Distribution of Illegal DVDs of The Dulcimer Player
One year after screening of The Dulcimer Player in last year’s Fajr International Film Festival and following a whole year of controversies and conflicting news about public screening of the film or its prohibition, the worst fears of producers came true and illegal DVDs of the film were sold on streets. This was a repetition of what had already happened to The Lizard, Offside, and The Expelled. The difference, however, was that The Lizard was partially, but successfully, screened at theaters, The Expelled had broken sales record of the Iranian cinema, and Offside had both taken part in international festivals and sold overseas. None of those cases were true about The Dulcimer Player. Of course, the number of people who would watch it now would be much higher than the audience that would have watched it at theaters, but this will also cost its producers about one million dollars in losses while retailers and smugglers are reaping the actual profits. Even some illegal sales agents have been deceiving their customers with fake copies of the film since a year ago, so as to keep up their enthusiasm to see the real thing. Now that you are reading this, new copies are being widely sold through the illegal network of film smugglers.
The illegal copy is of high quality with English subtitles and contains even those scenes which had been deleted in last year’s festival. In this way, the case of public screening of The Dulcimer Player will be closed and this will only provide an excuse for seminars and speeches to focus on the importance of supporting the national cinema and fighting film smuggling. Of course, a film which had been already banned may not have the benefit of such debates.