Established by a number of Iranian revolutionary figures, the festival has been named after Ammar Yasir, a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad (S).

Speaking in a press conference, the director of the Ammar Policy-Making Council, Saeid Khorshidi, said some of Iranian society's concerns and needs have been disregarded in the media.

For instance, he said, Iranian women's issues have always been ignored by the media.

''The path Iranian women have followed over the past fory years has not been discussed by the media; the Islamic Revolution's achievements in women's issues are in structive; I hope the revolutionary filmmakers would regard this subject,'' he stated.

The Ammar Policy-Making Council has selected Argentinean Muslim cleric Edgardo Robin to replace the former president of the festival Nader Talevzadeh who died in April.

Following his conversion to Shia Islam under the influence of the Islamic Revolution, Robin uses the name Soheil Asaad.

As a graduate of the Beirut Arab University in Lebanon and Al-Mustafa International University in Qom. he has been travelling across the world to promote Shia Islam.

''We are Hajji Nader's heirs; as his children, we will follow the path he chose,'' Asaad said at the press conference.

''The festival is unique in character, linking art, thought and media,'' he noted and added, ''I was a stage actor when I was living in Argentina, It was vitally important for me to do everything in an artistic way. When I shifted to Islamic studies I pledged to myself to do everything based on thought.''

''The Islamic Revolution should not confine its artistic and media activities only to national boundaries; this culture and lifestyle should be promoted as exemplay and a model for the world,'' he stated.

As a cleric, Asaad said that establishing ''a Shia Hollywood'' was once a concern for him and added, ''Cinema is really powerful, so it's really necessary to do whatever we can.''


Source:Tehran Times