Fajr Film Festival coming to liven up Tehran theaters
Posted Sunday, January 31, 2016 5:58:50 PM
TEHRAN – The countdown to Iran’s most important event in the motion picture industry comes to an end this afternoon as curtains rise on the 34th Fajr Film Festival in various movie theaters across the bustling metropolis of Tehran.
Yesterday evening, Vahdat Hall hosted a number of high-ranking cultural officials, cineastes and artists who gathered to mark the renewal of the festival, which some experts are calling a new year for Iranian cinema.
The opening ceremony hosted by TV anchor Ehsab Karami and superstars Bahram Radan and Mahnaz Afshar began with short speeches by Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati and Cinema Organization of Iran Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi.
In a statement issued hours before the opening ceremony of the festival on Sunday, Jannati said, “The connection between people and cinema is indestructible.”
“The Fajr Film Festival is the festival of people and cinema,” he stated and added, “The ten-day film festival will finally end, but the light of cinema will never be turned off… Cinema breathes and our hearts beat for it.”
Secretary of the festival Mohammad Heidari has previously expressed hope that the event would provide a basis for the new generation of Iranian filmmakers to promote their works.
“The 34th Fajr Film Festival welcomes new ideas, perspectives and creativity with open arms,” he said at a press conference earlier on January 2.
Twenty-two movies selected by a team of seven cineastes will vie for Crystal Simorghs in the main competition.
“The Bodyguard”, a political drama directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia and “Lollipop” by Mohammad-Hossein Farahbakhsh are among the highlights as Reza Dormishian will try his luck with “Lanturi”.
The lineup also includes “Breathe” by “Track 143” director Narges Abyar. The director of the acclaimed comedy “Lizard”, Kamal Tabrizi, will be coming with “Mina’s Choice”, a film about infidelity.
This section also features “Where Are My Shoes?”, a drama about the outcome of migration by Kiumars Purahmad, the director of antiwar dramas “The Night Bus” and “The Last 50 Steps”.
Eleven documentaries are competing in the Cinéma Vérité Section. Among the highlights is “A 157”, filmmaker Behruz Nuranipur’s tragedy about three Kurdish girls who became pregnant after being raped by members of ISIS.
In addition, Loqman Khaledi’s “Pruning Season”, which is about an Iranian man who tries to prove his claim of having produced a drug against cancer, will also be screened in this section.
The organizers arranged several programs as preludes to the current edition. One of them was held at the Film Museum of Iran on Thursday during which they honored three generations of Iranian dubbers including Iraj Rezai, Manuchehr Esmaeili and Shahla Nazerian.
“On the Wings of Simorgh”, a collection containing movies that have won Crystal Simorghs over the past 33 years, was unveiled as well a few days prior to the opening ceremony.
As an innovative approach, the poster for the 34th edition of festival bears an image of celebrated Iranian stage and screen actor Khosro Shakibai (1944-2008).
Winners will be announced at the closing ceremony of the festival on February 11.
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