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American director Oliver Stone to attend Iran's Fajr Film Festival


By Manijeh Rezapoor, Tehran Times

TEHRAN - Oscar-winning American filmmaker Oliver Stone will be attending the 36th Fajr International Film Festival, the secretary of the festival, Reza Mirkarimi, announced in a press conference on Wednesday.

Stone won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as the writer of "Midnight Express". He has also made "Comandante", a 2002 political documentary film, in which he interviews Cuban leader Fidel Castro on a diverse range of topics. He is also the director of the epic four-episode documentary "The Putin Interviews" that was produced about on Russian leader Vladimir Putin from 2015 to 2017.

Many other distinguished cineastes have also been invited to attend the Fajr festival.

"As announced before, Italian musician Nicola Piovani, Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi, and German cinematographer and producer Thomas Mauch are also among the festival guests this year," Mirkarimi said.

Elsewhere he remarked that "finding friends for the cinema of Iran" is the main goal of the festival.

"Discovering the family and religion-themed movies of the world cinema is another goal of the festival," Mirkarimi added.

He further noted that the representatives of the FIAPF - International Federation of Film Producers Associations visited the festival last year to evaluate its international ranking.

"They told us the festival is considered to be one of the 15 most important festivals in the world. However, the representatives will be coming to the event this year to evaluate the event," he stated.

The FIAPF based in Paris is an organization composed of 36 member associations from 30 of the leading audiovisual production countries. It is in charge of regulating international film festivals.

The juries of various categories of the Fajr festival were also announced at the press conference.

The jury members of the Cinema Salvation, the official competition section of the festival, are Polish director Joanna Kos-Krauze, Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski, Greek filmmaker Dimitri Athanitis, Indian director and producer Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and Italian producer Giovanni Spagnoletti.

Cinematographer Mahmud Kalari and actress Merila Zarei are the two Iranian members of the jury.

Fifteen movies from Iran and other countries will compete in this category.

Among the films are "A Phone Call to Father" by Seric Aprymov from Kazakhstan, "Little Tito and the Aliens" by Paola Livia Randi from Italy, "Little White Lie" by Tomas Alzamora from Chile, "Night Accident" by Temirbek Birnazarov from Kyrgyzstan, "Beyond the Clouds" by Majid Majidi from India and "The Silent Revolution" by Lars Kraume from Germany.

Pat Collins' "Song of Granite" from Ireland and Canada, Hanna Slak's "The Miner" from Croatia and Slovenia, Milko Lazarov's "Aga" from Germany, France, and Bulgaria, Semih Kaplanoglu's "Grain" from Turkey, Germany, France, Sweden, and Qatar, and Alexey German's "Dovlatov" from Russia, Poland, and Serbia will also be screened in the section.

The Iranian films competing in this section are "Forty-Seven" co-directed by Ahmad Otraqchi and Alireza Ataollah Tabrizi, "Hattrick" by Ramtin Lavvafi, and "The Lost Strait" by Bahram Tavakkoli.

The Fajr festival will be running in Tehran from April 19 to 27.

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