Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the festival president Mojtaba Amini called the global media pressure an ''overseas war'' launched to undermine the festival.

The festival is a major film event, which is organized every year to celebrate the  anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

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.

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 that the Fajr national and international film festivals be combined again for 2022.


Source:Tehran Times