0638 GMT March 05, 2021
A prominent German film market specialist maintains that the market for Iranian films is positive.
Each year, a market is created for Iranian films concurrent with the Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF). Those interested in sales of films convene in the event to learn more about the flicks produced in each participating country and, if they are interested, buy the movies for screening in their own states.
The first Iranian International Film Market (IFM) was established in 1998 to coincide with Fajr International Film Festival in February.
In 2004, the 7th IFM was held with the aim of sharing information about important cultural events in the region and for the first time international companies were invited to distribute and sell their products in Iran. Thus, IFM turned into hub for cinematic products of the region.
In the 34th edition of the festival, over 120 foreign corporations representing 45 countries are taking part in IFM.
Iran Daily conducted an interview with Nicolas Palme, a representative of Beta Film GmbH in Germany to learn more about the market and the level of participants' satisfaction.
Excerpts of the interview follow:
IRAN DAILY: Please tell us briefly about your experience in the field.
NICOLAS PALME: In fact I am responsible for buying foreign films for screening in Germany. World sales and co-financing company Beta Cinema has established itself as a 'boutique-operation' for quality feature films that combine commercial viability with artistic integrity. Prime examples are Oscar winners and worldwide B.O. hits like 'The Lives of Others', 'Il Divo' and 'Mongol and Downfall'.
Current highlights include the Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nyqvist thriller 'Colonia' and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner 'Sand Storm'.
What motivates you to attend the festival?
I was invited by the festival's Planning Committee. I accepted the invitation because Iran enjoys a lively market for films sales on the one hand and on the other, interaction with Persian Gulf countries can pave the way for publicity through films.
To what extent are Iranian and German audiences attracted to each other's cinematic products ?
It is crystal clear that major part of each country's films are about domestic topics. Thus, it is probable that each country's film has no attraction for foreign audiences. It is also true for films made within one country but among different ethnicities.
Generally speaking, there are subjects, including action, love, death, life and political issues that are common among all international audiences.
Do you have precise information on the number of films exchanged between Iran and Germany. Did you sign a contract to buy Iranian films?
Actually, there is no precise information on the number of films exchanged between the European country and Iran.
International events such as Fajr International Film Festival are the starting point for long-term bilateral activities.
In fact, such information is gained through cyber space and electronic communication and practically neither country has enough opportunities to get familiar with the other's cinema industry.
In terms of contracts, I should say that it is not a short-term program, but I am sure such international festivals are influential in increasing cultural communication.
Do you think electronic communication and cyber space can promote films markets or may bring about its decline?
Digital structures made cheaper process for selling films. I personally believe that the amount of films' sale also depends on bilateral ties. Although digital market dominates world film markets, market of Iranian films seems bright and rosy.
Different methods in TV and cinema can expand cultural ties between countries. For instance, it is predicted a TV channel in German will be established to show the films whose content addresses Indian who have migrated to Germany.
Both Iran and Germany should also seize the opportunity and use whatever means to show their films in the other country.