Art And Culture

Film Directors’ Guild Event Turns Into Grievance Forum

Film Directors’ Guild Event Turns Into Grievance ForumFilm Directors’ Guild Event Turns Into Grievance Forum

Veteran film director Yadollah Samadi emphasized the need for unity between cinema guilds and associations in film production and screening, and rued the policy of discrimination in Iran cinema.

“I’d like to speak with a smile, but my heart is in pain,” he said at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Directors Guild of Iran, at Tehran’s Mellat Cineplex on Wednesday (July 1).

Former chairpersons of the guild were honored and tributes paid to four influential directors from three different generations, ISNA reported.

Notable filmmaker Kamal Tabrizi, current director of the guild, presented former chairpersons including well-known filmmakers Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Mohammad Motevasselani, Mohammad Bozorgnia, Alireza Raeisian, Sirus Alvand, Homayun Asadian and Yadollah Samadi, with commendation plaques.

Samadi further lamented the “biased attitude of officials” in providing huge government loans to certain films and permission for production to a particular group of directors.

His last film ‘The Other Boy’s Dad’ was not approved for the competition section at last year’s Fajr International Film festival and was screened in the out of competition section. “Reviews by critics showed that the movie was good to compete with other films for an award,” Samadi said. “Disqualifying the film from the competition was costly for me, as my sponsors pulled out causing financial loss.”

  No Avail

He said current cinema officials boast about what they have done towards improving cinema, “but they have not shown the least reaction to my demands.”  He had brought the problems to the notice of the minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Iran Cinema Organization and House of Cinema, but to no avail.

Alvand agreed with Samadi and said, “I know it is a serious matter, I am also full of grievances, but will not say anything and spoil the celebrations.”

The other honorees sufficed to thank the organizers and hoped for a better future.

Iraj Tahmasb and Hamid Jebeli were honored for their contribution to cinema after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The two have cooperated for most of their professional career, in TV or cinema.

They have made popular works for children as well as adults for more than 30 years. They are mostly known for Kolah Ghermezi (Red Hat), a TV character they created 20 years ago.

Tahmasb and Jebelli have also directed comedies for adult audiences, all bestsellers at the time of screening.

Ahmadreza Darvish, film director, said human resources are the strength of Iranian cinema. “But we still have major obstacles in the technical section.” He did not elaborate.

  Cinema Halls

The director of Sacred Defense (Iraqi-imposed 1980-88 war) movies ‘Kimia’ and ‘Duel’ complained about the low number of cinema halls. “There are over 1200 cities in Iran and we have just 64 movie theaters. Many people cannot see local productions; that is why the cultural atmosphere of the country is influenced by productions from outside the borders.”

Darvish, who in his last film ‘Hussein, Who Said No’ has depicted an important part in the history of Islam, regretted “the insignificant presence” of religious cinema on the international scene. “Our share in screening Islamic and Shi’ite messages is meager.”

Dariush Mehrjui, 75, was also felicitated. With his second film ‘Cow’ he is considered a founding member of the Iranian New Wave Movement of the early 1970s, along with Masoud Kimiai and Nasser Taqvai. The movement was a reaction to the popular cinema at the time that did not reflect the norms of life for Iranians or the artistic culture of the society.

A renowned auteur, he has made over 20 films, for which he won three local and international awards.