Coronavirus should not shut down cinematic events: DEFC director
Art and Experience: The Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) director Mohammad Hamidi-Moqaddam has said that film events should not be shut down due to the coronavirus.
“We cannot close the annual and biannual festivals, which have a long history, because of coronavirus since it is not clear how long the world will be dealing with the disease and its aftermath, therefore we need to find new ways to deal with it and help cinema not to be closed,” he stated.
The DEFC is the main organizer of the Cinema Vérité, Iran’s major international festival for documentary films, that is going entirely online during December.
Pointing to the effect of the coronavirus on the quality of the festivals, he said, “We cannot expect too much from the festivals in this situation because we are experiencing such a condition for the first time. But as long as there is a will to hold the festival and keep it alive, it should be respected and honored.”
“Of course, the cineastes have the power to choose but we should know that festivals like the Resistance Film Festival and the Cinema Vérité require good collaboration between the cineastes and the organizers,” he remarked.
He added that there is always the fear of piracy in the online film screenings and everybody knows that this cannot be fully controlled.
“We all know that documentary cinema is limited compared to fiction, and it might not face serious threats. One can even say copying can help promote the documentary cinema as well,” he remarked.
“Cinema is promoted when it leans on festivals and the same is true about the documentary cinema. Festivals are a place where young talent is discovered and introduced, and I must say that the Resistance Film Festival is a good venue to introduce young talent, while it also helps broadcast the films on TV channels.”
He added that there are good relations between the Cinema Vérité and the Resistance festivals, and hoped that good relations can lead to the elevation of the Iranian cinema.
The 14th edition of the Cinema Vérité will be organized entirely online during December due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the country over the past month.
A plan to dedicate a special section to screening documentaries on the pandemic and COVID-19 has also been advanced.
The organizers plan to design platforms to guarantee the festival entries against piracy.
There are also plans to pay tribute to celebrated filmmaker Khosro Sinai who died of coronavirus on August 1.