TEHRAN, Jan. 30 (Mehr News Agency) -- The 27th Fajr International Film Festival was inaugurated on Friday at the Milad Tower in Tehran. Iran's most important event in the motion picture industry, the Fajr film festival is held annually to commemorate the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The 27th edition of the festival contains 18 sections including Iran's cinema and the world. A total of 277 feature-length movies, short films, and documentaries from 63 countries will go on screen this year.
149 foreign films as well as 128 Iranian movies including feature-length films, video, long and short documentaries will go on screen in the festival's various sections, which are Iran's Cinema Competition, Short Film, New Vision, Video and Cinema, International, International Short Film and Spiritual.
A total of 24 films will be contending for the Crystal Simorgh of the Iranian Films Section at the festival and eight Iranian films will be competing in the international section as well. Five films on the theme of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, known as Sacred Defense in Iran, will also go on screen at the festival.
In the non-competition section, several Iranian movies will be reviewed. This section will dedicate a program to honor movies that are not able to take part in the competition section. It will be a symbolic praise with a prize different from the Simorgh.
Twenty films will be screened at the new section of the 30th anniversary of Iran's cinema with its different sections of festival of festivals, special screening of new productions, documentary screening, lasting classics, as well as a review section of German and Korean movies.
Nineteen countries from Asia, eighteen countries from Europe, seven countries from America, Four countries from Africa and one country from Oceania will screen their films during the gala.
The films, provided with Persian subtitles, will go on screen in several competitive sections of the festival, including International, Asia Cinema, and Spiritual Cinema and also in the non-competitive section of the festival.
A retrospective of German and South Korean films will be held in this edition during which eleven feature-length movies from German cinema produced after the year 2000 and thirteen movies also produced after the year 2000 will go on screen.
Documentaries by Iraqi filmmakers will go on screen at the event. The documentaries are on the theme of the invasion of Iraq by American-led coalition forces and civilians' calamities during recent years.
The festival will also hold seven subsidiary sections for those foreign films that are accepted at the International Section but are censored for more than one minute.
A section of the festival entitled "Silent but Alive" is dedicated to world filmmakers who lost their lives in 2008.
Films directed by late world filmmakers Anthony Minghella (Britain), Robert Mulligan (USA), Youssef Chahine (Egypt), Kon Ichikawa (Japan), Dino Risi (Italy) and Sydney Pollack (USA) will go on display at the festival.
In addition, several commemoration ceremonies are scheduled during the event, including one in honor of the late actor Khosro Shakibaii, director Rasul Sadr-Ameli and two cinematographers Mohammadreza Sharafeddin and Mahmud Kalari and renowned Iranian cineaste Ebrahim Hatamikia.
The festival will also review films directed by renowned British filmmaker Mike Leigh in a section entitled "Mike Leigh, Political and social critic, like Ken Loach."
The late American actor Paul Newman will be also be commemorated and several films in which Newman starred will go on display during the festival. The gala will present Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan a lifetime achievement award.
Four Oscar-winning films by John Ford "The Quiet Man," "How Green Was My Valley," "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Stagecoach" will go on screen at the festival and eight films by Alfred Hitchcock will go on screen at the Lasting Classics section of the gala .
Twenty jury members will be judging the international section, of which five will be Iranian, while 22 Iranians will be judging films at Iran's cinema section.
Turkish filmmaker Semih Kaplanoglu and Indian actor Javed Jaffrey were selected as members of juries for various sections of the event and renowned Canadian filmmaker Rock Demers will judge the Spiritual Film Section.
Veteran Romanian filmmaker Nicolae Margineanu will also judge the Spiritual Film Section of the gala and celebrated Syrian director Mohamed Malas will be among the members of the jury at the Asia Cinema Section.
Also this year, the 12th Iranian International Market for Films and TV Programs will be held at the Mellat Cinema Hall in which 22 foreign consumers from 10 countries as well as 83 stall owners from 24 countries will be taking part.
On the whole, 38 Crystal Simorghs will be awarded to the best productions and one Golden Simorgh will be awarded to the best film at the National Vision.
The special plaque of Moustapha Akkad will also be awarded to the best film of the international section with the central theme of hope and faith, while the prize named "Prophets' Way of Life" will also be awarded to the best film with the theme of dialogue among religions.
This year several new cinema halls scattered across the city will be covering the festival in order to give better service to the citizens in all the parts of the capital, and on the whole, 11 cinemas with 19 halls will be screening the movies. The festival will run until February 10.
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