Art And Culture

Charsou Cineplex Set for Fajr Film Festival

Charsou Cineplex Set for Fajr Film FestivalCharsou Cineplex Set for Fajr Film Festival

Just a week from the opening of the 34th Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF), Charsou Cineplex, where the event is being held for the first time, is getting ready to host international guests and local enthusiasts.

Slated for April 20-25, various sections of the festival including film screenings, workshops and the Iranian International Film Market will take place at the venue in downtown Tehran, Mehr News Agency (MNA) reported.

Last year for the first time, the event was held at Mellat Cineplex, in north of Tehran, independently from the national section and prior to that, both the national and international sections were held at Milad Tower. Both venues came in for criticism due to their hard-to-reach location in the bustling capital, as well as lack of space for all the activities. Also, located far from where the foreign guests were housed, it was another problem for the organizers.

However, the renowned filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi who is this year’s festival secretary selected Charsou as the venue to put an end to the controversies. The cinema complex seems suitable for the event as it has enough room for the various events and is also within a stone’s throw from the Ferdowsi International Grand Hotel, where the international guests are staying.

Young actor Ashkan Khatibi, who is the manager of the cineplex, told MNA in the past month, three top floors of the complex, which will host the festival, have been handed to the festival organizers and they have designed and prepared it in a way best suited for the visitors.

Nearly 3000 people are expected to attend the festival daily. “We are making efforts to remove all problems before the festival starts and welcome the event warmly,” Khatibi said.

Besides the five cinema halls with 900 seats, the complex includes a food court, two coffee shops and a parking lot with a capacity for 1000 cars. The first four floors of the building is a big market for cell phones, personal computers and other audio-visual and home appliances.

 Jury of Eastern Vista

According to the public relations office of the festival, Iranian actress Golab Adineh, Afghan filmmaker Saharaa Karimi, Indian artist Jaaved Jaafari, Italian festival programmer Maria Teresa Cavina and Moroccan director Ismael Ferroukhi sit on the jury panel of the Eastern Vista section.

Adineh, 63, started acting since 1975 in theater band ‘Piadeh’. She has played in more than 20 films and TV series and has won the Crystal Simorgh Award for the best supporting actress for ‘Blue Veil’ at the 13th Fajr International Film Festival. Besides acting, she is also active in casting and teaching acting.

Born in Kabul, Karimi, 31, grew up in Tehran. When she was 17, she migrated to Slovakia, where she lived until the age of 28. In 2012 she returned to Kabul.

Karimi has received her PhD degree in the field of cinema (fiction film directing & screenwriting) from the Academy of Performing Arts, in Bratislava, Slovakia. She has made around 30 short fiction and documentary films and won many international awards.

Jaaferi, 54, is a Shia Indian actor, producer, director and voice artist. He has been an iconic figure in the Bollywood entertainment industry for over 30 years.

As a voice artist, he had dubbed the voices of Goofy and Mickey Mouse in Hindi. He has also scripted the Hindi version of ‘Pixar the Incredibles’ and ‘Jungle Book 2’.

Ferroukhi, 54, from Morocco is an award-winning writer and director. In 1993, he made his first short fiction film ‘L’Expose’, which won the Prix SACD du meilleur court metrage in Cannes and the special jury prize in Clermont Ferrant.

Cavina, 58, from Italy, is a festival programmer and an expert in script evaluation and doctoring.  She started her career as festival programmer in 1989 at the Venice Film Festival where she stayed till 1997.

In 1998 she moved to the Locarno Film Festival which she co-directed from 2001 to 2005. In 2006 she started the Rome Film Festival where she stayed as artistic director till 2008. From 2009 to 2012 she has been the artistic director of FIPA, the first festival presenting TV programs and documentaries. From 2009 to 2014 she has been programming director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

 Old Documentary on Iran

As the veteran filmmaker and photographer Seyfollah Samadian, the screening manager of the festival, said, a very old documentary will be shown during the event on the subject of Iran.

A silent documentary ‘Land of the Lion and the Sun’ directed by Vladimir Erofeev of the former Soviet Union made in 1928, will be screened.

The 41-minute documentary illustrates Iran as it was 90 years ago. It has recorded different moments of Iranian people’s social life, the country’s general ambience and women’s clothing at that time.