Art And Culture

Digital Encyclopedia on Iranian Cinema Due in April

Digital Encyclopedia on Iranian Cinema Due in AprilDigital Encyclopedia on Iranian Cinema Due in April

The Fajr International Film Festival plans to launch an English website as the digital encyclopedia on Iranian cinema, concurrent with the start of the 36th edition of FIFF in April.

The creator of the website, Iraj Taqipour, said the encyclopedia on Iranian cinema will go online at and

“Screenwriter and director Reza Mirkarimi, secretary of the festival, had been coming up with a number of new policies and plans since he was selected as the director of FIFF three years ago. The idea was to underscore the fundamental evolution of film and media technologies in Iran from the early 19th century to the present time,” he said.

“The ultimate goal was to advertise and market Iranian movies for a wider global audience. We took the necessary measures to that end in the past two festivals. We now plan to complete the second phase of our new project.”

Taqipour pointed out that there are not many published and online resources on Iranian movies in the English language.

“The English-language encyclopedia on Iranian cinema has been carried out by our artists, researchers, journalists and practitioners of cinematographic techniques associated with the project,” he said.

According to the creator of the website, there is not even a Persian-language encyclopedia on Iranian cinema.

“Of course, there are some privately-run websites and databases, but they are not comprehensive and reliable in terms of information and analysis of movies, interviews and digitized archives with technical and theoretical reflections carried out by film critics and researchers,” he said.

  Over 10,000 Films

According to a press release by the Public Relations Office of the festival, information on 4,000 feature films, which is roughly the total number of films produced in Iran so far, has been collected and archived. Information on 6,500 short films is also included. The website now has a comprehensive database on about 10,500 Iranian movies in total.

The website will also chronicle the history of Iranian cinema. It begins from the first camera purchased by Iran in 1897 and the first cinematic pictures taken three years later in 1900 to many other important events and developments in the contemporary Iranian cinema.

Taqipour regretted that Iranian cinema has lagged behind in terms of international marketing and box office.

“The digital encyclopedia on Iranian cinema could help develop and market Iranian cinema internationally. Iranian films have won awards at international festivals, but gained little at the global box office. The two websites intend to help reach a wider global audience,” he said.

The concept of the database is a unique opportunity to think about the current convergence among film production, marketing and screening through a database. It is a unique online reference work that will cover the Iranian cinema’s development. The 36th FIFF will be held in Tehran on April 19-27.


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