Iranian Filmmakers in US

A visit to Iran by Board members of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscar) in early spring was among the most important artistic developments in the country. It was important because since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, no American artist had officially travelled to Iran. The trip was surrounded by controversies and although it provided a good ground for cultural interactions between the two countries’ filmmakers, some circles protested to it. During the visit, two specialized meetings were held attended by Oscar Board members and Iranian filmmakers, which greatly echoed in the Iranian print media. The American visitors also toured some ancient Iranian cities. Back in the United States, they talked about hospitality of Iranians and positive results of their trip. Almost six months after that trip, the American group invited 10 Iranian filmmakers to visit the United States to get abreast of filmmaking conditions and facilities in that country. Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour (director and head of House of Cinema), Ebrahim Hatami-Kia (one of the most renowned war genre directors), Reza Mirkarimi (director and former managing director of House of Cinema), Rakhshan Bani-Etemad (director), Amin Tarokh (actor of Mother), Farhad Towhidi (screenwriter), Mojtaba Raei (filmmaker), Alireza Raeisian (filmmaker), Fatemeh Mo’tamed Arya (actress of Gilaneh), and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (documentarian) were on the list. The group excluding the last two (Mo’tamed Arya and Mirtahmasb) set out for the United States on October 9. Newspapers and news services then conducted interviews with Mo’tamed Arya and Mirtahmasb inquiring about why they were left behind. They were told that both of them had gone to the airport only to be told that they had been banned from leaving the country. During the Iranian group’s stay in the United States, some Iranian movies like As Simple as This (Mirkarimi), 7:05 (Asgarpour), Gilaneh (Bani-Etemad), Red Rose Lady (Mirtahmasb), Journey to Hidalu (Raei), In the Name of Father (Hatami-Kia), Mother (Ali Hatami), and Havana Case (Raeisian) will be screened. The Los Angeles Times reported that the trip would take a week and meetings will be held under general title of “Iranian Filmmakers Talk about Themselves.”

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