This book examines transformations in the production and domestic and international reception of Iranian cinema between 2000 and 2013 through the intersection of the political markers – the presidential terms of Reformist president Mohammad Khatami and his successor, the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – and filmic markers, particularly Jafar Panahi’s The Circle (2000) and Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly (2009).
Through extensive field and media research, the book considers the interaction of a range of factors including government policy, Iranian national cinema genres and categories, intended audience, funding source, and domestic and international reception, to demonstrate the interplay between filmmakers and the government over these two successive presidencies. While the impact of politics on Iranian filmmaking has been widely examined, this work argues for a more nuanced understanding of politics in and of the Iranian cinema than has generally been previously acknowledged.
Drawing on both personal experience as a juror at the Fajr International Film festival and interviews with significant filmmakers, producers, actors and other industry insiders, including senior bureaucrats and politicians, the volume is a key resource for anyone interested in politics and Iranian cinema.
Table of Contents
1. Making ‘Constructive’ Films: Generic Themes and Modulations
2. Iranian Cinema Means the Middle Classes...
3. New Iranian Cinema and the International Festivals
4. Film Festivals and Festival Films: an Iranian Perspective
5. Cinema is a Weapon: Combatting the Soft War
6. Culture is not a form of entertainment
Conclusion - Our art will remain the same
Anne Démy-Geroe was the inaugural Artistic Director of the Brisbane International Film Festival for eighteen years and for seven years a co-Director at the Iranian Film Festival Australia. A Vice President of NETPAC, inaugural member of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominations Council, and a director of the Asia Pacific Screenlab, she was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for services to the film industry in 2003. She now lectures on Asia Pacific Cinema at Griffith Film School, Griffith University, Australia.