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Sherryvallies : On Going Home : Behind The Scenes

Sher´ry`val`lies

n. pl. 1. Trousers or overalls of thick cloth or leather, buttoned on the outside of each leg, and generally worn to protect other trousers when riding on horseback.

Sherryvallies is a film about a journey. 
From Belfast, in Northern Ireland, to Mashhad, in Iran. 
But the journey is not only geographical. 


This interview was held in LOFT, where Nathan, Fabian and myself took a few hours to have a catch up and talk a little more about where they were with the Sherryvallies project. The conversation gives a little back story on the project, how the concept changed and the silver lining in failures that led to success. We talked lifestyle, the lead up and narrative and the guys spoke on a few stories that didn’t make it on film. If you will, read on for a little behind the scenes of “On Going Home”, the inaugural Sherryvallies film.


DB: So, excited to bring the trailer to the people, featured at the end of the post. Let’s get in to it and just talk a little about where you’re at with the project now and how you got to this point?

NR: How we got to this point? Well, we just got back and it’s been a project that’s ran for just over a year, just under a year? Probably about bang on a year.

FB: The concept came up around 12 months ago, now we’ve gotten to the point where we’ve completed…part of it. (Laughing)

NR: So a little bit of a background, me and Fabian have been friends since we were about 4 years old. Best friends throughout primary school then didn’t see each other for 12 years and, about a year ago, met up in Belfast. Fabian was away in Manchester studying art. I was away travelling Europe with tour management stuff. 

We realised that both of us had very very similar lives and had, kind of, indeed up with this real passion for motorcycles and creativity, art and music, all in different ways. So we came up with this idea together over a ridiculous amount of pints.

FB: And wine, just alcohol in general. A ridiculous amount of alcohol.

NR: Yeah, a lot of alcohol. And then, we actually followed through with it. (Laughing) 

FB: So, right now, we are at a point of cutting and editing whatever we’ve just went and done.

DB: Okay, cool, so I feel it would be good for people to hear about some successes in the past 12 months and perhaps, the failures while we’re at it. As a prelude to this conversation we’ve established that there’s potentially more failures than successes (Laughing) but just how you dealt with those struggles?

NR: I’m interested in hearing this as well. (Laughing) What successes did we have?

FB: I think if we talk about the failures first, the successes might seem like they were actually successes? I don’t know, from the conception of the project, trying to get it off the ground and whether we thought it could work or not, whether it was just going to be, like many things, just a drunken conversation. When we first started out, we were just shocked in ourselves about the interest in it, initially, about these two guys who wanted to go to Iran, with Iran, at the time being such a negatively publicised area of the world.

We were amazed that people were interested and getting really interested about Iran. So when we first started out, just getting people on board, thanks to Nathan and his brilliant networking skills. Photographers who were well established and willing to give their free time. The initial collaboration with Titanic City Cycles, who were happy enough to sort of encourage us with this idea.

NR: That’s very true. There was a ridiculous amount of support from everybody to make the project happen.

DB: How did you guys put it out there? Was it a matter of quietly having a conversation with someone who said “Yeah, that’s a great idea!” or was it a matter of just making the website straight off?

NR: No, it was literally, we, between us, deciding, we’re going to go to Iran and we’re going to incorporate motorbikes into it and then, as you do, having a chat with friends saying, Fabian and I are going to Iran and we’re going to make a film to which everyone was just like, what? (Laughing) 

I was sitting down in Established one day, this is how we got the director on board. I was down in Established one day and had the map out and was working out some form of a route, one way to get there and he walked past. “What are you working on? Looks really interesting…” He said. I responded as I had been for a while that Fabian and I were going to Iran and we’re going to make a documentary about it (Laughing) “Have you ever worked on a film like this or?” I was just like, nope. (Laughing)

DB: And that’s Phil then?

NR: Phil Harrison, yeah. I had no idea who Phil was. He was just a guy who was in Established all the time and so I started telling him about this project and he was just losing his mind thinking this was the most hilarious, but brilliant thing all at once. I started asking him about his projects and he started touching on a little bit of film so I thought who is this guy? I went up to Mark Ashbridge…

DB: Who owns Established?

NR: Yeah, he owns Established and said, “Who is cortado Phil?” and he said he’s a really famous film director from here, he’s made feature length films that have won all these awards. His short films have won all these awards as well…

I was just like, brilliant! (Laughing) Went straight back down to him (more laughing) and said, Phil, let’s have a meeting. We were actually working with another guy who was going to film it. 

FB: Because we realised you couldn’t hold a camera and ride motorbikes at the same time so we were going to need an extra person. (Laughing)

NR: Exactly, It all just changed and manifested into it’s own thing, but Phil ended up coming on board for the whole project and that just lifted everything. That was when the real film element came behind the story.

DB: So that was very much a success then, establishing the roots of it?

NR: Big time, yeah.

DB: How did that play out chronologically, I suppose, if that helps. Because, obviously what we’re going to see, sounds like it’s quite different now. Candidly, what made all those elements change?

NR: Reality. (Laughing)

FB: Yeah, reality

NR: Being sober. (Laughing) Realising that we didn’t have any money.

FB: I was always,  O for optimism or whatever it is, I think we got a bit ahead of ourselves for thinking we could pull together, and fair play to us for having the balls and the ambition to somehow think we could do what we wanted to accomplish. We knew that we could. We knew no matter what, we could make something, visually, very beautiful even before we got our director, we were determined to make something incredible. When Phil got on board we just thought it was amazing. We have a director who knows what he’s doing and it gives a real credibility to what we want to shoot.

The project was always spiking with really high highs and really low lows, and the failures and successes literally came on the toss of a coin. Just as Nathan said, we realised we had no money. Ar this point, when we got Phil on board, we had zero budget apart from the money set aside to just get us there.

NR: It was incredible having this award winning director but thinking we don’t have any money to pay you, in fact, we don’t have any money to pay anybody, or we don’t have any money for petrol to get there, or to get flights.  So Phil’s roll kind of changed from Director to Producer as well and he believed in this story and the idea enough that he just went and got finance for us. Like, you know what, if you don’t have the money, I’ll get the money, so that was a massive success actually. (Laughing)

FB: We have been and we still are in talks with BBC NI, so a major success was getting Phil on board, it was really was. The fact he had established contacts with NI Screen and the BBC, because of that we got more interest and NI Screen said well if you believe in these guys enough, send through the application.

NR: Let’s make it happen.

FB: The BBC were a bit hesitant to give us money. Mostly ‘cause of the whole Iran thing.

DB: Surprisingly! (Laughing)

FB: Two guys wanted to go to Iran on motorbikes, and Islamic State, at this moment were major, major news. They were like, hold on a second.

NR: Still surprised they didn’t give us the money. (Laughing)

FB: They were like, this is all great, this is all fine but sorry Phil, a genuine concern for us is that Fabian is going to use this to join the Islamic State.

DB: Hahaha! WHAT?! 

NR: That’s right, that was an actual conversation that happened with the BBC. 

DB: Woah! Holy shit.

FB: Which you can understand, of course, so I said to Phil, just get them in a bar with me and they’ll know. (Laughing)

NR: The short response was, they know I can fly there don’t they? (Laughing)

 

DB: Who else is involved in the project, so you’ve got Phil? Who else did you pull on board?

NR: So Phil is Director/ Producer. Fabian is half Iranian and the whole point of the film was Fabian returning to Iran and his family there, and me. I don’t even know why I was there to be quite honest. (Laughing) I was just a catalyst.

FB: Well, this was before everything changed you know, so the storyline was just these two guys who love motorbikes are just going against the world to go to Iran and there is a reason with the family element, but mostly because we just wanted to show the world that it doesn’t matter where you’re going, it’s only up the road. Iran was applicable to the idea, but it could have been anywhere. 

NR: The other people involved, Ben Behzadafshar, who’s also half Iranian and…

FB: We met him at the pub.

NR: He was Co-Director.

DB: Ben’s in the band Blue Whale right? And he co-directed?

Video for Ben's bands single "Jack Irons". A collaboration between Blue Whale, film maker Tom Hughes and contemporary dancer Maeve McGreevy.

NR: Indeed, yeah. So, assistant Director and sound and literally kept us sane together. He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life.

FB: We needed a talisman and he was the talisman.

NR: He’s just an absolute gem.

DB: Okay, so we’ve talked a little success and failure…

FB: Well there’s plenty more failures and plenty more successes.

DB: Do you want to list some?

NR: The sponsors.

FB: Yeah, the sponsors.

NR: Biltwell Helmuts is one of the coolest, most badass motorcycle companies in the whole world at the moment. They’re just fantastic and we literally contacted them, told them what we were doing and it was a guy, Otto. He was just like, love this, brilliant, what size are your heads? (Laughing) 

DB: Who were some of the others?

NR: Mizu water bottles. They’re this extreme sports water bottle company and I’ve forgotten the guys name but basically when I was emailing him.

I read on the blog he was an immensely good snowboarder, he was just like yeah, love the idea, sorry have to fly to the Alps for a competition here, I’ll chat to you on Monday. So many things like that. (Laughing)

FB: We got last minute, 78 Motor Co. That's owned by a guy from here, but they’re based in Brighton. Really great quality leather gloves, they’re beautiful. 

NR: Just another who’s an absolute badass in the motorcycle world. 

FB: Locally, at the very beginning, one of the major people were Sort Design, based in the Cathedral quarter in Belfast, who did our branding for us. We struck up a really good relationship with them and they just loved the idea and really wanted to help out.

DB: See it come to fruition then. And Titanic City Cycles helped out.

NR: They’re not a sponsor. (Laughing)

FB: Well, they granted us the facilities to get the bikes on the road, that we didn’t take to Iran…

DB: Because the concept changed...

FB: The concept changed, delays happened.

NR: Cut the recording. (Laughing)

FB: We were already on a really optimistic deadline for getting the bikes ready. Mechanically they were mostly sound but through the whole duration of planning we realised they weren’t going to be ready.

NR: Mine’s still not finished. I still don’t have a seat. (Laughing)

DB: Well, I suppose that leads nicely into the stylistic element. Why the cafe racer, sort of old school bikes? They’re not your everyday runners. Were you always conscious of the aesthetic of the piece?

NR: Style wise. I think you kind of realise it’s not really what you do or how big you go, but, how you do it, if you know what I mean? 

DB: Well I say style, but the brands you align yourself with or that you have for this project, it’s more of a lifestyle. Stuff like Hiut Denim, Redwing, it’s more classic, or nostalgic maybe? Were you conscious of that element or was it just a case of, we’re into this stuff and we want to tie it all in.

FB: Yeah it’s pretty much that we’re into it. We definitely love certain publications like Iron & Air and generally that style, the bikes are like pieces of art and it’s something we definitely had an interest in before we started the project. If we were going to do it, we would be jumping on bikes that we absolutely loved, we weren’t just going to just jump on some touring bikes or some sport bikes that would probably get us there very easily so yeah it was the aesthetic.

NR: I think just brands with integrity behind them and a bit more thought. I think that’s what we’re attracted to. 

FB: Practicality was never really a big consideration, it was more that it didn’t matter how long it took us, it was probably a bit of stubbornness, but we did sacrifice not taking our bikes this time.

NR: This time.

DB: This time, I like that.

NR: We’re not done yet.

FB: No, it’s definitely not done yet. The visual aspect for the film . We thought the bikes would have complimented it obviously, seeing these two beautiful objects fly through beautiful scenery.

NR: I think Iran gave us enough beautiful scenery that it came to be the bikes, though stunning, weren’t as necessary as the initial idea.

DB: With the concept changing, I mean the initial narrative was sort of retracing your roots and going back to see your family, that didn’t change?

FB: It didn’t change but I think at the very beginning, it was a minuscule part of it. In the beginning, what got Nathan and I so excited was the adventure aspect, two best friends, going through all these different countries, gathering a better understanding of the world…on bikes. The bike made for a different experience.

As time went on and the direction that Phil Harrison wanted to take it, he found it more intriguing that I’d never been there and I had all this family that I’d never met. The only reason I wanted to go over was because my grandmother is a certain age and this could be the last time I got to see her before she passes or whatever. That was the only real reason I wanted to go to Iran. Obviously the fear of being conscripted to the army. The fear of not getting in or being allowed to leave. But I thought what kind of grandson would I be if I didn’t make an effort to go over? 

NR: Whenever Phil came on board he really changed and gave us a narrative that everyone can relate to, about identity and…

FB: Where is home?

NR: Yeah, and he always comes back to this beautiful phrase, about, not homelessness but “homelooseness”. I think that’s very important in today’s society, Northern Ireland particularly, as we have this sort of weird situation where we’re ruled by Britain, on the island of Ireland, and then we have this sort of, multicultural society forming. 

So Fabian’s dad is Iranian and so you’re just ending up in this melting potand questioning where does my identity lie? So Fabian was thinking am I Iranian? Am I Irish? Am I British? And that’s where the narrative went in the end, rather than two guys on motorbikes just saying, fuck the world. (Laughing)

FB: Which is what we’ll be doing next time! (Laughing)

DB: So going a bit more micro on picture, what was the sensibility like before you set off? Before you got on that flight and you thought, we’re actually going to do this, was there a group mentality of, oh shit, we’re doing this or how did it go?

FB: I think we all thought, holy fuck, we’re actually fucking doing it. After all the breakdowns, after Ben shaving his head ‘cause of a breakdown.

DB: He shaved his head?

NR: He shaved his head (Laughing) He absolutely lost it. We turned into full blown alcoholics. Phil was just always like, in the back of his head, I think he wasn’t sure if we were actually going to be able to pull this off or not?

FB: Yeah, like is this just a big fucking waste of my time?

NR: We had all invested so much our time into it and because it had changed so much. You know, Belfast has that weird culture where they love to see people fail, from here, if you know what I mean?

DB: Yeah, totally. Especially when it’s something creative. Oh, you’re not doing that anymore? Oh. WHat’s happened? It’s in the nitty gritty gossip about how you absolutely failed. (Laughing)

NR: Exactly. And there was so many of those sort of backstabbing conversations going on as well, like, oh you’re not going anymore?

FB: Or, what, you’re not using your own bikes? You’re flying over? You’re getting bikes when you’re there?

NR: I think that just really ground down.

DB: Well, from an outside perspective, I was extremely excited about the whole concept and I think it played out beautifully, especially online through the web presence and all these nice photos and there was this kind of mysticism all of a sudden. What the fuck is happening sort of thing? 

So, I’d say anyone who’s experienced creating artwork for an exhibition, or sitting down to record an album or in general, people trying to do things that are different. Those people will understand the change and stuff. It’s the groups outside of that who won’t get it saying, oh you’ve compromised this and the but that doesn’t necessarily mess with the end product.

NR: Yeah, at the end of the day, it’s two young men who wanted to just make a film and we’ve actually don’t it. 

FB: Yeah, like I said before we started recording, that was one of the silver linings in the failures that became a success. Through all the shit we went through, at one point, it seemed like we’d have nothing to show for it, but we actually went out there and did it. Against all the odds, of no cash, no bikes and just the balls to do it. We got out there and made a film.

That was one of the first things when we arrived in Iran, thinking, well, we made it! (Laughing) No one died, I think mosquito bites were the only thing, we didn’t even get sunburnt out there.

NR: Absolutely amazing, yeah. Well Fabian and Ben almost didn’t get into the country, or out of the country for that matter, which was funny, but that’s another story.

DB: What happened there? 

FB: We just broke one of the major laws in Iran the second we arrived, that was Iranian Nationals trying to enter the country on passports that weren’t Iranian passports. So any other passport is quite a major thing.

NR: So Iran doesn’t recognise dual nationality at all. If you’re half Iranian, you’re Iranian. Phil and I got through absolutely fine. We all decided to travel on Irish passports and it was absolutely grand, Phil and I turned around and just see Ben and Fabian getting carted off. It was just like, Fuck. (Laughing)

Phil went over and was just trying to work out exactly what was going on and was there even a chance they were going to be allowed in. He came back said, “ So, you think we can make this documentary with jus the two of us?” (Laughing) Hilarious.

DB: So with that, you actually got in, what can we expect to see then? What did you actually do in the end while you were out there?

FB: Well, just to point out that Iran, the way it is, as a man and maybe less so as a woman, you do have the freedom to do whatever you want in public, as long as you’re not caught or not being watched. Public photography with any sort of DSLR camera is against the law. 

DB: Presents a pretty major problem when trying to shoot a film…

FB: Yeah. Exactly. When we arrived, we knew that it would only get interesting, even with the original idea, when we got to Iran because film making is illegal there, unless you have a certified press visa, which we didn’t go on. We went on tourist visas and just thought, fuck it, we’ll wing it. (Laughing) We understood that filming in public, it’s one of the things where we’d have to be a little more covert, you can’t make it too obvious.

So what you’ll see, obviously not everything, but when it was appropriate to film.

NR: In the end, it was fine. Nobody said anything about filming apart from one time we were in a taxi and Phil was shooting out of the window and there were three guys on a motorbike. One of the guys on the end was in the army and had a massive rifle. (Laughing) And they were like, no no no no no! The traffic was moving at a different pace in lanes. They chased up beside us and said you can’t do that. They had this big conversation in Farsi and it turned out the only reason they didn’t want us filming it was because they didn’t want the country to look bad. But that was it, there were no issues beyond that, it was grand.

DB: So you’ve got this stumbling block to an extent, what were you covering? Was there this exploration element, being tourists essentially?

NR: It was just our experience really. Day to day life. So the government are very, very controlling out there, but as I was saying pre-recording, the population is so liberal and so open minded. Everybody knows that everything goes on. People drink but it’s just behind closed doors. The outside world looking in would see woman being super, super supressed and yes there is that element but in reality, behind closed doors, it all happens.

[ Pre-recording we were talking about the underground punk scene in Iran that the guys wanted to tap into as well as the illegality of being tattooed and the real presence of the “fashion police”. ]

NR: We found it more interesting to hang out with women out there, than men, just for that element. So we met these incredible girls while we were out there that are “Instagram famous”. 

FB: They were incredible artists in their own right. Especially, Negin and “Sherry” or Shaghayegh. They were two carpenters and again, complete stroke of luck meeting up with them and they just showed us the most beautiful parts of the country.

NR: They showed us the real underground Iran. They were just our gateway into absolutely everything. We wanted to see this film, I can’t remember the title of it, but it was a really interesting concept. It was shot from a toddlers point of view and so you only ever saw feet. 

DB: Okay…

NR: It won all these awards and stuff and it was screened at some of the same film festivals as Phil’s piece, “The Good Man” was in. So we wanted to see this film, called up the cinema and they didn’t have it with english subtitles. To cut a long story short, we ended up, through these girls, sitting in the Director and Writer’s home that evening drinking home brewed beer. (Laughing)

DB: That’s amazing.

FB: Obviously we weren’t recording at that point but there were so many things like that.

DB: It’s quite nice that seemingly there are these experiences that only you guys have and then what we’ll see, is a filter of that.

FB: On the second day, we were taking a break. We were in Tehran and about to head to the Bazaar in South Tehran and we just went into this park, Park Ashar it was called. We just chilled out for a while, heat of the day, intensity of just initially arriving there. At some point, again, one of these experiences that just aren’t captured, was myself getting sexually molested by a 70 year old man in the park.

NR: True story. (Laughing)

FB: Well, the guy didn’t speak english and I didn’t speak Farsi so I just thought he was a really nice guy…

NR: Tried to buy him a ring…

FB: Yeah, tried to buy me a ring. Bought me a cup of tea, sat down beside me and I just thought he was this nice old man because the Iranian people are very hospitable to foreigners because there are so few foreigners. (Laughing)

DB: I wish we were filming this so everyone could see the gesture Nathan is making right now.

FB: Maybe I was a bit naive, but we just sat down, smoked cigarettes, had a cup of tea, just trying to beat the language barrier. Then we went for a wee walk, I bumped into Nathan and Phil and they just let me head on my way or whatever. He brings me to this like shaded area…

DB: Completely normal. (Laughing)

FB: I was showing him my camera, just chatting away and then he taps my knee, then he just goes for it! Makes a lunge for the crotch and no matter what, with the language barrier, I know that’s not right. (Laughing) 

NR: I may not know Farsi… (Laughing)

FB: Then he grabbed my hand and tried to make me touch him. In my head, just thinking, this is not happening, this is an Islamic country, homosexuality is punishable by death! And in fucking public. Just crazy and of course, so many stories that just weren’t captured but that’s the beauty of it. Or not, in that case. (Laughing)

DB: So the bike aspect, how big of a part does that play now?

NR: For this film, it didn’t play a massive part but the plan is to go on ahead and make more short films with the bikes that we have, well almost have finished for me.SO Ireland has the longest continual coastal road in the entire world. Never knew that.

DB: Really?

NR: Yeah, it starts up in Derry and just goes right round to Cork. The Wild Atlantic Way. So we’re going to jump on the bikes and make a try and make a short documentary covering that. Going to try and head down to Morocco, the South of France and…

FB: Well, I definitely want to try and go back to Iran on the bike because while we were there, it was killing us. The best part of Iran was the sound, the sound of motorbikes the entire time.

NR: I’ve never seen a city more populated by motorbikes in my entire life. It was just phenomenal.

FB: That was something when we were there, we thought we should be here on our bikes. So that was a reminder of a failure but you know, we were still in Iran…

DB: Bittersweet in a way.

FB: You can’t rent motorbikes in Iran because there’s just no demand for it. For an outsider to buy one is extremely difficult and you end up having to give it back if the police catch you. But we managed to get, maybe for our own sake, just to release that need to be on the bike, illegally sized bikes. 250 CC which are only allowed to be used by police officers. Probably stolen. (Laughing)

NR: And we crashed them! (Laughed)

DB: Recorded?

FB: Not the crash, we were too far off in the distance. 

NR: Aw it was hilarious. The traffic in Iran is just bedlam and just insane. But we ended up getting the lend of these two motorbikes at the side of the motorway. It was grand, no problems, off we go on the motorway. Then we took off to shoot some scenes in the desert. 

The both of us don’t have much experience riding on dirt or sand so we were just completely thrown in at the deep end. So we were filming this scene taking a corner with this beautiful backdrop. So, I said to Fabian through the helmut, your tail will fly out, it’ll wobble. Just go with it, keep the throttle on, but if you’re front end goes down, you’re fucked. You can’t do anything, so just jump off, let the bike go.

I mean 30 seconds later, 30 seconds after me saying this, taking this really slow corner, hit sand, front end down and just ditch the bike. Turn around and saw Fabian do the same. (Laughing)

FB: After him saying all that, at rolling speed,  we were just going in sync and he’s heading for a wall, I’m like shit, seeing him going down, do I kill him or just fall off? (Laughing)

NR: That was just funny.

DB: So maybe the bikes don’t play as big of a part…

FB: Well to kind of explain that, we really discovered even before we went, there was a conflict between, do we make a film or do we do the road trip? So is it going to be bike dominated or going with the family narrative. About going back to a place you’ve never been, is it home? Or is it just this dream of thinking you belong there. That whole concept the director really wanted to explore.

DB: How did that go then, I assume you met your grandmother in the end? Was it a good experience? Well, I hope it was… (Laughing)

NR: She just hated him. (Laughing)

FB: That side of it which I’ve kind of blocked from my memory at the moment was just completely overwhelming the whole time being there. Especially when we got to Mashad where my family are from and I met my grandmother again. It was just an experience I could ever get again. That was a really poignant, positive aspect of doing the film. And so much so, I didn’t expect to feel what I felt. 

When we were in Tehran, it was just, it’s 33 degrees, this is fucking amazing, all this delicious food. More and more as we got to the whole point of going home, I didn’t expect half of the emotions I was going through. 

DB: And that plays out on film then?

FB: Yeah, yeah, get your tissues ready.

NR: It turns quite emotional.

DB: Amazing. So is there any date for the project coming out? 

FB: For the final thing? Next year, 2016. That’s what I think we’ll be doing, is carrying on with these other shorts and the film is going to be called “On Going Home”. So it’s no longer “Sherryvallies” but more of a lifestyle thing.

NR: So “Sherryvallies Presents…” and then we’re back here sort of delving into the whole lifestyle of the motorcycle culture of here, in Ireland and across Europe.

FB: I think with what Sherryvallies wants to do next, is that we’ve explored my homeland in a sense and with The Wild Atlantic way, is to give Nathan the chance to explore his.

DB: This is a slight deviation, well not really, but I was working from home the other day, I think I was transcribing another one of these interviews and got a knock on the door. I couldn’t be fucked because it’s always going to be some asshole trying to sell you something or whatever. And it turned out it was. (Laughing)

Actually, it was this girl, she was very lovely, if you’re reading this, apologies but the survey was about identity and do you feel like you’re a European citizen and I thought. Not really. Not really at all. It’s a melting pot, like you said earlier here. I don’t feel particularly European so I must feel more attached to Ireland or Britain or Northern Ireland.

FB: It’s the islander mentality. We forget we’re on an island. All islander’s heads are wrecked because you’re detached and off to the side, sort of. Everyone feels it here. There’s an identity crisis and with that, a fear of saying you are something. I spent my entire time at art school trying to find a way of using art to destroy identity. To make people realise at the end of the day, you are just a person. 

NR: Obviously it means a great deal to certain people otherwise we wouldn’t have this sort of segregation and people fighting for a flag, for example. It’s interesting. 

DB: Well yes, that’s what we can look forward to with Sherryvallies. A great way to end. The end is what is to come. Well, it’s not the end, it’s the beginning.

FB: Exactly.

NR: Beautiful.

DB: Cheers guys! 

NR: Up The Hoods!


Look out for “On Going Home” next year and follow the Sherryvallies boys by clicking through here. Watch the latest trailer and thanks for reading.


Fabian Beickhorasani was born and grew up in Northern Ireland, during the final days of the troubles. His father fled Iran during the revolution, “with 50p in my pocket and 10 kilos of rice.” Now, with childhood friend Nathan Reid, Fabian returns to an Iran he has never visited, to a family he has never met.