Art And Culture

Film Industry Too Expects Change in Fortune

Film Industry Too Expects Change in FortuneFilm Industry Too Expects Change in Fortune

Lifting of sanctions following the nuclear accord will further increase the visibility of Iranian movies abroad, believes head of Iran Cinema Organization Hojatollah Ayoubi.

He hoped for an increase in the budget of Iran cinema next year. Ayoubi spoke on the post-sanctions scenario in Iran cinema in an interview with ISNA.

As the country foresees a positive economic change following the lifting of sanctions, the cinema sector also hopes to receive a larger budget since “it faces financial problems.”

The budget allocated to the Cinema Organization by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance declined significantly during the past decade due to the sanctions.

Following the agreement with the P5+1 on July 14, Iranian cinema officials and filmmakers “are now optimistic and looking forward to better days.”

As Iran’s cultural attaché to France before his current position, Ayoubi is familiar with the world of diplomacy. “I clearly remember the first resolution which was issued to marginalize Iran first in the region and then the world. Unlike a group of people who underestimated the move, experts knew it would have disturbing consequences on the country,” Ayoubi noted.

“Sanctions might have no direct influence on some art fields, but the mere notion of sanctions and their negative role in the economy and industry affected artists, causing concern about their professional future, thus hindering their creativity,” he said.

Before the sanctions, most artistic fields were blooming and Iranian artists were highly recognized and welcomed by foreigners; however, due to the sanctions, Iran was isolated and other than a handful of artists, the rest were cut off from the international scene.

  Mutual Benefits

The world acknowledges Iran as a cradle of art and culture and Iranian artists are well-known across the globe; however, the embargo prevented cultural interaction with foreign nations. “But now they will feel free to restart their artistic and cultural activities with us”.

Termination of sanctions will have mutual benefits, both for Iran and its foreign counterparts. As more Iranian artists present their work abroad, more foreign artists will visit the country so that “our people can get familiar with the artworks of other parts of the world”.

The economy of art is another important issue, the cinema official said. “Due to the sanctions, many foreign artists and cinema officials had doubts about traveling to Iran as they thought they would face problems, from communication to transportation. They also considered Iran as a place where they can do no business; therefore they would hesitate to come here”. The new post-sanctions era will change such a scenario.

With their presence in Iran, foreign filmakers may invest on projects here, purchase artworks, and even advertise for Iran art in the world, which will help improve the economy of art.

“We encourage all our filmmakers to contribute.”

In a separate interview with Wall Street Journal, Ayoubi referred to directors Jafar Panahi and Bahman Ghobadi, who were banned to make and show films inside Iran during the previous administration.

“The door is open for all Iranian artists and I know for a fact that Ghobadi will have no problems if he wants to return to Iran and make films here,” he said.

However, Panahi’s case is a little different. “Panahi is a unique case because he is the only Iranian film director whose problem is a legal one which has nothing to do with the Ministry of Culture or the government.”

“Speaking for myself and our judicial system, everything is being done to find a legal solution to his plight,” he added.