Documentary on Monitor Lizards
Art And Culture

Documentary on Monitor Lizards

The environmental documentary ‘Monitor Lizards Fall in Love’ by filmmaker Delavar Dustanian will be unveiled at the 9th Iran International Documentary Film Festival ‘Cinema Verite’, slated for mid-December in Tehran.
The 2015 production will vie in the national competition section of feature documentaries, ISNA reported.
Next to the pristine lake and the mountains and in the heart of oak forests, a story of love and hunting reoccurs every day; this is the inevitable cycle of nature, the synopsis of the film says.
“Research for the film started last winter to understand the flora and fauna of the region and the film was shot in less than three months in the spring,” Dustanian said.
“To get to the main location of the setting, the film crew had to take a breathtaking hike for six hours every day in the landscapes of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province in southwest of Iran. It was tiresome to travel on foot carrying all the equipment as no vehicle could go there,” he added.
Fearing attacks by wild animals, the film crew would spend the night in caves. Monitor lizards are found in the western part of Iran. While most of them are carnivorous, eating eggs, smaller reptiles, fish, birds and small mammals, some also eat fruit and vegetation. They have long necks and powerful tails and claws. The length of the adult ranges from 20 cm to over 3 meters.
“Watching the film, the audience will understand how animals love each other; however the way they show their love is different from that of the humans,” he noted.
Born in Ilam Province in western Iran, Dustanian, 48, has made over 10 documentary and fiction films.
He says he has not used special effects in his documentaries, but believes a documentary is not only recording of what really happens but is a powerful narrative screenplay and has a major role in the success of the film. “Drama is a serious issue that a documentarian should bear in mind when making a film,” he said.
Films in the competition section are in three categories based on their duration: under 30 minutes, between 30 and 60 minutes and over 60 minutes.
Organized by Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center, the annual Cinema Verite seeks to express the relationship between reality and truth through documentary films.
The slogan for this year’s edition ‘Truth is the Best Guide’ has been taken from a saying by Imam Ali (AS), the first Shia Imam.
The festival will run from December 13 to 19 at Tehran’s Palestine and Sepideh Cinemas.


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