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Iran's Culture minister regards cinema as major concern of Ahmadinejad government

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini has said that cinematic and cultural issues are major concerns of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his second term in office.

First session of High Council for Cinema held on December 30

In a press conference held here on Sunday, the minister said that cinema and removing the obstacles in the way of Iranian cinema are of high importance, shown by his having encouraged the administration to establish the High Council for Cinema.

"Despite the great number of programs in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been involved, he insists on participating in the sessions to eliminate problems in Iranian cinema," he said.

The first meeting of the High Council for Cinema was held on Thursday, (December 30) with the president presiding over the council. The council was initiated during a government cabinet meeting on July 21, 2010 to be Iran's highest state body for making policy in cinematic affairs.

First session of High Council for Cinema

Iranian cinema, a cinema that was once world famous, is not passing through good times these days, and we hope it can regain its popularity, he added.

The council is composed of the minister of culture and Islamic guidance who acts as its president, deputy culture minister for cinematic affairs, the IRIB director, the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization director, five cineastes and a number of other officials.

Reviewing technical equipment, construction of new movie theaters, providing life insurance for cineastes, and establishment of a cinematic organization for pursuing these issues were discussed during the first meeting.

Filmmakers Davud Mirbaqeri, Shahriar Bahrani, Masud Dehnamaki, Mohsen Ali-Akbari, Jamal Shurjeh and Masud Jafari-Jozani are the members of the council selected by the Culture Ministry and approved by the administration.

First session of High Council for Cinema

Hosseini next said that the president emphasizes continuation of the meetings, adding, "We'd better stop hesitating about the council and step in. More individuals can join the council.

"We would surely welcome any proposals by Iran's House of Cinema. The members of the council can be increased and we would like to make better use of the opinions of others," he added.

He also talked about participation of TV series directors in the high council meetings and said that cinema and TV are not separate.

Hosseini also remarked that they are aiming for unity and cohesion so that all departments collaborate with one another, "so we need to choose those who possess common viewpoint to avoid further disagreements among the members of the council.

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