The festival is scheduled to be organized in two stages, the first of which will take place during the Sacred Defense Week from September 21 to 28.

The festival is organized every year to commemorate the anniversary of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which is known as the “Sacred Defense” in Iran.

The second part of the festival will be held from November 21 to 27 to celebrate the anniversary of Basij Day, which falls on November 25.  

“Organizing a successful online festival will provide us with a valuable experience to pursue such a method in upcoming editions of the festival in the post-coronavirus world, given that organizing an online festival is more economical,” Ahad Mikailzadeh, the director the Media Department of the festival, said.

“Fully exploiting the potential of the virtual and media environment in the online version will help the organizers improve the quality of the festival,” he added.   

In appreciation of the medical workers’ efforts on the front lines of the campaign against COVID-19, the festival has initiated a category titled “Health Defenders” in collaboration with the Health Ministry.

Films focusing on the endeavors health workers have made during the pandemic will be competing in this section.   

Over 370 movies from around the world have so far been submitted to this section.

This year for the first time, the organizers plan to honor an innovative filmmaker with an award named after the Iranian war film director, Rasul Mollaqolipur.

“The Rasul Award has been launched in memory of Rasul Mollaqolipur in order to encourage directors to introduce innovations in their films on the Islamic Revolution and the Sacred Defense,” they have said.

Earlier in July, they said that the festival has been warmly welcomed internationally as they have received 1260 submissions from filmmakers in Central America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several major film events.

The Fajr International Film Festival, Iran’s major film event that is organized every year in April, was first postponed and then canceled amid the growing concern over the new virus.

The organizers of the 33rd Isfahan International Film Festival for Children and Youth, and the 14th edition of the Cinema Vérité, Iran’s major international festival for documentary films, has recently announced that the events will be organized entirely online due to a rise in coronavirus cases in the country over the past month.

In addition, Cinema Organization of Iran director Hossein Entezami has recently announced that the organization is searching for a safe platform to organize the Fajr Film Festival online if the pandemic continues until February 2021.

Source:Tehran Times