Skate World: 'The Persian Version'

Is there a better job than skateboarding around the world? Seriously, I’m asking because I don’t think there is. Patrik Wallner got to live the dream while filming The Persian Version (out yesterday), which follows an international crew as they journeyed from Iran to Turkey with the occasional detour because of little things like denied visas. But that didn’t stop them from meeting the first person to make a skateboard deck in Iran, a Mr. Mohammad Javad Rahimi, or pulling off some world-class skating. I fired off a few questions to Patrik to learn more about the film.

How’d this video get started?

Iranian history and current events have fascinated me for a little while. When I somehow got in touch with MJ, a local skater from Tehran who was able to write us some invitation letters to enter the Islamic Republic of Iran, I knew this would be the best way to finally explore this ancient territory.

What were the highlights of the trip?

Hashapuris, a cheese bread in Georgia.

What were the difficulties/obstacles to filming the video?

Iranian ex-secret police pulled me aside one day and demanded to see everything on my SD card. Felt pretty sketched out since we were filming a documentary on a tourist visa.

Is there anything strange or unusual that people should know about the video or your time filming it?

On the ride from Iran to Azerbaijan, the lady in the shared cab got an narcoleptic attack and the car in front of us hit a cow which ended up sliding down the road and getting back up on its feet. If you ever go to the Caucasus region, be prepared for anything.

Featuring: Laurence Keefe, Michael Mackrodt, Kenny Reed, Tobias Ulbrich, MJ Rahimi, Gosha Konyshev, Walker Ryan, Phil Swijsen, Denny Pham.

Directed, Filmed and Edited by Patrik Wallner

Music Coordination by Benoit Florencon

Production Assistance by Kirill Korobkov

Illustrations by Jesper Lindgren

Director’s Assistance by Derek Flood

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