Art and Experience: The Cinema Organization of Iran (COI) director Hossein Entezami has appointed Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad the new director of the 39th Fajr Film Festival.

Tabatabainejad replaced Ebrahim Darughehzadeh who had held the position since 2017.

Tabatabainejad was the director of the Supervision and Evaluation Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

As the former director of the Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC), he also presided over the Cinema Verite, Iran’s major international festival of documentary films, for several years.

In August, Hossein Entezami announced that the organization is searching for a safe platform to organize the Fajr Film Festival online if the pandemic continues until February 2021.

He said that there is no platform in Iran to guarantee the festival entries against piracy, adding that he has asked his colleagues to find solutions for this issue.

“If we cannot have a platform that ensures the safety of films during the festival, it will be impossible for us to organize the event online,” he had said.

The 38th edition of the Fajr Film Festival, Iran’s major film event, 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.

Meanwhile, groups of Iranian cineastes called on the Cinema Organization of Iran to cancel film festivals in the country to allocate the events’ budgets to those filmmakers and film organizations affected by the coronavirus shutdown.

Source: Tehrantimes