Art and Experience: Teresa Cavina, born in 1958, is an Italian festival programmer and an expert in script evaluation. She has worked as a programmer of Locarno, Venice and Roma international film festivals. Here is an interview with her on the sidelines of Fajr.
Where do you work? And what do you do?
I work for Venice Days, which is a section of Venice Festival. I do select films for Asia and Middle East. I watch my films so that I can find suitable ones for our festival. It is not easy to select because we need to find the best quality films. I am here first to watch Iranian films and evaluate the level of productions and then meet representatives of feature-length movies.
How do you see the Iranian cinema?
Iran’s cinema has many good directors like Abbas Kiarostami that has no equal. I was in touch with him personally. I think he is a master in his field. You have powerful filmmakers on international scene.
Do you agree with two national and international Fajr editions?
I disagree with the separation of national and international. I would never and ever do that. Cinema is cinema and you have to show it all together. Foreign guests travel to Iran to watch Iranian films and meet Iranian directors and even Iranian people. They come to watch the best products of the country. We can watch foreign films in other festivals too, but we are here to see your native films and get familiar with directors both experienced and young ones. I think festivals will be stronger when both national and international parts are the same.
How do you evaluate this edition?
I like it very much. I think the level is very good and standard. Level of films, level of programming, all are good. Helpful staff and well-organized system.
This edition has filmmaking workshops with international students and A-list tutors in attendance. Was this a good idea?
I think it’s a fantastic idea. It can help young talents interested in cinema and filmmaking to have access to well-known directors and have the chance to interact with them and learn from them and benefit from their experiences.
Any suggestion to improve the festival?
I have not seen films from young directors. Most are from those above 50. I think screening the films of young directors can also help us learn about them and their works.
Presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, the 35th edition of Fajr International Film Festival will take place from 21 to 28 April in Tehran.