Ahad Mikaeilzadeh said despite full preparations made for holding the festival on time, the coronavirus pandemic made officials reconsider their plans to meet the required health criteria, according to IRNA.
He said it was ultimately decided to hold the first section of the festival online in September.
The opening and closing ceremonies, meetings and performances with the physical presence of filmmakers and artists will be presented online.
More than 4,400 films have been submitted to the festival’s secretariat so far in both national and international sections, Mikaeilzadeh said adding 1,260 foreign films have applied to compete in the festival.
The applicants are from different South and Central America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Totally 460 films from Asia, 280 films from Central and South America, 325 films from Europe and 90 films from Africa have applied for the festival.
The submission deadline for the participation of films in the festival was extended by August 31.
The 16th edition of the festival will be held from September 21-27, coinciding with the Sacred Defense Week, covering the section of Defenders of Health, and from November 21-27 in sections of Main Competition, Resistance Prominent Martyr – Special Section, Best Film Competition in Absolute Sense and Narrations of Pen – Scriptwriting Competition.
Also, for participating in the second section of the festival, applications can be submitted by October 21.