Thursday 23 May 2024
11:19 AM |

Interfaith Award Juror: Cinema Could Promote Religious Harmony

Interfaith Award Juror: Cinema Could Promote Religious Harmony

Portuguese filmmaker Inês Gil teaches film at the Lusófona University in Lisbon. She produces documentaries and video installation art, often related to spirituality. Terre Promise is her latest film, a short fiction. She regularly participates in the SIGNIS and Ecumenical juries around the world.

She has attended the 37th edition of FIFF as a jury member of Interfaith Award. Here is a short interview with her:

As a specialist who works in cinema and spirituality, which one is more prominent?

Both of them can affect each other and it depends on how you use them. I know cinema, I teach it and I am a filmmaker. Spirituality comes after that. When I saw a lack of spirituality in films, I decided to do something about it. I studied the field and its relation to cinema.

Do you study religion and philosophy in cinema?

Yes. I study spirituality and I think religions are all spiritual. We all have the same way of feeling, questioning, acting to the meanings and mysteries of life.

How could cinema help fight bigotry?

Cinema is very important and could help promote religious harmony. Cinema could help correct our religious misunderstandings. In my opinion, the most important role for religion is to promote humanity and spirituality.

How do you define interfaith?

I am not interested in religious films. I think the films that explore humanity and promote altruism could be called interfaith cinema. The Passion of Christ and Ten Commandments are religious films but not necessarily interfaith. In my opinion, one of the best films that successfully managed to illustrate the Holy Bible was The Gospel According to St. Matthew by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

How about Fajr Festival?

It is wonderful. I was very keen to come here. I don’t know why but I knew I would see a festival like this. I still haven’t seen many things, but I like the atmosphere and everything is OK and the hospitality is very good.

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

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