According to the Public Relations Office of 41st FIFF, the first press conference of Mojtaba Amini, the director of the 41st Fajr International Film Festival was held on Monday (Jan 30, 2023) at Mellat Cineplex in Tehran.
In the beginning of the conference, the director of the FIFF said the event is slated to be held from February 1 to 11, 2023 in two competitive sections and a non-competitive section.
Commenting on an earthquake in the city of Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province, northwestern Iran, Amini expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the earthquake and wished speedy recovery to the injured.
He added this edition of the festival enjoys different cinema genres, adding that the genre diversity represents an emergence of new spirit in Iranian cinema.
In calls published on social media and some Persian television networks broadcasting from abroad, groups of Iranian film celebrities have asked their colleagues to boycott the festival in support of the unrest that arose against the Iranian government from September 2022.
“We have been in a critical situation. The overseas media have started severe attacks and they still are continuing,” said Amini who is most famous for producing the controversial TV series “Gando” on the true story of the major espionage case of Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post.
“We have taken effective measures to help the festival ship dock in the port with the very least amount of damage,” he added.
“The intent of the overseas war is to cause damage to the international section of the festival. To counteract that effort, we want to run it peacefully,” he noted.
Amini said that he has intentionally avoided making any comments about the marginal issues over the past few months to help the festival affairs go well, and added that the international lineup will be announced in the upcoming days.
He noted that his “silence” about the issues was his “prudence” to avoid any harm to the entries and those cineastes who have submitted their works to the event.
Twenty-six movies by filmmakers from 25 five countries have been selected from 588 submissions to be showcased in the international competition of the festival.
Amini called himself a “film guy” and asked Iranian cineastes to set aside ideological differences to help the festival go on well, emphasizing that the organizers welcome everybody.
“Let’s unite to make everybody feel happy and attempt to raise hopes and awareness,” he said in conclusion.
Commenting on the international section of the festival, Amini said as per the Cinema Organization’s decision, the national and international section of the festival will be held simultaneously.
“This edition of the festival will witness numerous foreign and domestic guests,” he said.
Commenting on the Market section of the festival, he added several companies from different countries will participate in this section in Milad Tower in Tehran.
He added that Cinema Museum has also been considered as one of the venues for holding international sections and expert workshops.
Amini also expressed the importance of safeguarding cyberspace, adding that several procedures have been considered for safeguarding the cyberspace by Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as well as the headquarters of the Fajr Film Festival.
He added that Fajr Film Festival is one of the most prestigious cinematic event in Iran and the Middle East, adding that all the hue and cry about the festival are just the headline’s wars of mass media.
Speaking in the same gathering, Head of FIFF Public Relations Masoud Najafi said the international section of 41st Fajr International Film Festival consists of International Competition Section (Cinema Salvation), Eastern Vista (Films from Asian-Islamic Countries) and Festival of Festivals.
Poster of the Festival Unveiled:
The poster of the Fajr International Film Festival’s international section has been unveiled.
According to The Public Relations Office of the 41st FIFF, the poster of the festival was unveiled in Mellat Cineplex during the first press conference of the festival.
Fajr’s international section categories split from the festival in 2014, when the Cinema Organization of Iran, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the main organizer of the event, announced that the international competition would be held separately from the national section for the first time in 2015.
Following the management changes in the Cinema Organization of Iran in 2021, the new director of the organization, Mohammad Khazaei, ordered the Fajr national and international film festivals be combined again for 2023.