Articles & Notes — December 27, 2011 at 8:07 am

Iranian filmmakers speak openly about their society

Increased participation of women in filmmaking is a welcome change for Iranian cinema, said Tehran-based actress-filmmaker Azar Faramarzi, according to Times of India.

Faramarzi’s short film “Loneliness”, , was screened at the Asian Film Festival in the city on Monday.

“Effects of globalisation, among other things, are apparent in modern Iranian society and these are finding novel reflections in Iranian cinema,” she said during a press conference.

“It is my first film. It is a true story of a depressed wife, whose constant nagging leads to her idle husband’s suicide,” Faramarzi said. Her 2nd film, “Orange Dress,” which is in post-production, is based on a worker’s struggles in urban Iran.

“This is a social problem back home. I like to observe people’s lives around me and prefer to make films based on reality,” she said. As a young actor and a filmmaker, Faramarzi makes an interesting observation about Iranian cinema and the society.

“Several actresses in Iran are now making films. Iranian women have become much stronger. Many Iranian women, too, are becoming financially independent by doing jobs in various fields.”

The amount of freedom of expression granted back home has made filmmakers stronger as well.

“We are allowed to say anything we want about the society, but we have to be aware and take responsibility for what we say, because our government is very religious. But these very limitations have made directors stronger and they are making films that have found acclaim internationally,” Faramarzi said.

However, television is far more popular in Iran. “Television is much stronger than cinema in Iran. Several film actors are doing large amounts of television-related projects too,” said Faramarzi, who has worked as an assistant director on five television projects.

Indian films also find a space on Iranian television. “Films like ‘Sholay’ and ‘Sangam’ were released in theatres before the Islamic revolution in Iran. But after the revolution, foreign cinema is not released commerically in theatres, but broadcast on Iranian television,” she said.

“Hollywood films are very popular among Iranians. But people are able to watch Indian and Hollywood films without their songs and intimate scenes which are censored back home,” said Faramarzi.



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