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Cineastes back Iran House of Cinema in row with Culture Ministry


Report Source: Tehran Times

A large number of Iranian cineastes and cinematic associations have backed the Iran's House of Cinema (IHC) in its dispute with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

The Culture Ministry filed a lawsuit against the organization in early December, accusing it of making amendments to its charter that have not been approved by the Iran Public Culture Council (IPCC).

However, the Culture Ministry did not wait for the court hearing, which is to be held on December 11. It issued an order last week, announcing the dissolution of the IHC, which is the guild of Iranian cineastes.

Afterwards many associations began to issue statements denouncing the Culture Ministry for taking this action.

Some of the Iranian cineastes who have issues statement supporting IHC

The guilds of actors, directors, screenwriters, film editors and 20 other relevant societies have made a joint statement, declaring the IHC to be within their legal rights.

"We, the guilds of cineastes, deem the Iranian House of Cinema as our legal house," they wrote in the statement.

"We approved the IHC chapter and according to the country's law, its general assembly is empowered to make any amendment to the chapter," they said.

In addition, the culture minister has been severely criticized for the decision by nine other cineastes in a join statement issued on Saturday.

"Mr. Minister! You have blundered. This is the cultural arena, which will be playing host to you for a few days. By the way, where did you learn such guest manners?" they said in the statement.

Letter by Iranian cineastes in support of IHC

Majid Majidi, Kamal Tabrizi, Mohammadreza Honarmand, Reza Mirkarimi, Hassan Barzideh, Mojtaba Raei, Ahmadreza Darvish, Ebrahim Hatamikia and Manuchehr Mohammadi have signed the statement.

They have also asked "the country's elders" to intervene to settle the dispute.

Celebrated filmmaker Bahman Farmanara also expressed his objection in a symbolic manner.

He gave back three Crystal Simorghs he received from the Fajr International Film Festival over the past years to the secretariat of the event, which is annually organized by the Culture Ministry.

Letter by Filmmaker Bahman Farmanara

MP Ahmad Tavakkoli, who is also the director of the Majlis Research Center, also criticized the Culture Ministry for the action and said that the Ahmadinejad government is pursuing its own political aims as the country is on the threshold of a parliamentary election.

He said that there is an emotional relationship between people, and the IHC and the "deviant curren", a term used to refer to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii and his entourage, may want to foment trouble to decrease voter turnout in the election.

"There is another likely scenario in which the Culture Ministry pretends that it wants to close down the House of Cinema, but then Ahmadinejad intervenes as a savior and saves the IHC," he added.

They plan to portray Ahmadinejad as a friend of public opinion as the country approaches the parliamentary election.

Iran's House of Cinema

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