instance. As we speak, Panta excitedly chirps about all of the film festivals that have already accepted her film, and others who have called expressing interest. If that’s not a way to get your self out there I’m not sure what is.
Panta was interested in PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), as her sister Poroushad Mosleh is suffering from it, so she chose to centre Instance around a woman suffering from PTSD. She wrote a script, and started trying to put a crew together. More no’s came. People admired her balls for trying, but didn’t want to work with her as they didn’t know her. It wasn’t until DOP Daniel Carruthers read the script, loved it and jumped on board, that other crew came along. Bryan Skinner, Exec director of CineVic, the Society of Independent Filmmakers in Victoria, gave Panta great guidance and mentorship in following through with creating her film. Once people started jumping on board she decided it would be best to have a professional writer polish the script, another instance in which Panta did not listen to initial no’s.
Watch the trailer of Instance:
Instance follows Julie Hunter, a female police officer (played by Panta) who suffers from PTSD after a high school shooting incident. She is back at work and is put in a similar situation where she is forced to battle her demons and decide how to handle the situation this time. The piece strikes a very personal chord, although the events and characters are fictional. The press and feedback for Instance has been incredible so far, says Panta, who hopes the film will become a festival circuit darling.
Panta is thrilled to be a new member of Women In Film & Television Vancouver, and the new Vice President of CineVic. She feels that through her involvement in both organizations she can help encourage other women to be bold and change the industry towards more women in more positions.
We will definitely be seeing more of Panta in the future as she would like to continue to produce, and aspires to have her own studio someday. Acting will always come first though, and with her drive and determination we will all be seeing her face on the big screen for years to come.
By Maja Aro
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