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Tehran Ramadan movie program stopped by police

TEHRAN, Sept. 2 (Mehr News Agency) -- The new project of screening movies until late at night under the title "Iftar to Sahar" was halted right in midcourse.

Interested young moviegoers enthusiastically welcomed the concept, packing seats in the theaters and causing ticket sales to jump over 5 times compared to box office receipts in previous months of Ramadan.

However, the project was stopped suddenly by the police despite their previous agreement, said director Gholamreza Faraji of the Department of Film Distribution and Marketing, affiliated with Tehran's Art Bureau.

"Directors of the cinemas had negotiated an agreement with the police on the project and we still don't know why it was shut down," he added.

Additionally, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance had also concurred on the project, said Azadi Cinema director Reza Saeidipur.

Following the agreement with the ministry and the police, theaters began to promote the new schedule and even TV channels broadcasted nightly teaser ads.

"This project encouraged lots of people to come and watch their favorite movies in their free time at night and actually helped boost the cinema economy, and encouraged additional theaters to cooperate in this endeavor," Saeidipur remarked.

"When we started the new project, the police cooperated with us from the very first night. The opposition began only since Tuesday and so now, we have to return to the previous screening schedule which means the last movie will end at 12 midnight," he explained.

"We were hoping this novel idea would be allowed to continue. We are still hopeful of finding ways to remove the obstacles and hope to resume the project in the remaining days of Ramadan," he concluded.

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

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