Every year, the Fajr International Film Festival (FIff) does its best to brief Iranian filmmaking students and even professional producers on the latest developments of world cinema by inviting foreign cineastes and those involved in holding international festivals and workshops.
Despite the limitations they faced in inviting foreign guests to the event due to the reimposition of US unilateral sanctions on Iran, this year the organizers of the 37th FIff (April 18-26) have pursued the same goal by holding training workshops and expert meetings in different fields of the film industry, attended by foreign professionals.
Dimitri Alips, the representative, planner and international sales manager of the French Courant 3D Film Festival, has attended the current edition of the Tehran film festival as a special guest and conducted a training workshop on the new 3D cinematic form, or ‘augmented reality,’ and virtual reality.
Speaking to Iran Daily on the sidelines of the 37th FIff, he said that Iranian cinema is progressing completely at the same pace and level as the international film industry.
He commented on Iranian cinema, its capacities, potentials and facilities, and the present and future state of 3D cinema.
Excerpts of the interview follow:
IRAN DAILY: Would you please expound on the Courant 3D Film Festival?
DIMITRI ALIPS: The use of new forms in cinema, I mean producing 3D or virtual reality films, has not yet reached a favorable level in the world. Still, a lot can be done in this field as this kind of cinema has yet failed to receive due attention. Thus, we decided to organize a festival in France to exclusively focus on 3D films. France is among the founders of such festivals and a pioneer in this field.
Our group is, at present, capable of producing 3D films. Nevertheless, our concentration is more on choosing such films and preparing the ground for their production.
We also provide services to French directors as advisers and planners.
To what extent are you familiar with Iranian cinema? What aspects of this cinema do you consider more prominent?
Like France, Iran has a great cinema. Personally, I like Iranian films very much, as I have watched works by the late prominent Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami. Iran’s cinema focuses mainly on people’s daily and social lives and family relationships. This cinema has achieved great international success in the production of such films.
Has Iranian cinema managed to achieve the same level of progress the world has reached?
Iranian cinema is currently progressing entirely at the same level and pace as the international film industry and has a large number of qualified, skilled and experienced technicians, directors and film producers. Attractive images appear in Iranian films.
Iran’s cinema is definitely capable of producing 3D films. Production of such films is certainly different from making normal and classic films. However, I believe that making these kinds of movies can be less costly than producing other kinds. Iranian filmmakers can make far greater use of this cinematic form in the production of their films.
What percentage of French films are produced in this form? How do you see the future of this kind of cinema?
Compared to US cinema, fewer 3D movies are produced in the French film industry. During the past few years, French cinema has shown a stronger inclination toward making virtual reality films.
A little less than 100 years ago, in 1938, the Lumière brothers – Auguste and Louis Lumière – produced the first 3D film in cinema history. At present, although considerable progress has been made in the production of 3D films, we cannot claim that these films will gradually replace classic cinema. I maintain that this cinema will maintain its status.
What are the differences between 3D and classic films in terms of content?
The screenplays of 3D films are far different from those of normal movies. There must be a rational justification for producing films in this form. I, personally, sometimes do not understand some filmmakers’ motivations for producing 3D films.
This form of filmmaking (3D) is more suitable for producing documentaries, films aimed at presenting, for instance, a place’s tourist attractions and those focusing on people’s daily lives and lifestyle. That is why I maintain that this kind of filmmaking can be very attractive for Iranian producers, given the country’s tourism capacities and interesting social issues.
How do you assess the participation of 3D films in major international festivals?
3D films still fail to have a significant presence in major festivals. Nevertheless, I hold that these works should be studied, analyzed and evaluated separately, as their narrative form is totally different from that of classic films.