Art and Experience: The 35 edition of Fajr International Film Festival has announced entry regulations and other information.
Planning Commissioner Jafar Sanei Moqaddam says a film’s premiere status does matter.
He explains that choosing the festival to premiere a feature length movie is probably one of the most important decisions by any Iranian director. However, Fajr has an international premiere status, which means “we don’t screen your film at any competition section if it has screened at other festivals before us, or had public screening.”
According to Sanei Moqaddam, the festival has no selecting committee, but there will be councilors. They will watch and evaluate all Iranian film entries before sending a decision to the secretariat. They will select three feature length films and two short Iranian films for each of the International Competition and Asia and Islamic Countries sections.
He argued that some entries might have screened earlier in other festivals such as Fajr, short film, or Cinema Verite. “However, as per regulations, the names of selected entries will not be made public. The policy is clear on that. The names of those who have applied for an entry will not be announced publicly. Instead, they will receive a letter that notifies them of our decision.”
On the documentary section dubbed “Under the Magnifying Glass”, he said this is one of the main parts which is not for competition, but in which selected Iranian and foreign documentaries will screen.
On the Bazar Section, he said, “Last year Iranian movies were screened to international guests with English subtitles. Reception was overwhelming, so much so that many international TV channels bought the rights to broadcast them or were chosen to screen in other international festivals. This is important for the organizers. This year, this particular section is much more prepared and goal-oriented. Per usual, a number of short and feature length films will screen on the sidelines of the Bazar Section. ”
He regretted that because of time limits, only 30 Iranian films will screen, “and only those which have English subtitle and a CD copy, and reach us on time. Else, they will be replaced with those from the reservation list. The viewers of Bazar screening are international festival managers and planning commissioners, as well as Iranian and foreign guests.”
With regard to the festival’s Video Library he said, “Seeing the popularity of VOD network across the region, we have come up with a Video Library of our own, through which all short, documentary, animation, and feature length movies screened at the festival over the past three years, as well as those screened at the Cinema House Festival, could be watched online. This includes online support for those who made the movies. They can use the new network to market their films to producers and distributors. This service is free of charge. ”
In conclusion, Sanei Moqaddam said, “As previously, it goes against the rules and regulations to publish the names of movies that didn’t make it to this year’s event. A rejection notice will be sent to the directors and they will be responsible for any news or information leaked to the media.”
Presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, the 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will take place from Friday 21 to Friday 28 April.