Speaking to the managers of several children’s educational centers on Sunday, Mehdi Javadi said, “For a long time, we have not cultivated anything in children’s cinema, therefore there is nothing to harvest.”

“A friend has said that we are approaching the extinction of children’s and young adult cinema; if we contemplate the comment well, we see it is not far from the reality,” he added.

Javadi noted that the lack of children’s films in the country has emerged in the wake of a gap between filmmakers and educational centers.         

He made the remarks following the foundation’s decision to cancel its 35th edition of the Isfahan International Film Festival for Children and Youth due to the lack of movies by local filmmakers.

“There were less than five films by local filmmakers to be screened at the festival… and the films fell below an acceptable standard,” he added.

He urged the managers of the educational centers to help fill in the gap between filmmakers and the centers by providing screenwriters with diverse topics.

Referring to the numerous problems facing the country’s educational system for children, Javadi said, “We cannot make films anymore for the sole purpose of entertainment.”

He said that the Farabi Cinema Foundation welcomes proposals from the educational centers and added, “You know the children of today and their needs, therefore tell us what we should make and which topics should be regarded; raise our awareness of methodologies for training and education and teach us what should be told to children in films and how.”

Over the past two decades, Iranian cinema has failed to introduce a new generation of children’s filmmakers. 

In its new policy, the Farabi Cinema Foundation intends to promote children’s films by holding talks with organizations concerning children’s issues.

Earlier in August, the foundation announced that is seeking a five-year plan in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund – UNICEF to enhance children’s films in the country.

The plan was discussed in a meeting between the UNICEF Representative in Iran, Robin Nandy, and Javadi.