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Edinburgh and Fribourg International Film Festivals Join in Celebration of Iranian Cinema

Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) and Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) are pleased to announce their collaboration on an ambitious retrospective called The History of Iranian Cinema by Its Creators.

FIFF will launch the retrospective programme at their 28th edition, for which 14 major Iranian directors have named 27 titles, from 1933 to 2006. The 14 directors who have taken part are: Mania Akbari, Kaveh Bakhtiari, Bahram Beyzaie, Asghar Farhadi, Sepideh Farsi, Mahmoud Ghaffari, Bahman Ghobadi, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Shahram Mokri, Amir Naderi, Jafar Panahi, Shirin Neshat, Rafi Pitts and Mohammad Rasoulof. Some of them will attend Fribourg to present their choices.

Iran’s cinema is one of the richest in the world, but the view of Iranian cinema available to worldwide audiences has been subject to numerous restrictions, which have obscured the continuity of Iranian filmmaking before and after the 1979 revolution. That continuity is the concern of this major retrospective, for which leading contemporary Iranian directors have been contacted to choose and introduce the key works of Iranian film history.

The complete list of titles to be screened will be revealed at FIFF’s line-up press conference on 12th March 2014. The Cinemathèque Suisse (National Film Archives) will also, simultaneously with FIFF, screen part of this historical event.

EIFF will continue the programme in their 68th edition in June 2014, introducing further retrospective selections by contemporary Iranian filmmakers, together with new works.

FIFF’s Artistic Director Thierry Jobin said, “The idea of this programme was born not out of any political motivation, but out of a deep frustration. Year after year, we are impressed by Iranian movies without getting the full picture. This unique retrospective will, no doubt, confirm some of our common understandings of Iranian cinema. But it will also offer many amazing rediscoveries and, through powerful movies, a better understanding of Iran and of its culture. I would like to thank all the filmmakers for their confidence.“

Chris Fujiwara, Artistic Director of EIFF, said, “The series promises a powerful re-writing of film history through the recovery and re-affirmation of neglected connections. Film festivals have a great responsibility to the past heritage and the current and future understanding of cinema, and I consider this programme a step toward fulfilling that responsibility.”

The 28th edition of FIFF runs from 29 March to 5 April 2014. The 68th EIFF runs from 18 to 29 June 2014.

Download the full press release here.

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