Art And Culture

Iran Cinema Indispensable

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Iran Cinema Indispensable Iran Cinema Indispensable

Creating a top festival centering on issues for which Iran cinema is reputed like humanity, family, and moral values, and promoting joint productions to provide a potential foreign market to help improve the economy of art, especially cinema, is on the agenda for Iranian cineastes.

Alireza Rezadad, secretary of the 33rd Fajr International Festival (FIFF) addressing a press conference at Tehran’s Cinema Museum on Sunday (April 19), elaborated on the international section of the event, slated for April 25 – May 2 in Tehran.

Cinema and movies, as a medium through which plenty of subjects and information can be, directly or indirectly, conveyed to the audience, are considered a big industry as they can benefit a nation both economically and culturally, Rezadad said.

The festival secretary said the huge number of local productions (almost 100 movies per year) and limited cinema theaters do not leave enough space for screening foreign films. “To compensate for this inadequacy, national TV and home video companies show and distribute foreign films; yet due to certain regulations they have to be chosen selectively.”

 Best Films

Therefore, the FIFF international section has tried to show the best international works to local film fans. During the past 18 years, since the section turned into “competition,” there have been efforts not to let it be overshadowed by the national section, which usually gets greater attention.

“Through several sessions of discussions about the opportunities, potentials, and challenges to the section, it was decided to hold it separately from the national section (held in February) to help highlight the movies shown,” Rezadad stressed.

As numerous foreign cineastes and media attend the occasion, it seeks to show the capacities and talents of Iran cinema to the world. It also prepares the grounds for local cineastes to get familiar with their foreign peers for cooperative ventures.

Iran cinema in the past decade has gained widespread recognition across the globe. Participating in various film events and winning hundreds of awards is clear evidence that the international arena counts on Iran cinema today.

 Competition Details

The 7-day event comprises three sections of competition, out-of-competition and retrospectives. The competition section has three subcategories of Islamic and Asian countries’ cinema (east panorama), world cinema (salvation), and art and experience. A total of 14 feature films (3 from Iran and 11 from other countries) will be screened in each subcategory where five awards will be given to the winners selected by a separate seven-member jury.

The out-of-competition section is dedicated to short films and documentaries. In the retrospective section, the focus will be on Turkish and Chinese cinemas; films from the late Italian director Francesco Rosi will also be displayed and discussed.

The movie ‘Muhammad’, directed by Majid Majidi, which is Iran’s greatest cinematic production on the life of the holy prophet of Islam will also have one special screening for the foreign guests.

A total of 196 films will be screened at three cinemas in Tehran including Azadi Complex, Cinema Museum, and Iranian Artists’ Forum while Mellat Cineplex will specifically host artists, media and foreign guests.

 Q and A Session

Following the showing of each film at Mellat Cineplex, a 45-minute question-answer session will be held where local and foreign critics and experts will review the movie together with its cast and crew.

Answering a query by Financial Tribune on the few cinemas for the public, Rezadad said, “This has been decided based on the presumption that there will not be huge crowds to watch the movies; however, if online tickets pre-sales are huge, then more cinema halls will be dedicated for public screening of films.”

Iran Film Market (IFM), on the sidelines of the festival, will present local productions to foreign companies and distributors. Ninety foreign representatives and distributors will be exposed to 300 films.

Another program will be specific to 18 foreign producers who have joint production experience with Asian cinema. A 2-day tour to various locations accompanied by Iranian producers has been scheduled for them.