Art And Culture

‘Talent Campus’ at FIFF

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Darkhan Tulegenov (L), Alimzhan Kudabayev (C) and Amir AmenovDarkhan Tulegenov (L), Alimzhan Kudabayev (C) and Amir Amenov

This year’s Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF), April 21-28, saw more than 100 young filmmakers from 33 countries participating in workshops named ‘Talent Campus’.

The sessions, chaired by experts from Iran and other countries on various cinema issues, wrapped up on April 26, two days ahead of the festival conclusion.

“The classes were amazing. Every day we were able to experience two or three speakers who were highly qualified professionals from Iran and world cinema,” said Amir Amenov, a young Kazakh filmmaker.

Three participants from Kazakhstan, Darkhan Tulegenov, Alimzhan Kudabayev and Amir, spoke to the Financial Tribune about their experience in Tehran, after the workshops concluded.

They were trained on different aspects of filmmaking and also wrote scripts for short films at the classes. Iranian filmmaker Ahmadreza Motamedi and actor Reza Kianian as well as celebrated international figures including Turkish screenwriter, film director and producer Semih Kaplanoglu and Spanish movie director Victor Erice Aras were among the masters who spoke about screenwriting, filmmaking, acting and movie production.

Based on the themes they had chosen earlier, they were put in different classes in ‘Talent Campus’. Amir had chosen ‘immigration and identity’ while it was ‘love and family’ for the other two.

About their familiarity with Iran cinema, Amir said that they have to “learn more because it is so expansive.” However, they have seen films by Asghar Farhadi, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Jafar Panahi and the late auteur Abbas Kiarostami.

Kiarostami passed away last June and the organizers of this year’s festival dedicated a three-day program to pay tribute to him. “To be honest, I was shocked when I first saw (Kiarostami’s) ‘Close Up’ (1990) because it is a beautiful blend of fiction and documentary, so for me it was mind-blowing and mind-opening and that made me watch more of his films,” Amir said.

The young Kazakh filmmakers watched ‘76 Minutes and 15 Seconds’, a documentary made by Seifollah Samadian on the life and career of Kiarostami, at the festival. “For me, it was the best film I saw here. Kiarostami shows that cinema can be more than what we know about it,” Amir said.

The three university students from different film schools in Kazakhstan, Darkhan, Alimzhan and Amir have made seven, four and three short films respectively so far. Darkhan plans to make his first feature film, “perhaps next year,” but Amir and Alimzhan believe they need to make more short films to get ready for a feature-length production.

The 35th FIFF concluded on April 28, a day after the winners of various sections received their prizes.

On the last day of the festival, the 10 halls of Charsou, Felestin and Farhang cinemas continued screening several films and five showings at Charsou were dedicated to the winner movies.


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