TEHRAN, Dec. 12 (Mehr News Agency) -- Twenty years ago, the grandmother of Iranian animator Nureddin Zarrinkelk told him a tale that he used as the plot for his "Amir-Hamzeh the Lover, and the Piqued Monster", which was never screened in cinemas or broadcast on TV in Iran due to its drunken monster and dancing zebra characters.
The film has been archived at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA).
"After I finished making the film, the experts and officials of the time observed it, and thereafter the film was transferred to the archive. When I demanded an explanation, if found out that it would not be possible to screen the film because of the drinking monster and dancing zebra characters," said Zarrinkelk, who is the Iranian director of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film D'Animation).
"Many years have passed now, but my film still remains in the dungeon of the archive," he added.
Referring to the plethora of foreign animated films frequently screened by Iranian state TV channels, Zarrinkelk said, "The world's best animations, Walt Disney productions, are easily aired on domestic channels. All of them, like 'Shrek' and 'The Lion King', feature characters dancing and cheering. Why is there no problem if the characters of foreign filmmakers are dancing, but if a zebra is dancing in the film of an Iranian filmmaker, it will not receive a screening permit? In addition, the monster is also the bad guy of the film."
"The original name of the tale is 'Amir-Hamzey-e Sahebqaran', but I changed it due to the adjustments I made to the story. I used the signet-stone method in making the animated film -- a method which has never been used before in any animated film," he said in conclusion.
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