Crisis in Directors Society

Iranian Directors Society is an influential component of the House of Cinema. Almost all Iranian directors are its members and managing director of House of Cinema is usually one of them. On the other hand, the Society has remained influential as it stays away from controversies. Directors Society has been seldom scene of a major crisis during about 30 years which have passed since the establishment of House of Cinema. Alireza Raeisian, the seasoned Iranian filmmaker was heading the Society for 12 years and did his best to turn it into an independent entity. He has been the most lasting manager of a cinema guild in House of Cinema and has been able to get the highest votes during various voting sessions. The new term of Raeisian was accompanied with a strange turn of events. About two weeks before the end of his term in office and the new voting session, Raeisian was deposed from his post by members of the directorate of the Society due to what they called “weak and arbitrary performance of Raeisian in the past months.” According to bylaw of the House of Cinema, board of directors of the Society is entitled to depose its manager through a majority vote. The news reverberated in domestic media and Raeisian, who had been taken by surprise, took part in press interviews accusing board of directors of being authoritarian. He maintained that by his early dismissal, the board of directors has meant to take his place. Interestingly, the directorate members includes important figures like Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour (incumbent managing director of House of Cinema), Reza Mirkarimi (former managing director of House of Cinema), and other directors whose positions are more important than Raeisian. To refute his charges, members of board of directors were not nominated for their posts in new elections and this was the best opportunity for filmmakers who were interested to occupy managerial posts. They included Sirous Alvand, the experienced Iranian director, who succeeded Raeisian as head of Directors Society, as well as Kambozia Partovi, Mehdi Karampour, Asghar Hashemi, Puran Derakhshandeh, Alireza Amini, Khosrow Ma’soumi, and Mohammad Reza A’lami who are not members of board of directors. Seasoned directors like Kioumars Pourahmad and Massoud Ja'fari Jozani called on opposing groups to remain calm and played a pivotal role in taking the Society’s conditions back to normal. Some maintain that the main reason for dismissing Raeisian was his pro-government tendencies which were against the policies of House of Cinema. Now, the Directors Society is, once more, experiencing normal conditions.

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