May 27, 2019, 4:34 AM
News Code: 83328998
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Cinema and sanctions

Tehran, May 27, IRNA - In recent months, since the US sanctions have found new dimensions, it has affected various arenas. The arena of culture, though apparently unrelated to sanctions, has severely suffered because it is not independent and isolated from the economy.

As Reza Mirkarimi, secretary of the 37th Fajr International Film Festival said in interview with a foreign correspondent, "Sanctions have affected the Fajr festival. We were faced with irrational sanctions in this period. Its appearance is that sanctions have not to do with culture and are in the economic sector, but all have targeted the cultural financial affairs of the festival ... Some of the guests were put under the pressure and tried to ban them from traveling to Iran via Iranophobia."


What is evident is paying attention to the fact that in the cultural sphere imposing power is not done only through money and it is done in other forms such as propaganda against the sanctioned country; it means, through demonizing and the direct and indirect threat of public not to communicate with the sanctioned country because of their dangerousness and their social conditions. This policy, however, one of the worst policies that could undermine the growth and maturity of the country's culture, has a promising dimension and they are the loopholes and financial bypass that exist in this area and accordingly it can still maintain cultural production.


Although cultural goods are going forward in the process of reaching consumption, they are, however, not consumers, has the capability of rebuilding and equipping. Consequently, despite the 40 years since the revolution and the sanctions that have just taken shape and been growing since that time, Iranian cinema and cinematic productions have continued to grow and mature. This growth, which caused by circumvention of the sanctions imposed on Iran, can be appreciated as a model for the development of other artistic aspects that may have halted under the justification of sanctions.


** Disregard for sanctions


Mehran Rassam, a producer who has had a history of television production and activity over the years, told IRNA about this, "We have been under different forms of sanctions for many years and we have tolerated these problems. In terms of hardware and software, we have had such problems since the beginning of the revolution, and these issues are not new phenomenon in this industry and profession.”


"There may always be a financially bottleneck in production, but all the individuals in this field have been standing up to date and working. I do not know what will happen in the future, but we have not had a problem so far, and so far, there was a normal procedure and these sanctions have not affected our work.”, he noted.


"Technically, from the beginning of the revolution, we imported hardware and equipment by any means, and today we continue to do the same, and there is no disruption to our work."


In response to the question of how the tools needed for making film are imported without disruption  by sanctions, the producer stated that for many years, technical tools have been imported by people who have interested in cultural activities by any means and via a channel. Because our equipment does not want a large number (for example, we do not want to import 1,000 cameras or 5000 editing devices), it will be up to 50, since how many people do we have in the country to make film?


"Once you want to import a commodity that 80 million people need it, which is difficult and inevitable, but when the volume of this import is 100 or at most 1,000, the story is different. As a result, the volume of this work and the bringing of the equipment are not so difficult that we cannot import the equipment.


“Since the beginning of the revolution, we have never been able to import the equipment officially. But there are groups that go and buy the best and most suitable equipment and bring it to produce works.”


Rassam explains whether this applies to cinema, "In the case of cinema, the case is the same, and it's even easier because the craft is obvious and smaller in number."


The producer also pointed out in response to the question of who are providing these film production prerequisites, “These goods are purchased by individuals and are always bought by the person. Because the executor in both in TV and the cinema is the private sector."


"TV producers all belong to private and are individuals. Television producers are all individuals who outside the organization have the office and equipment, and these are exactly those who they are buying, bringing, and producing. "


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