Animated movies did well in the Film Market of the 36th Fajr International Film Festival, sealing five lucrative deals with international production and distribution companies.
The new agreements will give Iranian companies instant power in the lucrative and growing computer animation business in the country. They will collaborate on animated films, playing an active role alongside others in development and production of animated movies in Iran for international distribution.
According to the manager of Film Market, one big reason is that animated movies play well overseas and have a much wider appeal even at home than the sequels and niche movies. But maybe more importantly, this year’s crop of animation production companies did well because they are using more advanced techniques and practices.
Mohammad Mehdi Yadegari further says Iranian film and media institutes did well as well, sealing deals with international partners and distributers. The same goes to film production companies, which likewise managed to ink deals for distribution of Iranian movies overseas – despite the global economic downturn that has affected film markets even in places like Berlin Film Festival, MipTV, and AFM.
As for tough competition that exists in the market, Yadegari notes that many countries are also trying to have their own film market and this is going to make things much more difficult for Fajr in attracting international distributors to its annual Film Market: The film market of upcoming Cannes Film Festival might not be able to have a busy schedule, because of the ongoing global economic downturn – unlike the Fajr Film Market which is a niche market, dedicated to selling Iranian films to festivals and distributors the world over. The market did better than the previous edition.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Yadegari talked about co-productions: Iranian and French companies have sealed a deal to produce documentary series together. Preproduction plans are well underway to get the shooting started in Iran. The same is true about coproduction of animated movies. What we need now is get more orders to produce animated movies in Iran. Iranian companies inked 5 MoUs with Germany’ international news channel Deutsche Welle to produce five animated movies. Similarly, the IRIB sealed a deal to produce a documentary film with Deutsche Welle.
In conclusion, Yadegari said for the first-time independent production companies also took part in the Film Market: These young entrepreneurs are the future of Iranian cinema and they need all the help they can get from the Fajr Filmfest and the affiliated organizations. Indeed, the only way to stay in the global game is for Iranian cinema to get its private sector on board as well.
The Film Market, which closed for business on Monday, continued its transformation from film rights market to generalized, regional and trans-regional commerce platform. It now also contains pitching, project funding, digital content market and elements.
The curtain will fall on the 36th edition of the Fajr International Film Festival, presided over by Reza Mirkarimi, on Thursday. According to event organizer Mohammad Hamidi Moghaddam, Vahdat Hall will host the closing ceremony at 6:30 pm, attended by Iranian and international filmmakers and guests. The most anticipated moment of the Fajr Filmfest will include live classical music performances by tenors Shahram Nazeri and Hafez Nazeri.