According to the public relations of the Farabi Cinema Foundation, the opening ceremony of the third China Film Week was held in the Farabi Cinema Foundation on Saturday evening, May 6th, 2023, with the presence of a group of political, cultural, and artistic figures and Iranian and China filmmakers.
*The platform for interaction between Iran and China cinema has been provided more than before.
Seyed Mahdi Javadi, managing director of Farabi Cinema Foundation, while expressing his satisfaction with the third China Film Week holding in Iran and hosted by Farabi Cinema Foundation, said: “The culture of China, with its antiquity and vastness, has many humanistic and moral dimensions, with spiritual roots that have deep connections between two cultures of Iran and China. Today's era can be a representation of two ancient cultures and Eastern civilizations, which have found an even greater alignment given the new world order."
He continued: "The presence of Iranian cinema in China film events, including the Shanghai International Film Festival, Beijing IFF, etc., and the presence of China cinema in prominent Iranian festivals, including Fajr Film Festival, Children and Youth film festival, Cinema Verite Film Festival and Tehran Short Film Festival have created many interactions over the past years, which I hope will increase in the future."
Javadi stated: "One of the points that can strengthen these relations is the realization of co-productions, which were pursued between Farabi Cinema Foundation and China Film Group last year, and we hope that, with the greater intensity of this interaction, we would see these joint works on the screen in the fourth China Film Week in the future.
Referring to other cinema interactions between the two countries, Javadi said: "Among the other programs of Farabi, pursued by the Cinema Organization, is the matter of holding joint events to strengthen cinema by the participation of the countries that are members of the Shanghai treaty. Also, the expansion and transition of modern production technologies and the creation of infrastructures are among the other issues we have an understanding with the cinema of China."
*Screening of the first silent fictional film of China cinema at the Farabi Cinema Foundation:
In the continuation of the ceremony, the exclusive video message of Sun Xianghui, the head of the National Film Archive of China, was broadcast to the present audience at the third China film week in Iran.
The head of China National Film Archive said: "On behalf of China Film Archive, I congratulate the organizers of the third China Film Week in Iran. China Film Archive is a national archive and an official member of the Federation of International Film Archives. It has been 65 years since its establishment, and we always promote the exchange of Chinese and foreign films. Since 2022, we have held China film events in 16 countries. Among the films screened at these events, there is a unique film called "Labourer’s Love" which is a classic silent short film.
Chinese cinema was born in 1905, and, this film was made in 1922 which is the first fiction film in China cinema. Considering the 100th anniversary of its production, we will show the remake of this work for the first time to the Iranian audience.”
*Iranian films have always shined at international festivals in China
"Chang Hua", the ambassador of the P.R.China in Iran, was the next speaker at the opening ceremony of the third China film week. After thanking Mohammad Khazaei and Seyed Mahdi Javadi and, the organizing team, he said: "Film is the art of light and shadow, a mirror of reality and a messenger of culture, that plays an important role in learning about different civilizations."
Emphasizing that China and Iran have magnificent old civilizations, he said: "The screening hall of the Farabi Cinema Foundation is named after Abbas Kiarostami, a great filmmaker who traveled to China four times to make films in the last two years of his life, and the Chinese filmmakers have made a documentary film called 'March with Abbas Kiarostami' with his presence."
In another part of his speech, the China ambassador said: "Iranian films have won many awards at China film festivals, including Shanghai and Beijing, and China filmmakers have also made films that have improved the understanding of the audience. In this way, Iranian and Chinese work to enter people's homes, and all this shows the high quality of the development of cooperation between China and Iran in the field of cinema."
Chang Hua stated that “Chinese films have their roots in ancient civilizations and are permeated by Eastern humanist feelings, emphasizing that these works have colorful forms and themes. Chinese films have grown, especially in the last decade. In 2022, China's film box office sold four billion and 360 million dollars, and the number of viewers in its city cinemas reached 712 million people."
He continued: "During the recent visit of the honorable president of Iran to China, these two countries signed a statement on expanding cultural cooperation and strengthening the bond between their people. I sincerely hope that China Film Week will introduce more Chinese films to Iranian audiences and that Iranian friends will also introduce Chinese films to others."
*There are many undiscovered capacities for developing Iran-China film cooperation.
In the continuation of the opening ceremony of the third China Film Week, Mohammad Khazaei, Deputy Minister and Head of the Cinema Organization of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, said: "We are pleased to host the third China Film Week in Iran. I welcome all of you, cultural managers, guests, artists, the honorable ambassador of China, cultural advisors, and all brothers and sisters."
Stating that the cinema of Iran and China have distinctive and brilliant characteristics and identifiers in the world, he said: I do not doubt that through the development of cultural and cinematic relations between the two countries of Iran and China, two nations with a long history and possessing culture and civilization will approach each other more and more.
The head of the Iranian Cinema Organization continued his speech and said: The extensive connection between the cinemas of the two countries is important because there are many undiscovered capacities for expansion and development in this area that can be taken into consideration. One of the features of this cooperation, along with the development of cultural relations, will be the economic strengthening of cinema and alignment for the exchange of experiences in various fields of hardware and software.
Khazaei reminded: "This mutual, purposeful, and progressing communication with China cinema is part of the roadmap of the Iranian Cinema Organization in the international field. Iranian cinema is prominent in the world because of its human and moral themes, and it owes all its credibility and power to the inclusion of two vital elements: Islamic and Eastern art.
He also continued by emphasizing the image-oriented feature of the current era: Iran and China cinema, with historical, cultural, and civilizational history can be pioneers and standard-bearers in the "image-oriented world of today and the media age"; Especially since today we are witnessing the collapse of the unipolar world and the failure of the hegemony of the Western cinema monopoly and the formation of new cultural poles and emerging narratives.
He stated that the world remembers the two great civilizations of Iran and China with the Silk Road, and today's cinema can be considered a metaphor for the same great highway, adding: I hope that with this cinematic event, the fields of continuous and effective cooperation between companies, film companies, buyers and distributors get expanded for both countries.
Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance stated: The project of showing the works and products of the image industry of the two countries on different platforms should be pursued with more seriousness and attention to establish communication and connection, taking into account the deep historical ties and cultural commonalities and effective cooperation in this field. It can be made possible by the economy of culture and creating motivation for the presence of the activists of this art industry.
Emphasizing that it is appropriate to mention the strategic role of the two countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Khazaei continued: Given the ancient history of the two countries in the field of cinema and cultural and artistic cooperation, the formation of the Union of Cinematic and Audio-Visual Cooperation of the member countries of Shanghai is considered very important and strategic.
At the end of his speech, he said: I consider it appropriate to thank and appreciate the cooperation of the Chinese Embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Organization of Islamic Culture and Communications, as well as the efforts of my colleagues at the Farabi Cinema Foundation for hosting this program.
The third China Film Week continues with the screening of five films from the new generation of China cinema till May 10th at the Farabi Cinema Foundation.