Iran News ...


12/02/08

Director of "Over There" yearns for audience over here

Tehran Times Art Desk

TEHRAN -- Director of "Over There" said that he wants to watch his films along with the common people and particularly with Iranian audiences.

Abdorreza Kahani recently won the Golden Alexander for best film at the 49th International Thessaloniki Film Festival, which took place in Greece from November 14 to 23.

"Over There," which features the story of an Iranian man facing the failure of all his constant efforts to emigrate to the United States, has not been granted a screening license by Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

Consequently, it was removed from the schedule of Iran's 26th Fajr International Film Festival in February 2007.

"I would have liked to have seen the film along with the audiences, but that event didn't take place for me in Iran and it's not my fault, it is a result of officials' policies," Kahani told MNA on Sunday.

"There are many things untold about the official outlook towards the film, and I would prefer not to disclose them," he added.

"Correspondents from all the world's news agencies who attended the Thessaloniki festival were aware that the film was banned in Iran... and they asked, 'why'," he stated.

"This is also my question and the question many other people, who have watched the film," Kahani noted.

There is an official viewpoint that Iranian films featuring a dark image of Iran are the principle ones to receive awards at foreign festivals.

However Kahani believes that his film's structure was of more importance to the audiences in Thessaloniki.

"I heard them saying my film is not similar to any Iranian film previously screened at other world festivals," he said.

"I was fascinating for me that they awarded the film for itself and not for its theme," Kahani noted.

Kahani has previously made "The Adam," which was not screened in Iran.

He has recently completed production of "Twenty," a film about workers in a dining hall struggling to preserve it. The film is currently waiting for a screening license from the Culture Ministry.

"I was uneasy when I was working on the 'Twenty' project, because everyone would ask me why I was working on the project when I already had two unscreened films," Kahani said.

"I replied to them that I had to do my job. I can't do anything about the bans on my films. If you have creativity, it won't let you stop," he noted.

... Payvand News - 12/02/08 ... --



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