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Exchanges between Iran and Hollywood don't harm Iranian cinema: official

TEHRAN, March 8 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Iranian House of Cinema spokesman has said that the mutual exchange and dialog between Iran and Hollywood won't do any damage to the Iranian cinema.

Amin Tarokh made the remark following some official objections raised to the latest Hollywood delegation's visit to Iran.

"The contacts may help Iranian cinema expand beyond domestic markets and acquire a position in the world box office in the coming decades," he told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.

"Iranian cinema has spent the past 30 years working independently based on its own local culture and religion and has also proved that it can shine around the world," he added.

"Over 1200 prizes from prestigious world festivals are evidence for the claim... thus it can never bend to a cinema having its own special character. However, a cultural dialogue can take place between the two.

"Anyway, we must begin somewhere and wherever we begin, naturally, some people will approve and some will disapprove.

"If our cultural atmosphere promotes dialogue... it will reverse negative trends against us in the world. If we don't engage in dialogue, the production of anti-Iranian films will increase. We should take the gun from the enemy."

The delegation that includes Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and his colleagues William Horberg, Alfre Woodard, Annette Bening, Phil Robinson, and Frank Pierson had been invited to Iran by the House of Cinema, an affiliate of the Culture Ministry.

Educational workshops on acting, directing, making documentaries and other aspects of the business have been held with the group during their visit.

The group's visit was not welcomed by the Iranian government as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's art advisor, Javad Shamaqdari, demanded that the delegation apologize for Hollywood's perceived past sins.

Last week, ministers of intelligence, foreign affairs, and culture were summoned to the Majlis to explain about the Hollywood delegation's visit to Iran.

... Payvand News - 03/08/09 ... --

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