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Hollywood should give other cultures more of the cinema spotlight: Iranian Filmmaker

TEHRAN, March 3 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Iranian Filmmakers Guild director asked the Hollywood delegation visiting Tehran to share the world of cinema with other cultures.

Alireza Raisian made the comment in Tehran on Monday during a seminar attended by a number of members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"This trend can help cinema flourish as the most important contemporary art medium of the world," he noted.

"We want to create new themes for world audiences not based on the nature of politics but on concepts of spirituality," Raisian said.

He also asked Hollywood officials to help Iranian cineastes develop their peripheral environment through joint productions that highlight the humanitarian themes of the Iranian cinema.

Director of "The Deserted Station" and "Havana File," Raisian said that Iranian filmmakers have limited facilities for screening films for their fellow Iranians in the United States and added, "Expanding the availability could be a mission of the Academy members."

Raisian also proposed that the Iranian House of Cinema choose Iranian films for competing at the annual Academy Awards.

An Iranian film for the Oscar competition is selected annually by a board appointed by the Farabi Cinematic Foundation, an affiliate of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

A Hollywood delegation that includes Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, William Horberg, producer of "The Kite Runner," and Alfre Woodard, who acted in "Desperate Housewives."

"American Beauty" star Annette Bening, "Field of Dreams" director Phil Robinson and "Dog Day Afternoon" writer Frank Pierson are accompanying the august group.

The delegation was invited to Iran by the House of Cinema, which is under the authority of the Culture Ministry. Educational workshops on acting, directing, documentary-making and other aspects of the business have been held with the group.

However, the group's visit was not welcomed by the Iranian government.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's art advisor, Javad Shamaqdari, demanded that the delegation apologize for Hollywood's perceived past sins.

"(Iranian) cinema officials will only have the right to have official sessions with... Hollywood moviemakers when they apologize to the Iranians for their 30 years of insults and slanders," Shamghadri told the news agency ISNA.

"The Iranian people and our revolution have been repeatedly and unjustly attacked by Hollywood. We will believe Obama's policy of change when we see change in Hollywood too. If Hollywood wants to correct its behavior towards the Iranian people and Islamic culture then they have to officially apologize," he added.

... Payvand News - 03/03/09 ... --

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