Private Project

House Arrest

House Arrest is a short drama about Ava Taheri, the youngest daughter of a broken family. Seven years ago, Ava witnessed a domestic disturbance causing the imprisonment of her brother, Mo, and the abandonment of her father, Borna. Now, after his parole, Ava and her anxious mother, Roya, attempt to welcome Mo back home. However, during Mo’s homecoming dinner, demons between each of the Taheri’s suddenly resurface. With tensions riding high, Ava must bridge the insurmountable gaps between her family members, all while wrestling with a secret that could shatter her familial bonds, forever.

Written by Julie Zenderoudi and directed by Erik Bajzert, House Arrest interrogates the difficulties of reconciliation and presents an empathetic portrait of a family in distress.

  • Erik Bajzert
    My Waking Nightmare
  • Julie Zenderoudi
  • Paulina Carranza
  • Sameesha Narang
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Family Drama
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 13, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    5,616 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Persian
  • Shooting Format:
    Alexa, Digital
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Sheridan College
Director Biography - Erik Bajzert

Erik Bajzert is a director, screenwriter and graduate of Sheridan College’s Advanced Film and Television program. He has completed several video projects, one-act plays and feature length screenplays. He is an avid movie aficionado and obtained a degree in Film Studies and the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities from Western University. His debut documentary, My Waking Nightmare, won multiple awards across a variety of international film festivals. House Arrest is his narrative short debut.

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Director Statement

House Arrest has always been about love.

Even throughout the pre-production stage, House Arrest was a complete and utter labor of love by all parties involved. From the moment our screenwriter- the immensely talented Julie Zenderoudi- proposed the idea for House Arrest, I instantly took interest in directing it. The story, concerning an immigrant family welcoming their son home after a long prison stint- spoke to my heart in a way that very few projects ever could. While I don’t share the specific cultural background of the characters on screen, I do come from a family of immigrants on both sides. Speaking from my own experience, there is an ineffable thing that exists in immigrant families: a mishmash of expectations, points-of-pride and emotional turbulences, all stemming from the pursuit of a “better life” on the shores of another nation. I have seldom seen these aspects of the immigrant story depicted so honestly. I simply had to bring this story to life, as lovingly as I could.

I should also mention my personal love for family melodramas, which only amplified my desire to get this movie made. There is a section of my soul that will forever be indebted to folks like Douglas Sirk, Yasujiro Ozu, Nicholas Ray, Todd Haynes, or anyone with a specific interest in depicting the turbulent lives of modern-day families. Films in this generic tradition have a habit of exploring the human capacity for unconditional love, even under seemingly impossible circumstances. The cinema has long prompted us to face our own insecurities, traumas and hard-held beliefs in the hopes of renewing our interest loving each other. I believe, quite firmly, that we can never stop exploring this kind of love on our screens.

At the time of writing, the world is recovering a pandemic that shattered our ability to be physically together. The isolation I experienced throughout COVID renewed my belief in the necessity of love beyond conditions and complications. I cannot help but fixate on the ways in which this kind of love is depicted in House Arrest. Despite their turbulent history together, the Taheri family possesses an immense love for each other. The realization that their love must be shared, rather than suppressed, leads to an ending that never ceases to make me smile. My apologies for spoiling.

If you’re reading this, I have three requests. First, recognize the aspects your life that make you happy and work hard to foster them. At the risk of speaking for the entire team, the production of this film felt like an act of pure love from everyone involved; a collaboration between multiple artists working together to realize a unified vision. Second, remind those you hold dear- be they friends, significant others, pets, neighbors or family- that you love them. Now, more than ever, reminding folks of their immense, personal worth is monumentally important. Finally, and this is the most crucial point… Enjoy the film! Spread the word! Share this labor of love!