Documentary film channel

  A documentary film channel was launched about a year ago, but increased both in quality and quantity from the beginning of the spring 2011. Documentary films followed no specific schedule in the Iranian TV and every channel had its own schedule, which sometimes included documentary items (that still continue). Channel 4, which is known as scientific channel and whose programs are special to the educated and specialist people, has been more focused on documentary films. The new channel, however, has made airing documentary films more regular. Based on opinion polls conducted by the channel, 80 percent of the audience has been satisfied with its programs. Head of the state TV, Ezzatollah Zarghami, announced that “I think documentary channel is now mature and ready to become permanent. Its directors can present annual programs and regulate their conductor in order to pave the way for further expansion of the network.” Directors of the documentary channel have announced that their main priorities are to produce 400 hours of domestic programs and inviting Iranian documentarians to feed the channel. Since only one series has been produced by the channel in the past few months and other items have been taken from the archives of other channels, if this idea were put into action, it would lead to considerable changes in the documentary channel. The second idea is to procure 2,000 hours of foreign documentaries.
  Experts, however maintain that the most important weakness of this channel is that it is inaccessible to the general audience and can be only received through digital receivers in Tehran. Secondly, its directors have no well-developed plan for cooperation with Documentary and Experimental Film Center and guild association of the Iranian documentarians. Shahnam Safajou, director of Public Relations Department of Documentary and Experimental Film Center has noted that a documentary channel should have close relations to institutions making documentary films, but thus far, they have gone no further than early promises. Some documentarians also believe that directors of the channel should take a more developed approach to documentary films and instead of merely focusing on wildlife documentaries, also pay attention to social documentaries and even air experimental and unconventional documentary films which can be a major turning point in history of the Iranian documentary cinema.

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