Art and Experience: The Public Relation Office of the 34th Fajr International Film Festival to be held on 20-25 April 2016 in Tehran has released details on the upcoming film event.

In the first press conference of the 2016 FIFF held on March 8 in Tehran, Reza Mirkarimi (Festival Director), Amir Esfandiari (International Deputy of the festival), Alireza Shojanouri (Manager of Film Sessions and Meetings), Reza Kianian (Manager of Festival Palace), and Kayvan Kassirian (Head of Communication and Media) explained about different sections of the festival and then answered press questions.

The director of the FIFF said, “It’s not possible to hold an international festival without primarily seeking national goals. We cannot achieve our goals if we neglect our national aims. We’ve been trying to present the Iranian cinema as a strategic commodity.”

He went on to add, “we know that there will be some problems throughout. Some were not even sure whether the festival could be held or not. At first, I tried to set up targeted programs for the festival. Who is the audience? Why do we hold this festival? Are our programs in line with the taste of our audience? Is this program going to take us to where we want to get?”

Mirkarimi emphasized, “in order to achieve our goal, firstly, we had to study the previous editions of the festival. This happened throughout different meetings. On the other hand, the international section has been separated from the national section and it’s been being held within a different time span. It seems to me that holding these two sections separately seeks a particular purpose and more movie lovers and researchers will be attracted to this event. We have also been trying to eliminate the luxurious aspects of the festival.”

“I daresay the Iranian cinema could be considered international,” he said. “This makes our cinema superior to other cinemas, so we don’t need to give any privileges to our guests. I had predicted that there would be no need to negotiate with the guests regarding their attendance and not surprisingly they’ve mostly welcomed our invitations.”

The director of FIFF pointed out that in order for the festival to become more scientific and specialized, they have considered inviting particular guests and screening particular films.

“Festivals are organized and held by volunteer organizations worldwide. We’ve been trying to run such an organization so that volunteers could get involved in holding such festivals. We will design a website for students and anyone interested in this field. This is how we can have more contact with the young and also reduce the cost pf holding a festival like Fajr,” he added.

The poster of this year’s edition of Fajr International Film Festival depicts Ezzatolah Entezami in the applauded movie, “The Cow” directed by Dariush Mehrjui.

About the poster, Mirkarimi said, “in many festivals worldwide, it is common to publicize a film festival using a frame with such national impact. Moreover, the portrayal of celebrated figures on such posters could be a way to pay tribute to these actors.”

He went on to add, “on the other hand, “The Cow” is an internationally acclaimed film and has also been endorsed by Imam Khomeini. It is worth adding that, this film has paved the way for the Iranian post-revolution cinema.”

Mirkarimi also explained about a new award in the festival, saying “we had Mustafa Akkad Award in previous editions of the festival which was allocated to religious and moral values in films. In this edition of the festival, Muhammad Al-Ameen Award will be dedicated to the winners which include religious and moral values for reflection of prophetic ethics and morality.”

International Deputy of the festival Amir Esfandiari said there will be 5 foreign and 2 Iranian jury members in the International Section, 4 foreign and 1 Iranian jury members in the Best Asian Film Award Section, and 2 foreign and 1 Iranian jury members in the Cross-Religion Section.

He added, “we’ll have two instructors from talent finding campuses, who will hold their workshops beside Maziar Miri and Dr. Hosseini. Overall, we’re going to have 170-200 international guests. We’ll have reporters from the important international press as well.”

About the Film Market he said, “the 19th Film Market will be held this year. The film market has undergone many difficulties throughout the years, but we’ve been trying to turn this market into a distinguished market in the region. The number of participants has gone up and more people have asked to take part in the Film Market.”

15 films will be screened in Salvation Cinema Section in 34th Fajr International Film Festival.

Reza Mirkarimi maintained that in this edition of the festival, the focus was on reducing the number of sections; “3 Iranian and 12 international films will compete in Salvation Cinema Section. in every session, a short film, an animation, and a documentary will be screened.” He added.

The director of the festival stated that “we still have Asia and Islamic Countries Section but it is not competitive while there are several awards in the side sections. Golden and Silver Trophies will be granted to the winners including best director, best screenplay, best actor and actress, and best artistic achievements.”

Accordint to Reza Kianian, Iranian acclaimed actor and Manager of the Festival Palace of 34th FIFF, this edition of FIFF has special plans for supporting environment.

“There would be no daily bulletin since we are not goint to cut down a single tree for this event. Films and festival information is available on a mobile application for audiences. This edition of the Fajr will be a Green one. No flower would be cut as decoration for ceremonies,” said Kianian.

The 34th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will be held from April 20-25, 2016 in Tehran, under the supervision of well-known Iranian filmmaker, Reza Mirkarimi, who is also managing director of Khaneh Cinema.