Director of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival : Seyyed Sadegh Mousavi

Director of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival said: “We believe that the Short Film Festival will offer the best perspective on the short film condition in Iran.”

According to the newsroom of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival, the press conference of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival was held on Monday, November 4th with the presence of Seyyed Sadegh Mousavi, Director of the Iranian Youth  and the festival’s director, and Arash Abbasi, Advisor to CEO and Communications Director of this Association.

At the beginning of this session, Arash Abbasi welcomed the reporters and said: “This year, a hall has been dedicated to the journalists for the first time in order to watch films in a better way.”

Then Sayed Sadegh Mousavi expressed: “The Short Film Festival is the most important showcase of short film activities in Iran, and without exaggeration, it is the most important international film festival in the Middle East. This is the opinion of all the experts and is not the opinion of myself alone. The Iranian Youth Cinema Society is the creator and organizer of this festival.”

He added: “We do not think that the festival is a showcase for the activities of the Iranian Youth Cinema Society, but we think that this festival offers the best perspective of the short film condition in Iran.”

Director of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival said: “We are in the best years of short film production in Iran. During this time, I’ve communicated a lot of information about the international success of Iran’s short film. Perhaps many of this information seemed to be irrational from the perspective of many people, but today, all claims were documented and published in the form of a book and will be available for you. List of 1819 attendances of Iranian artists in the international stages along with details, names of the films, names of the cities in where, these films were screened and the awards were published in these books.”

Mousavi said: “The short film is undoubtedly the backbone of Iranian cinema. I say that according to the studies. Nowadays Iran’s cultural and artistic cinema is guided by short films. We see pioneer artists, young minds, and different creations in the field of short film. This is our belief and we do not exaggerate it. Although we have the lowest credits in this area.

He said: “Since the capital of filmmakers is very low, they use their energies in terms of creativity and this is a huge capital. This does not mean that the short film is flawless. We have a better path ahead. By studying the other fields of art, you will understand that it is only in the short film area that we have attended almost two thousand international events and have won 370 awards.”

Mousavi continued: “We tried to hold the Festival this year in line with the dignity of Iran’s short film. We believe that if the short film appeared to be a marginal and insignificant issue in the past, Today, the short film should draw the attention of visual industry.”He added: “This year, we will hold the closing ceremony of the festival for the first time in the Milad Tower and I believe that you will witness an artistic event at this ceremony.”Director of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival said: “This year’s difference in the festival is mainly related to the international area and approximately 5,100 films have been sent to the Festival Secretariat. These films have been watched by an elite team for more than eight months. We insisted and obsessed with not having any ordinary films in the international section. Therefore, of these, sixty-seven films have been selected. Mousavi said: “In my opinion, some of these films are similar to the educational workshop. All of these films have been produced in 2017 and 2018. 120 countries sent us their films. On the other hand, the level of jury is not comparable to the previous years, names and records of whom have been published.”He expressed: “We launched the International Short Film Market for the first time and invited a large number of buyers from various TV channels and various foundations. We hope that we can provide a new economic and, of course, cultural space for Iran’s short film.”Mousavi continued: “This year, we held the international pitching for the first time. A few months ago, we issued a call for the festival so that those who wanted to participate in this event, they submitted their plans in Persian and English and a few months ago these plans were presented to the jury to select these people and plans for the workshop.”He said: “This year, Ms. Gabrielle Brunen Meyer is responsible for training the method of projects defense. Before holding the Pitching, This international instructor who is only specialist in this field, teaches the filmmakers the method of projects defense financially and culturally against investors. After these trainings, we will hold the Pitching ceremony.”Mousavi said: “In these Pitchings, we invite both domestic investors and foreign investors. These people are other than the buyers of the short films that have been invited this year. We also talked to the managing director of the Khaneh Cinema (Cinema House) and he said many of the investors of long movies were interested in attending your festival this year.

Director of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival said: “Despite our unfair political and international conditions, we invited 110 foreign visitors this year, and more than 40 people came to Iran. Interestingly, among the films submitted to the festival, most films are from France and then the United States; That is, the cultured people did not care about the atmosphere of Iran. We want to create a space for cooperation between Iranian and foreign artists by the presence of these foreign artists.”Seyyed Sadegh Mousavi continued: “We are processing and identifying the joint contracts and this is a big deal. Given the economic pressures and the depreciation of the rial, film production in Iran has become very economical and a foreign country does not work in this area under 5,000 euros. If a foreign investor intends to work within the Iranian cultural artistic framework, so this is the best opportunity for investment and joint production. We hope that the Iranian cinema producers also come and get acquainted with the creative filmmakers and work more in this field.”He continued: “Last year, thanks to God, we held specific scientific sessions that were welcomed and this year we did it as well. There are 20 specific sessions at the 35th Festival and 100 people registered to date. There are many friends who came from the other cities to Tehran and paid the fee for attending these sessions and instead of watching good films, they prefer to learn from the instructors.”Director of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival continued: “This year, this section of the festival has a scientific director and Dr. Alasti is responsible for our specific workshops. Our latest workshop in the international section will be held with the presence of the best instructors and every night there will be a 35 minutes interactive communication via Skype. These sessions will be held in four areas of Formalism, Realism, Minimalism, and Experimentalism.” Mousavi introduced the published books and added: “The book of the last year’s sessions has been published by Aban Publication which includes almost all festival information. In addition, 5 CDs have also been provided which is the result of last year’s performance and we hope this year to be better than last year. This year our sessions are like Master Class and cinema graduates have been registered to attend this sessions. In addition, the book 1819 has also been published which is about the international presence of Iranian artists in international festivals. Another book which has been published for these days contains the selected information for the Association’s films in the year 2017 along with the films produced in 2017 and both have been published in Persian and English. On trips to different countries, I did not see any association which only produced short films. They have a corporation that works in different fields; But the Iranian Youth.

Cinema Society has two important responsibilities: Training and making movies and so far, it had not published any book in this regard and this year it happens.   We also have three other books that will be published for the festival days and on the Cinema Day and Book Day at Mellat Complex.”He continued: “We are glad that this year, before the start of the 35th Festival and at the same time as the press conference, its 416 pages catalog will be uploaded on the site and enthusiasts can access the entire festival information such as jury, sessions and introducing films in this catalog.”Mousavi emphasized: “Also we took another step in the technical section this year, and for the first time, every film given to us in K2 and K4 format will be played in the same way and the sound of all the films will be in the form of Dolby. Last year, half of the films were in this format, but this year, 250 films will be screened in the form of digital cinema.”Director of 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival said about the collaboration of ISFA: “We believe we should respect the Iranian Short Film Society. This Association has more than 300 members, 100 members of which requested to have a card to attend the festival, and we welcomed their attendance. Additionally, the film selected by the audience will be announced this year by ISFA. All review and analysis sessions are also assigned to ISFA and they have a more active presence than the past years. We basically think that we must serve the short film association and service each of them. This year we will screen films at all Mellat Complex halls and a total of 1,000 people will be present at the halls at the same time. In our opinion, this number of fans interested and active in short film area are elite people who play a significant role in the future of Iran Cinema and they can save us from the lethargy of picture field. Some of these films may be bitter and biting, or they analyze a subject, but it is not possible to find any cheap or vulgar subject in these works. In the bitterest condition, the short film also speaks out of benevolence, and we hope this year, we host the best festival together and serve the short film community.”Mousavi also spoke about the closing ceremony: “The politicians such as Dr. Zarif, Sorena Sattari, Dr. Azari Jahromi have been invited for the closing ceremony and we hope they accept our invitation and attend the ceremony. Also, all ambassadors and embassies are aware of their films screening at the festival and will be present at the day of their films’ screening. And Professor Sahbaei will perform along with his orchestra and Chorus and Percussion Instruments Group along with a theatrical group will perform at the closing ceremony. We will continue to hold Dr. Alasti’s commemoration. And we also will review the works of Ashkan Ashkani who will be appreciated at the closing ceremony.

He emphasized: “Two television channels will cover our plans individually each night and we hope that people interested in cinema will also be present at this event. I believe that at the closing ceremony, the Milad Tower will be full of filmmakers and people interested in art.”Mousavi also said about the international works arbitration: “You know, better than I do, that the cost of producing short films is very high and we, for the first time, had to select the national works in two stages. Seven members of the Selection Board watched the films and selected 20 films at this stage and then 50 films have been selected. Since the short film has a specific audience and there is no other opportunity to show these films again, I asked them to increase the number of films and allow creative filmmakers to attend the festival, which eventually 6 Iranian films among 170 Iranian films are present in the international section. This section was reviewed by seven judges and Mehrdad Oskouei is our only Iranian judge in this section.”Managing Director of the Iranian Youth Cinem Society also spoke about the international section: “There are three prestigious international festivals in the world that Tampere is one of the most significant international festivals and it is the first festival, the selected films in which are directly introduced to the Oscars Academy. By interacting with the Ambassador of Finland, we managed to consult with the director of the Tampere Festival and we could allocate a box to this section and good films of the festival were sent to us in order to be screened during the festival. The next part is related to the screening of works of Estonia that is leading in animation and this year we have dedicated a box to Estonian films.”He continued: “This year, for the first time, we invited 70 mayors of the country to accompany us and foreign guests at the Festival together with the 30 Director Generals of Islamic Culture and Guidance Department. We hope everyone will be aware of the importance of short film by attending this ceremony and see this international event closely and give more attention to short filmmakers and support them.” Mousavi also said that Iran is the safest country in the Middle East and emphasized: “During these years, despite of all the efforts made by some countries to isolate Iran, we will have more than 40 foreign guests at the 35th Festival; security and inexpensive production in Iran have made this opportunity for many filmmakers to attend this year’s Festival and even invest in a joint venture.   Commercial elements of long movies does not exist in short film and the joint production is more important for us than for the long movies.”In the end, he explained about the letter of the filmmakers to the minister and supervision on the films: “It has been announced since last year that every screening must have its own license and this license must be issued by the Screening Council. We sent all selected films to the Council in order to obtain the license, but a few films failed to obtain the license due to several reasons.we  could have selected some good films from the very beginning and presented them in order to obtain license without any problems, but many friends would have been deprived from this space. The second option was that I would attend the meetings as director and interfere, but the third option was only due to respect the opinion of the Selection Board and I did not play any role in this regard and I did not even recommend a film. These works should be reviewed in accordance with legal procedures. More than 250 films were submitted to the Supervisory Board, and only 17 films were not licensed and needed correction. The Council for Policy Making was held and we asked them to see the films again, which eventually three other films obtained the license and we hope that by the end of the week, we will be able to get license for the remaining films and resolve their problems and screen them at the Festival.”At the end of the press conference, Mousavi spoke about the impact of the country’s economic conditions on the holding of the 35th Tehran Short Film Festival: “We published the Festival’s call in March, when the value of dollar was equal to 4,000 tomans. The value of dollar has been quadrupled now. So our grand prize, which was five thousand dollars is equal to seventy five million tomans now! But the call was announced at the same time, and now that the value of the rial has fallen, we cannot say that we will not give this grand prize. Indeed, it is important for us to live up to the promise, but I hope that the Iranian fellows win these awards”  According to the report, the 35th Tehran International Short Film Festival will be held since 9 to 13 November 2018, in order to identify and introduce the best national and international short films and create a constructive competition between filmmakers. The news of this international event is available at the festival site at www.tisff.ir as well as the Iranian Youth Cinema Society website at www.iycs.ir.

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