News ID: 191246
Published: 0638 GMT April 21, 2017

35th Fajr International Film Festival inaugurated

35th Fajr International Film Festival inaugurated

The 35th Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF) began on Friday with the participation of about 350 guests, including filmmakers, sellers and filmmaking students.

Regarded as one of the largest and most well-respected film festivals in the Middle East, the event will be held from April 21 to 28, 2017 in Tehran, under the secretary of well-known Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi.

The official website of the festival wrote: "The festival focuses especially on films from the Middle East, Central Asia, Caucasus and Anatolia as well as works heralding peace and friendship as true teachings of the holy prophets."

The participants are from 31 Asian, 23 European, six African and five countries from the Americas and Oceania, 24 of which are Muslim countries.

The festival opened one day earlier on Thursday for the press and the media.

The secretary of this year's run said the festival follows new standards and has unique features for all moviegoers and participants. According to him, "The ultimate goal is to globalize Fajr, as this is not just about watching movies; rather a global ritual, part of which is film watching."

Addressing the press and audiences after the screening of 'The Teacher' by Czech director-writer Jan Hřebejk, Mirkarimi said the idea to allow the press to start work one day early was to help them see some of the movies in advance and gather material for their readership.

"We did our best to be goal-oriented and select top movies from A-list directors the world over. We have come up with different categories and programs to ensure the final results would be positive and desirable."

He further said, "A standard festival requires at least 15 halls for its audiences with different tastes. We were warned that we would never have a full house let alone 15. Quite the contrary, we had to add two more movie theaters to meet the overwhelming demand of the moviegoers. This is not just about watching movies. It's an artistic and cultural procedure to get together and watch movies in the meantime."

Mirkarimi noted, "The number of foreign guests is far higher than last year's. Directors of over 70 percent of movies are attending. Iranian audiences will watch films together which is a step forward for the programmers. Some 350 guests from 66 countries are joining, which is more than enough for any festival. The programming team has managed to pull together a plethora of different viewpoints in storytelling from around the world in the hope of generating great discussion with Iranian audiences, films critics, and reporters."

In conclusion, he said 8,000 ID cards have been issued for Charsoo Cineplex, which has 950 seats. The venue is divided into four sections: Press, Fajr Film Club, International Guests and Film Market.

Meanwhile, an exhibition of pictures, posters and cartoons on the late Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami is to be held at the Fajr International Film Festival on April 22-24, said Seifollah Samadian, a Fajr Int'l Film Festival official.

He added that 68 pictures, 30 posters and 12 cartoons are to be displayed at this exhibition.

Kiarostami, who died in July 2016, was an Iranian maestro, whose 'Taste of Cherry' grabbed the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

Several prestigious festivals and film events have already honored the noted Iranian director and paid homage to Kiarostami by organizing retrospectives of his works.

He is mostly known as a screenwriter, film editor, art director and producer as well as a poet, photographer, painter, illustrator and graphic designer.

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