Secrets of Iranian movies: Low budgets, precious awards

Ihsan Kabil, a cinema expert , said “Iranian cinema may be viewed as a combination of other Iranian arts. Movies are melting pots where Iranian theatre, music, painting and literature come together.”

Secrets of Iranian movies: Low budgets, precious awards

Iranian movies, which have been getting international awards in recent film festivals, are products of a new line of filmmakers who are seeking to present distinctive performances as an alternative to Hollywood movies which occupy world cinemas.

The history of the Iranian cinema sector, which has gifted some breakthrough films like Children of Heaven, A time for Drunken Horses, and Taste of Cherry, traces back to almost one century ago. Muzaffer al-Din Shah, a member of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran until being overthrown by Pahlavis, kicked off the Iranian journey through cinema by bringing a cinecamera from Paris in 1900. Just five years later, Iranians opened their first movie house and in 1925, which also marked the end of Qajar dynasty, the first movie school was opened. Having a different stance from European and American movies, Iranian cinema produced its first full-length film in 1930.

As it has always been, changes in the political area found its repercussions in movies. Iranian cinema went through a recognizable transformation after the coup which toppled the elected Prime Minister Musaddıq. The influence is still felt in Iranian movies but it first began with Dariush Mehrjui’s movie “The Cow” in 1969. The movie got a Golden Bear award in the Venetian Film Festival.

The Iranian Revolution in 1979 has also created a new understanding in Iranian movies. Despite the constraints set by the new Iranian regime, Iranian movie makers have scrambled to overcome them with new topics and characters in scenarios. Commenting on the success of Iranian movies in the last thirty years, Ihsan Kabil, a cinema expert , said “A closer look at Iranian society tells us the effects of the Iranian Revolution. Many institutions including Iranian cinema have been modified after the revolution. Iranian cinema may be viewed as a combination of other Iranian arts. Movies are melting pots where Iranian theatre, music, painting and literature come together.”

State sponsored film industry

Within the restriction of Iranian regime, movie makers are in an effort to compete with their international counterparts. The secret of success lying behind the Iranian movie makers is producing films with a limited budget and strong scenarios. Most Iranian movies are shot by film plateaus sponsored by the state. These plateaus are the center of Iranian cinema. The largest of them is The Cinema City which contains replicas of Tehran’s famous Lalezar Street and Grand Hotel with certain references to pre-revolution Iran.

In another plateau, Imam Ali, there are houses of Osman and Ali, the third and fourth caliphs who ruled Islamic community after the death of Prophet Muhammed respectively. These plateaus where more than one thousand films were shot are also an attraction point for international tourists.

Kuzey News Agency

Last Mod: 04 Aralık 2013, 14:07
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