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Veteran Iranian actor warns about insufficient funding for theater

TEHRAN, Jan. 7 (Mehr News Agency) -- In an open letter addressed to the Iranian cabinet and the Management and Planning Organization, veteran Iranian actor Ali Nasirian warned that insufficient funding is being allocated for the theater and cultural affairs, ISNA reported on Saturday.

Following is an excerpt of the letter:

We heard the kind message of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad at the first Great Congress of National Theater held in Tehran in December 2005. All influential members of the Iranian theater family, including prominent producers, organizers, and artists, as well as the representatives of 300 of the country's theater associations, participated in the congress, and a wave of happiness and joy filled their hearts. And everybody predicted a bright future for the theater, especially when impressive cultural strategies were initiated showing a positive perspective.

The honorable officials are well aware that theater has always paved the way for the development of other arts, including cinema and television, since it is naturally called the mother of arts, and any type of attention and assistance to the art of theater will assure positive outcomes in other arts, and that is why theater enjoys public subsidies all over the world.

Unfortunately, at the present time, the budget allocated for theater is 28 billion rials, of which a great part is spent on the salaries of employees, for seminars, festivals, events, and other facilities, and only a small portion is dedicated to production and theater performances in Tehran and other cities.

Of course, the increasing number of visual arts colleges and educated students are a great honor.

However, the news reports, in which we were informed that the cabinet is once again planning to allocate the same amount of funding as previously, contradict what the president had stated at the congress.

My warning is that the national theater family had never been so hopeful about the development of this art during the (terms of) previous cabinets, and it is hoped that by increasing the level of funding, this great hope will not fade away.

... Payvand News - 1/7/06 ... --

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