The document is a decree issued by Qajar king Mozaffar ad-Din Shah (1853-1907) on February 11, 1900, in which he assigned the renowned royal photographer Mirza Ahmad Khan Sani os-Saltaneh the task of buying a cinematograph.
The document, which belongs to Tehran’s Golestan Palace Museum, has been loaned to the Film Museum of Iran for a ten-day showing.
Iranian scholar and filmmaker Mohammadreza Aslani delivered a speech during the ceremony, which was attended by numerous cultural figures.
“This document tells us that Iran is one of earliest countries – perhaps the sixth – that experienced the advent of cinematograph,” Aslani said.
“This fact raises the question, due to this long history of cinema, why have we not held a position in the world history of cinema?” he stated.
“There is no allusion to Iran in the world history of cinema, meanwhile we can find many allusions to countries from Latin America, East Europe and Africa,” he added.
“Unfortunately, our background in cinema has not been changed into history… and our opponents didn’t allow our outstanding achievements in cinema to be transferred into the world’s history,” he lamented.
In his brief speech, Film Museum of Iran director Alireza Qasemkhan expressed his hope that the museum would organize other exhibitions in collaboration with the Golestan complex in order to raise the public’s awareness of national cinema history.