Saba Shirazi, Newport Beach Film Festival Publicist, Dies in Auto Accident
She was but 32, and if you stick with the rest of the post, you will hopefully get a sense of why she will be so missed.
Readers of the Weekly's voluminous NBFF coverage over the years may have assumed the reviews, interviews and other assorted nonsense came together by magic.
Here's a trade secret: they came together thanks to the tireless work of professionals like Shirazi.
When a Weekly photographer made a last-minute request to get into a sold-out screening, Saba got him in.
When a Weekly request to interview a celebrity got a Hollywood handler reply of "OC-the-fuck-what?" Saba intervened and got us the sit-down.
When the Weekly needed to quickly see screeners for a ton of particular titles, Saba got on the horn and had them delivered to our world headquarters that afternoon.
Saba's done stuff like that for us--and surely all the other media outlets hitting her up, usually all at once--since she took the gig with Q&A, the San Diego marketing firm founded by NBFF co-founder Todd Quartararo.
"I spent more time with her than anybody else in my life," he tells Register film guy Richard Chang. "She was my right hand. Our girl is gone, and we miss her. She will be missed everyday."
Shirazi, a Cardiff-by-the-Sea resident, was driving alone north on the 5 freeway near Gilman Drive in La Jolla at about 11:50 p.m. when her 1997 Infiniti Q45 hit the median, crossed back into traffic lanes, overturned and was struck by a Ford Focus.
There's confusion over whether the Infiniti or Focus veered off the 5 and into a grove of trees. But the 58-year-old woman driving the Focus was only hospitalized with a broken leg. Shirazi was wearing a seatbelt, but it was not enough to save her.
Born in Tehran, Iran, on Dec. 7, 1977, Saba was 8 when her family moved to Fair Oaks near Sacramento. She went on to get her B.A. in apparel marketing and design from Sacramento State.
She worked as marketing manager for Sacramento Magazine before moving to San Diego, where she helped launch Riviera magazine. She later jumped to Q&A, where her non-NBFF clients included Cirque du Soleil, the Segerstrom family, San Diego-area bars and restaurants and the Las Vegas luxury house Hermès.
"Saba is a modern day Hula Hooper with ambitions of becoming the next national champion," boasts her Q&A bio.
She is survived by her sister, Usha Mutschler, brother-in-law Cary Mutschler, and her beloved nephew and niece, Arian and Bridgett.
A memorial to celebrate her life will be held at the artsy North County collective she dedicated much spare time to: SoLo at 309 South Cedros Ave., Solana Beach.
Tears that haven't already flowed start up again at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, July 11.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Surfrider Foundation, where a memorial fund has been established in Saba's name. Log onto surfrider.org/donate and type Saba Shirazi in the name section.
We'll end this love-in with a coupla quick Saba stories.