Well-known film director Reza Mir-Karimi has been appointed as the new head of the House of Cinema.
Head of Iran Cinema Organization Hojatollah Ayoubi and Mir-Karimi honored the previous members of the board of directors at a ceremony to bid farewell to the previous director, Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpour, and introduce the newly-appointed director, at the cinema house premises in Tehran on Sunday (May 24).
Pointing to the state of Iran cinema in the past 20 months – since he was appointed as the head of the organization – Ayoubi said, “In the early days of my work I had a meeting with cinema owners – a bitter memory – as they wanted to give up screening films due to their poor financial status at that time.”
He hoped that movie sales had increased and “people had reconciled with cinema.” This would be a step forward as the industry needs support.
Ayoubi appreciated the perseverance of Asgarpour and his team at a time when national cinema faced obstacles and opposition. “I do not know how they withstood the hardships and moved forward, but I surely learned a lot from them.”
Although cinema management has taken positive action to boost the industry, there are still problems to be resolved, but “it is not fair to expect the new board of directors to overcome hurdles all in one go.”
Ayoubi congratulated the production team of the movie ‘Nahid’, which won the special jury award at Cannes Film Festival, and noted that last year (ending March 20) Iranian productions collected 222 international awards and “46 cineastes juried foreign festivals which is an honor for the country.”
Asgarpour in his farewell speech said his major concern is that “the difficult days of cinema will not recur.”
The renowned film writer and director Mir-Karimi, who had previously chaired the House of Cinema board of directors between 2006 and 2008, had recently propounded his programs to clear hurdles in the cinema sector. “As a non-governmental association comprising experts, we can remove the shortcomings in cinema, which is for the most part controlled by the state.”
Pointing to the conflicts between different state, private organizations and associations in the field, he had said, “We should put old hostilities aside and focus on the solutions and cooperate in complete harmony.
We can’t waste time niggling over differences of opinion. It is time for friendship and getting down to business.”
Mir-Karimi has directed seven movies, most screened globally, and collected several prizes. ‘Today’, ‘A Cube of Sugar’, and ‘So Close, So Far’ are his most famous movies.
House of Cinema first started to work as the Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds in 1989, when members of the board of directors appointed by the then ministry of culture and Islamic guidance were put in charge of the establishment of the guild.
Four years later in 1993, the House of Cinema started to work as an assembly of different motion picture guilds with the objective of: protecting and maintaining the financial and non-financial rights of individuals and authorities in cinema industry involved in production, distribution and screening of films, providing social and job security for all members, and upgrading the professional and educational knowledge of those working in cinema in Iran.