28 July 2018

Director of the Supreme Council for the International Affairs of the Iranian Cinema: All efforts in creating restrictions against the presence of the Iranian cinema in the international scene will go in vain.  In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Raed Faridzadeh discussed the latest activities of the international department of Farabi Cinema Foundation and the Supreme Council for the International Affairs of the Iranian Cinema. He pointed out some of the new approaches he will undertake as the new Head of International Affairs of Farabi Cinema Foundation. During his interview, Faridzadeh emphasized on the fact that the private sector is still young and needs support. He also mentioned about the importance of giving the opportunity to the new younger generation of experts to enter the international scene as well as training them and allowing them to access the private sector of international distribution of Iranian movies.

Faridzadeh continued by saying that the infrastructure and frameworks for the active role of youngsters in the international arena should be arranged by the government and in this regard the Supreme Council requests for the support of Farabi Cinema Foundaiton in promoting and supporting the expansion and development of the private sector.

Furthermore, he emphasized on the fact that this sector is still developing and that the council hopes that the guild of international distributors will be formed in the near-future.  Of course, it is not possible to distribute all Iranian films. Organizations such as Soureh, Iranian Youth Cinema Society and Documentary & Experimental Film Center are in charge of distributing short and documentary films. We hope that with the arrival of new younger experts in this field, the involvement of the government will be decreased and the presence of the private sector will flourish. Faridzadeh specified that the lack of training and unprofessionalism of some people working in this industry has harmed the image of the Iranian Cinema abroad.

The Head of International Affairs of Farabi Cinema Foundation continued by emphasizing on the cultural presence of Iran in the global scene, mentioning that one of the main roles of the Iranian Cinema in the international sector is related to its non-profit cultural presence which is arranged by the Organization of Islamic Culture and Relations and occasionally with the cooperation of other institutions and organizations. He added that: another activity is related to international film markets and the ability of offering new products of the Iranian cinema in new international film markets based on our capacity and resources. In addition, Faridzadeh also touched upon the important role Iranian expats can play in helping develop and expand international distribution. He mentioned that Iranians living abroad can play a crucial role, especially at this moment with some of the international restrictions we are facing. We can seek their consultation and assistance to help us find the best path, especially since they are based in those countries and have more experience.

Faridzadeh explained that: we haven’t been unable to properly introduce the capacities of Iran and have neglected our long and rich heritage. However, he added that the cinema can serve as a tool for introducing our capacities. According to Faridzadeh, the cinema can help portray attractions which commercial industries can later on benefit from. The cinema can serve as a driving force for sectors such as tourism, culture and heritage.

In response to whether the efforts put in isolating Iran in the international arena will affect the presence of the Iranian cinema, Faridzadeh replied: When the atmosphere becomes tighter politically and economically, a unique possibility is created for cultural diplomacy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Organization of Islamic Culture and Relations follow official policies, however, at the same time we have true cultural ambassadors who have been able to acquire respect and recognition for Iran over the years.


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