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Iran’s Fajr Intl. Film Festival: Mission and scope

Part of the poster designed for the 36th edition of Iran’s annual Fajr International Film Festival (Photo by

As Iran’s yearly Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF) is only about two months away, aspiring cinematographers are queuing up to try their chances at snatching the event’s top accolade.

So far, hundreds of filmmakers have submitted their works to compete at the event’s 36th edition, which is to start in the capital Tehran on April 19 and last until April 27.

The event is held by Farabi Cinema Foundation, an executive arm of the country’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

FIFF’s mission statement says it seeks “to identify valuable and innovative cinematic works and create a space for exchange of experience and international thought among filmmakers from all around the world.” It accords great importance to film materials serving to emphasize “expansion of the message of justice, global peace, and moral and human values.”

Also in focus at the festival are films from the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Anatolia. 

FIFF’s main sections comprise Cinema Salvation, Eastern Vista where films from Asian and Muslim countries compete and Festival of Festivals, whose films are chosen among the ones which have already won prizes at other festivals.

Participants will be competing for Golden Simorgh, the event’s top prize. Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi is the event’s festival director.

Fajr Film Festival, the event’s domestic edition and Iran’s largest annual film competition, was held from February 1 to 10.

A frame grab from Be Vaght-e Sham (Levant’s Time), which won Fajr Film Festival’s Golden Simorgh

Its Golden Simorgh went to Be Vaght-e Sham (Levant’s Time) by renowned Iranian cinematographer Ebrahim Hatamikia, which focuses on the anti-terror struggle against the Takfiri group of Daesh in Syria.

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