TEHRAN, Dec. 31 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian filmmakers have accelerated their productions as the Farabi Cinematic Foundation has started the countdown for the 25th Fajr International Film Festival, which will be held in Tehran from February 1 to 11.
Producers and directors are trying to get in on the act for Iran's most prestigious film gala, with 48 films under various stages of production.
Several of Iran's top directors are on the shortlist, although a number of cinematic giants will be absent in this year's festival.
Fereidun Jeirani's latest film "Parkway" is currently in the mix and sound effects stage. His "Stars: Becoming a Star" raised a stir among his colleagues, who informally pressured him to cut some of the biting sequences of the film about off-screen relationships in the Iranian cinema scene.
Meanwhile, Behruz Afkhami is shooting the last sequences of "Morning Son", his controversial film about the life of the late Imam Khomeini, the Founder of the Islamic Republic.
Afkhami had been criticized for giving the role of Imam Khomeini's mother to Hedyeh Tehrani, a superstar of Iranian romantic movies.
Tahmineh Milani, director of this year's box office hit "Cease-Fire", plans to participate in the Fajr festival with "The Reckoning".
Iranian critics viewed her comedy "Cease-Fire" as a kind of "cease-fire" between her and the male characters of her films. The film broke all Iran's box-office records of the past five years, earning over 10 billion rials in domestic and foreign screenings.
Sorayya Hekmat ("These Three Women"), Masud Kimiaii ("The Boss"), Sirus Alvand ("The Second Wife"), Iraj Karimi ("Magic Generation"), Alireza Davudnejad ("The Gamecock"), and Mohammad-Ali Sajjadi ("The Funk") are also preparing for the festival.
Although he is currently busy working on his latest movie, "The Edge of the Cliff", stage and screen auteur Bahram Beizaii decided not to rush production of the film and will thus not participate in this year's festival.
Jafar Panahi, whose "Offside" was acclaimed by critics at home as well as in foreign festivals, and Ebrahim Hatamikia, Rasul Mollaqolipur, and Ahmadreza Darvish are also on the shortlist.
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