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Iranian Director Farmanara hiring amateurs to thwart state restrictions on filmmaking

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Renowned Iranian director Bahman Farmanara is hiring an amateur crew for his new film in order to frustrate new state restrictions on filmmaking. His new film entitled "Journey to Konya" is about a team of Iranian university students who begin a trip by bus to visit the tomb of Rumi in Konya.

Bahman Farmanara
Photo By Gelareh Kiazand


"I plan to make the film without applying for a production license," Farmanara told the Persian service of ISNA on Monday.

"To that end, I intend to use non-professional actors and a young amateur cameraman with an HD camera for this project so as not to get anybody into trouble. The only one acting in his usual occupation is the bus driver and if he is banned, he can become a taxi driver!," he added.

He said that selecting the crew members would not be completed until early July and shooting would begin before autumn.

In December 2009, the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance threatened to impose a one-year ban on cineastes, cast, or crew members who collaborate in producing films which lack the necessary licensing for filmmaking in Iran.

The Culture Ministry had previously warned Iranian cineastes about collaborating in film foreign projects lacking the necessary licensing.

A screenplay must be approved by the Culture Ministry to obtain a production license in Iran. In addition, the film's producer must apply for a screening license from the ministry for a domestic or foreign premiere.

No film can be produced or premiere in Iran if the Culture Ministry refuses to grant the necessary licenses.

Over the past decade, Iranian directors Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi, Bahmad Qobadi and several other filmmakers have made films without applying for a production license from the Culture Ministry.

In a new decision, the Culture Ministry has announced that Iranian films must obtain a screening license from the ministry for a foreign premiere.

They have also said that Iranian cineastes must receive their approval for cooperating in foreign productions.

Open Letter by Renowned Iranian Director Bahman Farmanara:
A coward dies a thousand times before his death...

June 2009

... Payvand News - 06/15/10 ... --

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