1158 GMT July 24, 2021
The founder of Family Film Awards in the United States said that despite the focus of Fajr International Film Festival (FIff) on cultural issues of Iran and the region, the subjects that are valued in the festival not only are local, but are also global, and in fact this festival deals with the problems of all human beings.
In an interview with the Iran Daily reporter, Olympia Gellini explained: “Fajr films do not merely include problems and issues of Iran and the region, but have a global perspective and deal with the theme of emotions and relations which are valuable for all human beings.”
He said that this festival created an opportunity for all filmmakers, particularly in the Middle East, to be able to display their culture and problems as well as social and cultural issues through the silver screen.
Referring to the importance of respecting each other’s cultural concerns in the film industry, Gellini said: “Addressing these topics in FIff will make international filmmakers welcome these issues and work on them collectively.”
He pointed that participation of filmmakers in addressing common cultural and human issues could lead to peace and bring true meaning for filmmaking.
“Two years ago, when I came to Tehran for attending the FIff, I was very impressed to see several successful films at this festival, and I suggested that Reza Mirkarimi’s ‘Castle of Dreams’ should participate in Family Film Awards,” said Gellini.
Mirkarimi’s film, which deals with family relationships and shows the influence of parents on children’s behavior and lives, won the Best Foreign Feature Award at the 23rd edition of Family Film Awards, he added.
He said, “I am reviewing the films of the 38th FIff and I will definitely introduce one of them to the 25th Family Film Awards, which is slated for next February.”
Since the 38th FIff is being held both physically and virtually, it receives millions of visitors and this is a great support for Iranian films, he said.
The cultural figure said, FIff is a good opportunity to screen and introduce cultural films, especially in the Middle East, because the regional cultures have a lot in common.
On the one hand, this festival opened a new door to filmmaking of countries such as Palestine, or countries that do not have a thriving film industry but have several interesting untold stories, he said.
On the other hand, there are countries including Japan, China, and even the United States that have a strong film industry, but they do not have appropriate festivals to introduce their cultural films, he said, explaining that FIff is a good platform for screening such products.
Speaking about the status of making family films in the US, he said that these products were made exclusively by Walt Disney, while other film studios in the US were less involved.
Americans believe that the number of violent films in the US is high, and even Walt Disney makes animations that promote violence and non-cultural issues.
“I suggested that if the US wants to help strengthen the foundation of family, all film studios must enter the field of culture and, fortunately, this has become the law,” he noted.
“At present, all film studios such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and even Internet networks must make three family films per year, and this became legal in 1995. I am happy that, as an Iranian, I did something which has caused thousands of family films to be made,” he concluded.