0620 GMT February 22, 2018
In his message, Qassemi said, "During its one hundred years of life, Iranian cinema has produced unprecedented, admirable and everlasting cinematic works that will forever remain in the memory of those who share a passion for the culture and art of this land."
He added, "The impressive and effective presence of Iranian cinema in numerous international film festivals has presented a clearer and more profound image of Iranian culture and art to the world."
Qassemi expressed gratitude to all the members of the great and hardworking family of Iran's cinema who have improved the status of the Iranian nation and art in international arenas using the diplomacy of art and cinema and presenting an accurate image of the realities of Iran.
Iran has observed National Cinema Day on September 12 each year since 2000 when the country hosted a festival dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the cinema of the Middle Eastern state.
The history of Iran's cinema dates back to 1900 when the fifth king of the Qajar dynasty, Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar, who reigned from 1896 to 1907, instructed the royal photographer Mirza Ebrahim Khan Akkas-Bashi to purchase filmmaking equipment to document the Iranian ruler's visit to Europe.
The first public screening in Iran took place in 1904. The first Iranian feature film, titled 'Abi and Rabi', was produced in 1930 by Ovanes Ohanian. The first Iranian sound film was 'Lor Girl' made by Ardeshir Irani in 1933. The first Iranian female filmmaker is Shahla Riahai who made 'Marjan' in 1956.
Iranian cinema's first and only Palme d'Or was awarded to Abbas Kiarostami's 'Taste of Cherry' in 1997. The first Academy Award for an Iranian film was awarded to Asghar Farhadi's 'A Separation' in 2012.