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IYCS and Opportunity for New Talent

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IYCS and Opportunity for New Talent IYCS and Opportunity for New Talent

These days the capital’s Mellat Cinema Complex in Tehran has become a hangout for film lovers as it is host to the 31st Tehran International Short Film Festival (TISFF).

It may appear that the public may not be well informed and thus lack interest in the beauty, value, and importance of short films; and therefore, the festival is mostly welcomed only by those involved in the field and pure film fans.

However, contrary to the common belief that such movies have no audience, all the cinema theaters are packed with mostly the younger generation to an extent that with no vacant seats left, fascinated fans sit on the stairs or even watch the films standing.

Beginning at 10 am daily, four halls in the Cineplex show movies of different sections of the festival: National Competition, National Non-Competition, and International Competition. In each showing (lasting an hour and a half), a number of short films (depending on their duration) of different categories are screened. The movies vary, from documentary and animation to experimental and fiction. Screening of the movies continues till 11 pm.

Festival director Habib Ilbeigi in an interview with Financial Tribune, explained about this year’s edition of the festival and activities of the organizer, the Iranian Young Cinema Society (IYCS) of which he is the managing director as well.

“A total of 3040 films from 104 countries were received by the festival secretariat for the international section. After evaluation, 104 films from 33 countries were selected for the competition section. There were 1786 submissions for the national section, among which 182 titles entered the final lineup,” Ilbeigi said.

 Improving Quality

In an attempt to improve the festival quality, the number of films in different sections was reduced, he added.

Moreover, learning from previous experience, this year the judges have been chosen from among people “who are related to this kind of cinema.” The 7-member jury for the national competition comprises well-known Iranian directors, actors, cinematographers, and producers. Jurors of the international section include five prominent producers and professors from France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Iran.

Appreciating the recent decision to screen short, documentary and experimental films in the Art and Experience cinematic group, Ilbeigi noted that there have been talks with officials to show these films on TV too.

Since there are no platforms for short films, such festivals provide a unique opportunity for both filmmakers and viewers. Film directors (usually young and first-timers) see it “as a golden chance to show their works to the public as well as people in related organizations, so that if they approve they can get (financial) support for future productions. Viewers also can observe new ideas and techniques in such movies, not often seen in feature films.”


The significance of filmmakers, and specifically of short films, is so important that Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati, in a message to the festival, called them “healer of emotions” saying, “the filmmaker resembles a healer who cherishes and celebrates every second to revive the patient who is suffering from various emotional agonies.”

In 1985, with the aid of cinema vice-presidency of ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, IYCS started its work to encourage “the Iranian adolescent to film-producing and photography.” Now, with 60 branches and offices in all the provinces, the society seeks to attract and train those interested in learning directing, script writing, photography, cinematography, and film editing. Learners will further be supported to make films and screen them in different local and global festivals. Other than education, the society also holds a wide range of festivals throughout the country.


Between 3000-4000 learners are trained annually in different branches by the IYCS. About 500 experimental works and some 200 professional films are produced every year by the graduates.

Further, in the international scene, IYCS productions have been screened and young film-makers have received numerous praiseworthy prizes in well-known festivals.

IYCS became a member of UNICA, Union Internationale du cinema Non Professionel, as a representative of Iran in 1990 and has a constant presence in its festivals. By representing Iran as member of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) it paved the way for artists and photographers to introduce their works by founding the International Iran Photo Agency (IIPA).

The short film festival commenced on October 14 and will continue to conclude on Oct. 18. The closing ceremony, though, will be held on Oct. 19 to announce and award the winners.