Art and Experience:  The Film Producers Guild of Iran has asked the Ministry and Culture and Islamic Guidance and its Cinema Organization of Iran not to shut down the Fajr Film Festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement published by media on Thursday, the association wrote, “Perhaps, the shutdown of this major and unique event is the easiest and best way for those people who either do not have the ability to resist against a crisis or have no concern about the total closure of the Iranian cinema.

“However, it is not to be forgotten that the Iranian cinema can intelligently use every event to reach to better days, and has the potential and resilience to remain the most important cultural event of the country as ever.

“Surely organizing the Fajr Film Festival in the midst of these conditions under the auspices of the relevant organizations will change the event into a new and valuable experience in the history of the Iranian cinema, making its friends happy and its enemies disappointed.”

The association also pointed to the major international film festivals, including Locarno, Toronto, London and Annecy, which were organized during the pandemic, and asked the Fajr organizers to follow the procedures they instituted.

Earlier, the Fajr Film Festival announced that the 39th edition of Iran’s major film event would go ahead with screenings but only for the jury due to a sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

They said that the festival would be organized on its regular date from January 31 to February 10, 2021, however, there would be no public screenings during the festival unless there would be a dramatic change in conditions.

Since the organizers have no safe platform to guarantee the festival entries against piracy, they have no plans for organizing the festival online either.

The 38th edition of the Fajr Film Festival was held in Tehran from February 1 to 11, just a few days before the first cases of the COVID-19 infection were detected in the country.

Afterwards, the international edition of the festival, which was scheduled to be held in April, was canceled due to the pandemic.

Source: Tehrantimes