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Iranian directors call for support of documentary films


Three Iranian film directors referring to the status of Iranian documentaries on the national and foreign scenes, called on the government to support production of documentaries and producers of such films, IRNA reported.

Speaking to IRNA, the three directors of documentaries Bahman Kiarostami, Abbas Tahvildar and Niki Karimi, reiterating that the Iranian documentary films are quite advanced, called for the government's serious support for this type of films.

Abbas Tahvildar, whose documentary 'Sabein' won the best film award at Beirut Middle East Film Festival, ruled out the possibility of the constant production of documentaries without the government's support.

"The only reason Iranian producers of documentaries continue making such films, is their deep interest in their career, though they are provided neither with any financial fund, nor with cultural contribution," he added.

Tahvildar said given documentaries have no revenue, most directors fail to produce such films, adding that the state authorities in charge should take the required measures to facilitate their production.

"Lack of support for documentary films and the consequent losses is likely to leave its negative effect on other branches specially feature films, given that documentary is the foundation of cinema," he added.

As an option for further promotion of feature films and documentaries, he referred to special attention to the realities of the Iranian community as it is, rather than presenting it in a different way.

"That's how the features of Iranian community can be presented to others and Iranian cinema can be promoted," he added. For his part, Bahman Kiarostami noted that in the world, television broadcasting supports documentaries and their authorities closely assist the producers of such films.

"Their assistance appears to be both by ordering production of special films and by extending direct funds as well as consequent purchase of the produced documentaries," he added.

Winner of the best director's prize for his film 'Light' in Beirut Middle East Film Festival, Kiarostami added, "The slow trend of documentary production has to do with insufficiency of funds and lack of justification for investment in the documentary film sector by the authorities in charge."

According to him, the more the potential of investors, their spiritual insight and their Iranian identity, the more optimum will be the produced documentaries.

Niki Karimi, an actress and director of documentary films as well as a member of the jury in Beirut Middle East Film Festival, referring to the status of Iran's 20-year-old documentary cinema, said that Iran is better off in the field compared to the Middle Eastern states.

"Our higher status among the Middle Eastern states participating in the festival became quite evident, once the presented documentaries were screened.

"Despite enjoying such a status, unfortunately, the Iranian documentaries and short films are gradually losing their original purity and deteriorating in quality," she added.

Karimi who managed to grab the special jury award in the Middle East Film Festival reiterated that the identity of documentary cinema should not be overshadowed by some financial factors and shortages leading to blockage of its growth.

The Middle East Film Festival in Beirut attended by film producers and directors from Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt ended on Thursday.

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