Gönül Dönmez-Colin is a film scholar, specializing in the cinemas of Central Asia and the Middle East.
She is the author of Women, Islam and Cinema, A Personal Journey with Filmmakers from the Middle East and Central Asia, and The Cinema of North Africa and the Middle East. Her new book Women in the Cinemas of Iran and Turkey will be published this year.
You are a regular guest at Fajr. How is it this year?
I am looking for Iranian films and that’s why I came here. I want to see what young people are doing. They are using new ways and new languages to show their experiences in life through the medium of cinema, because the times are a-changing. I like to know whether they are defining the moment, using the new technology in their films.
You plan to publish a new book on Iranian women filmmakers. Where is it now?
It will be published in July. I have finished my work and the publisher is working on the book’s design. Its name is Women in the Cinemas of Iran and Turkey. In this book, the cinemas of Iran and Turkey are compared in terms of the presence and absence of women in front of the camera and behind it. From a critical point of view, the book provides a detailed reading of works by both male and female filmmakers, emphasizing issues facing women’s filmmaking agenda. The book also reviews the contemporary history of both countries, including their arts, cultures, arts, and the way they have responded to the rising trend of globalization and Western influence.
Any opinion on Iranian filmmakers?
Well. People have a short memory and Abbas Kiarostami is not here anymore. So Asghar Farhadi is more popular now. Although there are big differences between their cinemas. You feel close and connected to Kiarostami’s cinema. He had his own style and language. His cinema was deep. Asghar Farhadi comes from a theater background. He is interested in storytelling. He is an interesting filmmaker and knows his craft, but I prefer Kiarostami’s filmmaking method.
Presided over by award-winning writer and director Seyyed Reza Mirkarimi, the 37th Fajr International Film Festival is underway in Tehran until April 26. For further information, please visit our website at www.fajriff.com.