Let’s make Iran the mecca of anti-imperialist cinema: official

TEHRAN, Sept. 19 (MNA) -- The secretary of the Iranian festival dedicated to war films is keen on turning Iran into a center for directors making films opposing the global arrogance of the Western powers.

“Our desire is to make something happen in the international arena to allow us to become a center for filmmakers spotlighting popular resistance to global arrogance in their works; particularly filmmakers who have no other support,” Mohammad Khazaei said during a press conference held on Saturday to explain the programs of the 11th Moqavemat International Film Festival.

Previously, the festival was held under the title of the Sacred Defense Film Festival. The term “sacred defense” refers to the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war in Iran.

The organizers have selected the Arabic word “moqavemat” (resistance) referring the Palestinians’ struggle against the Israelis.

According to Khazaei, the foreign lineup of films for the festival was selected from among the over 190 films submitted to the festival’s secretariat.

In making selections for the festival’s lineup, films focusing on people’s movements around the world, and also those giving an accurate, in-depth depiction of the people’s resistance movement in Gaza were chosen, he said.

Films by Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri, Lebanese filmmaker Jean Khalil Chamoun and U.S. director Oliver Stone will be screened during the five-day festival, which opens in Tehran today.

Iranian cinematic officials have shown interest in expanding ties with anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli cineastes around the world.

In November 2009, French actor and political activist Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who is mostly known for his anti-Zionist perspective, visited President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari and several other Iranian officials in Tehran.

Iranian officials promised their support in making a film centering on King Louis XIV of France and the issue of the African slave trade in France in centuries past.

In addition, Iran also expressed its appreciation to British director Ken Loach for his decision to pull his film “Looking for Eric” from the lineup at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2009, because the event received funding from the Israeli regime.

Last April, Iran announced that the Egyptian filmmakers who boycotted a French film festival in Cairo over an Israeli entry would be invited to collaborate in cinematic productions.

Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Atef, Abu Zikri, and Asser Yassin boycotted “Rencontres de l’Image” festival after finding out that a short film by an Israeli director would be screened at the event.


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