By Parastu Sepehri, Rooz Online
A short notice by the managers of Khane Cinema - which translates into the House of Cinema and is Iran's official organization for the cinema industry - has cancelled a gathering titled "Pursuit of Job Security and Social Welfare for Cinema Professionals."
One prominent cinema director who did not wish his name
mentioned out of concern for reprisal told Rooz, "Agents from the intelligence
ministry have called for the cancellation of the gathering through threatening
phone calls. Finally, they told us that the office of the supreme leader was
against this gathering" and that if the event went on as scheduled, it would be
According to a Rooz reporter from Tehran just a few hours before the start of the event, the managers of Khane Cinema sent this message to its list of cinema enthusiasts and professionals: "We wanted to gather at the Khane Cinema to talk about the absence of job security but have no choice but to cancel the gathering. Is there no stronger sign for absence of job security than this?"
Previously, Javad Shamghadri who had produced a documentary pumping up Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and is now the cinema deputy of the ministry of culture had strongly criticized this gathering and said, "I do not know what is acquired through gathering! I am concerned that some may be after organizing a show and a display which is unethical."
But despite this, the managers of Khane had confirmed until the final hours prior to the event that the gathering would proceed as planned. The news of the gathering began to formally circulate in late July. Amin Tarokh and Farhad Towhidi announced at a news conference the necessity of holding the gathering and asked reporters to widely circulate the news to the public so that the cinema community would participate in the August 9th event.
During the press conference, Tarokh told reporters, "The continued changes in
[government appointed] management impact job security and the cinema community.
This security is important to the profession and the cause of insecurity are the
existence of invisible red lines and the rapid management changes which advance
personal interventions." He advanced the idea of creating an unemployment
insurance fund and said, "We wrote letters to the president regarding this fund
in which we requested the allocation of 40 billion Rials (about 40 million
Dollars) over a phased period to launch the fund. But after written exchanges
and talks with the social welfare ministry we were told that it was not possible
to implement this because of the high risk of the cinema profession and the
issue is relegated to Khane Cinema."
Khane pursued the goal and sent out invitations to the gathering. Among those who signed the invitation are heavy-weight film directors, actors, actresses, cinematographers, etc and include, Bahram Beyzai, Masoud Kimiai, Jaber Ghasemali, Ebrahim Hatami-kia, Hassan Hassandoust, Fereidune Farhoudi, Rakhsan Bani-Etemad, Saeed Hajimiri, Nasser Taghvai, Mahin Navidi, Ali Alahyari, Fereidune Jeyrani, Mehnaz Afzali, Ali Mosafa, Shahriyar Asadi, Homayun Assadian, Asqar Pourhajerian, Dawood Rashidi, Kamand Amir-Soleimani, Zabiollah Rahmani, Mohammad Tahaminejad, Gholamreza Azadi, Ferial Behzad, Abdolhossein Barzid, Hassan Aghakarimi, Mohammad-Reza Moghadasian, Homayun Ershadi, Masoud KEramati, Hadi Moghadamdoost, Ahmad-Reza Darvish, Haroon Yashiyani, Jaafar Goodarzi, Majid Majidi, Kamboozia Partovi, Rahbar Ghanbari, Ali Alai, Ahmad AMini, Zahra Mostagh, Keyvan Kasirian, Mohsen Abdolfahab, Sirus Alvand, Mohammad Banki, Parvin Safari, Ebrahim Mokhari, Mahmoud Jaafari, Gowhar Kheirandish, Saeed Mostaghasi, Roya Teymoorian, Mahboobeh Bayat, Masoud Atiabi, Soroosh Sehat, Vahid Movasaian, Seyed Shahab Razavian, Abdol-Reza AKbari, Behzad Adine, Amir-Reza Motamedi, Leyla Hatami, Zhila Ipakchi, Mazyar Miri, Sohrab Mir-Sepasi, Mohammad-Reza Moini, Javad Tousi, Navid Farah-Marzi, Dawood Yusefian, Marila Zarei, Majid Mirfakhrai, Esmail Emami, Mehdi Shakiba, Nasser Onsori, Mojtaba Rai, Ahmad-Reza Garshasbi, Hamid Soheili, Hassan Moazami, Dariush Asadzadeh, Hossein Torabi, Asqwar Farhadi, Mohammad-Reza Sokoot, Hamed Komeili, Farhad Farsi, Alnaz Akrdoost, Kianooshe Ayari, Noredin Zarinkelk, Fateme Naghavi, Amin Hayati, Hamid Farahnejad, Mehdi mayami, Mohammad-Hossein Latifi, Karoon Homayunfar, Saeed Mostaghasi, Yadollah Samadi, Parsa Piroozfar, Mehdi Karampour, Farzaneh Shabani, Morteza Shayesteh, Anahid Abad, Mehdi Khadem, Ravanbakhsh Sadeghi, Sarfa Gharachedaghi, Mohsen Amir-Yusefi, Reza Nowroozi, Amir Esbati, Atila Pesiani, Mohammad Sarir, Kamran Maleki, Saman Moghadam, Masoud Meimi, Aswar Hashemi, Hamid Labkhand, Reza Kianian, Kamran Ghadakchian, Alireza Fathi, Nasser Mamdooh, Reza Mir-Karimi, Mahnaz Afshar, Mohammad Bozorgnia, Marzie Boroomand, Mohammad-Ali Sajadi, Gholam-Reza Babai Nami, Farhad Towhidi, Amir-Hossein Saharkhiz, Zinat Reza, Majid Barzegar, Masoud Rayegan, Mohammad-Mehid Asqarpour.
The cultural-art sections in the coup government launched their opposition to
the gathering soon after the publication of the invitation. First, Shoraye
Markzai Etehadie Tahie-Konandegan (the Central Council of Movie Producers) wrote
a letter condemning the gathering and said it was in line with the goals of the
enemy of the revolution. Then the ministry of culture deputy for cinema affairs
announced that he had no plans to attend the event. The cinema deputy of the
coup administration Javad Shamghadri told reporters, "Issues such as job
security and other welfare issues are not something that someone can disagree on
in principle. The reasons why the cinema deputy and Khane Cinema have not done
any serious work in this regard during the last thirty one years has to be
looked into. If a gathering was the solution to the problem then why was this
not done earlier?"
Shamghadri associated the gathering with "America and its domestic stooges" and added, "America and its domestic stooges are striving to promote an atmosphere of unrest in the country. I think this issue has again become a tool for some individuals. Our colleagues must be vigilant. The issue of job security will not be resolved through a gathering, but as a first step, specialized groups should be formed so that solutions can be reviewed."
The first gathering of the cinema and movie community in Iran to defend the rights of the Iranian cinema was held on June 19, 2007 which ended in a declaration signed by a large number of members of the community.
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