TEHRAN -- Iran's new Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati held a meeting with a large group of artists and cultural figures at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Thursday.
Master of calligraphy Gholamhossein Amirkhani, veteran stage actor Iraj Raad, musician Hamidreza Nurbakhsh, publisher Nader Qadyani, and Managing Director of Ettela'at newspaper Hojjatoleslam Mahmud Doaii were the representatives who spoke at the ceremony, Persian news agencies reported on Thursday.
Amirkhani was the first speaker on stage and he expressed his happiness that president (Hassan Rohani) has put an emphasis on moderation.
Raad regarded theater as an oppressed art and said, "If we have a cinema and we are proud of it, we must know that traces of theater are observed in it. If we would like to have good programs in cinema and on TV, we need to support and value theater."
Pointing to the small number of halls dedicated to theater across the country he said, "Our theatrical graduates have no opportunity to act in plays. We have gone far afield from our traditional plays and are working on and staging foreign plays. If we had not ignored our own plays, we would have been in a better position now."
Nurbakhsh insisted that music was more oppressed than theater and lamented, "At least several plays are aired on national TV programs, but no musical instruments are shown on TV. We hope these obstacles are removed during the coming years."
Doaii was the last to speak and said, "Artists are the luminaries of this society and are very sensitive. I hope you can act according to your beautiful mottos and remove the gaps. I am certain that you have the ability," he said, addressing Culture Minister Jannati.
Cinematic figures are due to meet with the minister in an upcoming session.
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