Art and Experience: The festival press department of Fajr Film Festival continues to interview on the sidelines of this year’s run. Here is a quick chat with Bernhard Karl, the international programmer for Munich Film Festival:
What brought you this year’s event?
This is my first time in Iran, but I have always wanted to pay a visit to your country and this year it finally happened after a meeting with Mirkarimi, the festival director, who invited me. Mirkarimi is pretty open to new ideas and new people.
What do you know about the festival and what feedbacks have you got from the previous editions?
As far as I am concerned, this festival is the most important film event in Iran and I heard a lot about it that I knew one day I would make it to come here.
Where do you think Iran’s cinema stands?
I do believe it has higher standards, even though there are always some waves in the industry all across the world and Iran is no exception. Your country holds numerous well-known filmmakers like Farhadi, Mirkarimi and Kiarostami that we lost and many other outstanding directors that your cinema can benefit from. I knew Asghar personally very well. He is a great director. And good young talents are entering the industry.
How do you compare Fajr with German and other festivals?
Firstly, I should mention that rules and regulations differ from country to country and due to that comparison will not be easy. But regarding some general aspects, same as other international events, this festival is well prepared and well organized which you must be really proud of. Everything from the Film Market to the screening programs is put together magnificently. And I am sure your selection of films will be excellent.
Can you name a successful festival and what makes it stand out?
I can name Cannes, not because of the money put into it or because it is a red carpet event, but the main reason is the selection of movies and their qualities and you have some directors that their works have this quality.
What is your idea about inviting young talents to this year’s event?
It’s a wonderful idea. I think one reason for holding festivals is to help people get to know each other. The festival could also help promote your art and culture.
What do you expect to see this year?
I expect to see films with good qualities and I also want to meet with great filmmakers.
Presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, the 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will take place from 21 to 28 April in Tehran.