Art and Experience: Shadmehr Rastin, head of the 34th FIFF’s Fan Club announced the details on this section’s registration and programs.
In an interview with the public relations office of the 34th FIFF, Shadmehr Rastin, head of the 34th FIFF’s Fan Club said, “One of the most significant differences of this edition of the festival from the previous editions – in both the national and international sections – is the attempt to attract specialized audiences – those who consider cinema their main passion and profession. We have targeted those specialized audiences for this edition of the festival. In other words, we haven’t been trying to encourage people to come see our films through selling tickets at the box office or putting up billboards in the city.”
This screenwriter added, “We’ve been attempting to attract those whose main concern is cinema, I mean, members of Khaneh Cinema’s guilds, cineastes, university professors, researchers, and students studying about cinema. Our goal is to attract those who follow cinematic events enthusiastically and have awareness about the films they choose to watch at the cinema. The festival Fan Club has been started to recruit such specialized audiences to come see the films, attend the workshops, visit the film market, and find out more about Fajr International Film Festival.”
He continued, “We’ve been aiming to get those whose field of study and research is cinema to apply to become members of the Fan Club and fortunately we’ve been successful so far. Specialized audiences either study cinema or a field which is related to cinema. For instance, they study about cinema and sociology, cinema and ethnology, or cinema and linguistics. Recruiting such audiences can give us a chance to use specialized knowledge in the upcoming editions of the festival.”
Regarding advertising and presenting the Fan Club, Rastin explained, “It wasn’t necessary to spend large amounts of money on advertisements. We merely needed to inform enthusiasts in cultural and educational centers. We started presenting our programs in cinemas, cinema faculties, the House of Artists, the City Theater, art centers, cultural centers, etc. and tried to attract our target audiences and let them know about the festival.”
“The Fan Club application forms were made available on the festival website last month and the submitted applications are being studied.”, he added. “Among the advantages of starting a fan club, which is one the achievements of this edition of the festival, there are certain points to be mentioned. For example, the applicants’ main areas of interest can be identified. We can find out what kinds of films they mostly appeal to and what kind workshops they normally tend to attend. Needless to say that all this information can help us organize the festival more efficiently in its upcoming editions. Moreover, the applicants’ personal information like, their email address, phone number, or address, can make it easier for us to notify them of the festival programs.”
Rastin also referred to the member facilities and said, “The Fan Club members can use a 70% discount on the tickets. Those who have applied on the festival website have received a code for getting discount on the tickets. It is also possible for the Fan Club members to select their seats besides their desirable showtimes.”
Rastin emphasized that the information received from the Fan Club members can inform them of how the festival programs will have been received by the audience. He said, “By the end of the 34th FIFF, we will have collected some reliable data on the quality of the different sections of the festival and how they will have been received by the audience. Since there usually isn’t such information on Iranian Cinema, other research centers can take advantage of the collected data as well.”
He pointed out that the idea of having a fan club was totally welcomed by the festival director and said, “Reza Mirkarimi, the director of the festival has become a member of the Fan Club himself and has also asked the members of Khaneh Cinema to apply for membership. He has also encouraged them to apply for tickets through becoming a Fan Club member. Hopefully, this approach will result in providing better circumstances for our target audiences.”
Replying to the question regarding his prediction about the number of applicants, Rastin stated, “We predict that there will be about 5000 members in the festival Fan Club. This is a promising number for the first festival Fan Club ever. We won’t let the Fan Club members go after the festival. We will stay in contact with them and invite them to film screening and review sessions and workshops. As a matter of fact, we have future prospects for specialized audiences of cinema – those who have a specialized look at films and do not merely appeal to Hollywood and Iranian Cinema.”
“April 13th is the deadline for registration at the Fan Club.”, he said. “Anyone interested can visit the festival website www.fajriff.com and apply for membership. They will later be informed about their membership cards.”
Rastin also referred to the possibility of recruiting more Fan Club members and said, “We may have some limitations regarding some facilities like the 70% discount on the tickets as long as we manage to recruit more than 5000 members. It will have been determined by the deadline.”
The 34th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will be held from April 20th to April 25th, 2016 in Charsou Cineplex, under the supervision of the well-known Iranian filmmaker, Mr. Reza Mirkarimi, who is also the Managing Director of Khaneh Cinema.
For more information on Fajr International Film Festival, visit the festival website, www.fajriff.com.