0237 GMT June 19, 2021
The Fajr International Film Festival (FIff) joining the top world festivals accredited by FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) is of great significance for Iranian cinema, said Iranian female director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad.
In an interview with Iran Daily reporter, she added: “Due to this important global registration, this year is a special and decisive year for the Iranian festival and its cinema industry.”
FIAPF is now recognized in international forums as a supervisory body of international film festivals, and its most important responsibility is to supervise, organize and control international film festivals around the world.
Among the jury members of several international festivals, including the Venice Film Festival in Italy and the Montreal Film Festival in Canada, Bani-Etemad said that FIff is an opportunity for creating relationships with cineastes across the globe.
“Considering that I have not been in close contact with the FIff for several years, I cannot provide an accurate assessment in this regard,” added the female director.
Speaking about the future of Iranian cinema, she noted the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic in the world and various social issues in the field of cinema makes it difficult to predict what might happen in the future of cinema – even next year.
Regarding her participation in the FIff, Bani-Etemad said: “I feel very happy because I have not had such an opportunity to attend festivals since the coronavirus outbreak.”
She added, “The fact that such a prestigious festival is being held in an atmosphere that observes health protocols, that we can see films in theater halls indicates that we are gradually moving toward normalization.”
Bani-Etemad is among the new 774 members, from 57 countries, who have joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, or the Oscars.
She is also a screenwriter, producer and documentary filmmaker. Her film, ‘Tales,’ won the Best Screenplay Award at the 71st Venice Film Festival in 2014.
The 2021 FIff is scheduled for May 26 to June 2 in Tehran. The festival is widely considered one of the most prestigious and influential in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
The annual film festival was scheduled to be held in April 2020; however, amid growing concerns over the coronavirus, during March 2020, the organizers postponed it to a later time in June, which was also canceled.
The 39th edition of the national version of the festival was held from January 31 to February 10.