Acclaimed Iranian Director Wishes to Make Films for Children Again

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui expressed his wish to once again make movies for the cinema of children and youth.

According to the news headquarters at Iran’s International Film Festival for Children and Youth, Mehrjui, in a message, said, “Iran’s cinema of children and youth is decades old, as old as the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. The institute is an organization active in making related films since years before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, producing very good works in its early age.”

According to Mehrjui, many moviemakers have collaborated with this entity, which was initially very active and dynamic, holing cultural programs such as publishing children books, producing kid-friendly films, and releasing children music records.

“In fact, well-known filmmakers like the late Abbas Kiarostami started out in this institute, and made it to the production of features with the help of this organization. I did not begin with the cinema of children and youth, but in the early post-revolution years, I made a film for the institute which was screened five years later, in the Children and Youth Festival - in 1985,” he said.

The well-known moviemaker went on to name his first work in the children cinema, dubbed ‘The School We Went To’ (Hayate Poshti Madreseye Adl-e-Afagh), a film with a special audience group of its own, screened years after production. It was based on a story of the same name (Hayate Poshti …)."

Back then, the Children and Youth Festival had been part of the Fajr International Film Festival, though after five or six rounds, it turned into an independent event.

Later, in the field of children and youth films, Mehrjui made another movie called ‘Shirak’ which entered the festival.

“I believe that this festival is a good opportunity for filmmakers. I would like to make these kinds of movies again, but the opportunity has not presented itself yet,” he wrote in the message.

Mehrjui added, “Presently, art films, as well as those owning the potential to enter festivals, have undergone some changes, in sharp contrast to the years before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. However, it seems as if the art cinema has vanished into thin air, replaced by a bunch of entertaining movies.”

“Currently, the Children and Youth Festival is busy with short films, displaying good works made by foreign countries. The screening procedure of participant works is suitable and well-arranged, making progress day by day. I hope that this process goes on with the same approach and works toward improvements.”

Presided by Alireza Rezadad, Iran’s International Film Festival for Children and Youth opened on August 30 in the historic city of Isfahan, and will wrap up on September 5.

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