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Outstanding Guilds Recognized at the House of Cinema

A ceremony in recognition of outstanding guilds and one member of the alliance of motion picture guilds was held at the House of Cinema on Tuesday July 21, attending Cinema Deputy of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mr. Jafari Jelveh, House of Cinema’s Managing Director, directors of associations and societies and members of House of Cinema’s motion picture guilds.
Opening the ceremony, Managing Director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour congratulated the celebration of Mab’ath and described the ceremony as an occasion to pay tribute to those who have been of effective and valuable service to the Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds during the recent years. “We are gathered here to pay tribute to one colleague who has done great service beyond his own guild and assisted colleagues in other guilds on different occasions. Also, three guilds that have been more committed to the establishment of cross guild relations and realization of members’ expectations will be recognized tonight”, he said.
Asgarpour then touched on the absence of a sound understanding of guild activities and described it as a plague hindering the professional programs and activities of all guilds. He called the House of Cinema the only powerfully motion picture guild organization with a constructive and influential role in guild activities that has managed to take a proper stand and wisely resolve problems and challenges on many occasions. There have been times, of course, when it has been unwillingly forced into certain courses of action which have been considered as anti-guild movements.”
Mentioning the assistance and cooperation of the Cinema Deputy of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance during the last four years, House of Cinema’s Managing Director said: “We have seen very good governmental assistance extended for example to some course of action within a guild. I don’t intend to sing praises here but Mr. Jafari Jelveh’s name has been brought up before, and the volume of support given to the organization of House of Cinema during his term has been much more than any other time, and it is supported by figures and statistics. We have seen great things happening in the past 4 years not only in areas of monetary and credit issues but in terms of intellectual collaboration. I believe he deserves recognition in due time.”
Referring to certain crises resulted by the conflict of personal and at times guild interests, as well as occasional disagreements between higher interests of the House of Cinema and that of certain guilds, Asgarpour maintained: “… In festivals and specialized sessions, especially where there is a form of judgment involved, personal interest might at times be given priority over the interests of a certain course of action within a guild, and sometimes there might be some sort of a push to force the interests of a guild over the interests of a larger institution like the House of Cinema. In any case, we are confronted by such inner circles. This is where interests might not be correctly defined at times, and one has to face such situations from time to time, which might put the guilds on the verge of collapse. Of course this might be considered as a drill for democracy, and a reality we are sometimes faced with. In the bigger circle, which is the House of Cinema, the interests of all colleagues are covered, but such interests can sometimes go against each other. Like the ratio of producers in comparison to other guilds which is sometimes brought up, and we come across contradictions, which in itself is an interesting, observable fact; how these contradictions come together and form a bigger circle.”
Asgarpour further added: “When the new board of directors started to work, there was no written, recorded or systematized documented requisition in the whole organization of the House of Cinema. One thing you might say we are all duty bound to follow up within every guild is to recognize and classify the requisitions so that we can discuss them without being sidetracked with marginal issues.”
He continued: “When some people want to go further and enter social or political issues -which I believe is the natural right of any individual or guild- I think they should not only have the required maturity, but a relative persistence as well . My request from all friends is; if you want to walk down this road, take firmer steps, otherwise don’t go there at all.”
 House of Cinema’s Managing Director said: “Under current circumstances, we should increase the level of convergence within the organization, and do not let certain events turn this convergence into divergence. Occasions such as festivals and celebrations can have such effect, and so some executives such as myself might think that to solve our friends’ problem, more or less awards should be handed out, but the reality is, in this point of time we need to build up the environment which will help promote professional convergence.”
Asgarpour also said: “When you cross the borders and you see what they say about our cinema in other countries, you feel so proud to be of a country with a cinema industry that is so well admired. Truth is, we have to protect our country’s cinema and the production volume that it has achieved with such difficulty, or we will lose our cultural distinctiveness in no time.”
House of Cinema’s Managing Director then described the process of selecting the outstanding guilds, saying: “We were supposed to select one guild as the outstanding guild of the year, but it was such a difficult task, as we had three guilds with noteworthy efforts in the required parameters. One parameter goes back to regular sessions of the board of directors within the guild, second is about strong follow up of the guild’s ratified decisions, and the third and most important parameter is the guild’s year-round program and plans. Therefore, we now have three guilds running very close, and it would have been unfair if we had not selected either of these three.”
Asgarpour maintained: “During the management of Mr. Mir-Karimi and myself, each guild had a productive plan, which was supported by the board of directors, and so all guilds had an equal opportunity to display their potentials and capabilities and follow up their set of activities. As for the outstanding individual, if I’m not mistaken, Ms. Fereshteh Taerpoor was recognized last time, and she was one of the possible choices of this year as she has followed up a significant part of tax issues which was crucial in itself. Mr. Shahsavari, who is to be recognized today, is in a very important and difficult position; he actively works as a representative of the House of Cinema, and all our colleagues as well as our friends at the Evaluation and Supervision Office are greatly appreciative and pleased by his painstaking efforts in following up the issues. Everyone knows what a great help he has been to the cinema of Iran. He has always been present in different programs as an advisor, and in my opinion, his all around efforts not just in the past couple of years but in the last two decades that I have known him has been very productive for the House of Cinema and the Iranian cinema as a whole.”
Next in the program a clip of the first selected guild was put on show, and Ahmad Amini of the central council of the Directors’ Guild of Iran presented the plaque pf recognition of this guild to Masood Mimi, director of the Iranian Cinema Society of Program Managers and Assistant Directors.
After another clip, Haroon Yashayaei was invited up to present the plaque of recognition to Manoochehr Shahsavari. Yashayaei expressed his hopes that the storm in the producers’ teacup would calm down to prove members can enjoy amiable interactions within their guild.
Manoochehr Shahsavari in turn said: “I hope we don’t get used to just hearing advices without acting upon them. I am grateful to all friends who considered my worthy of such recognition. A key factor which I always believed in was to follow ethics, both in personal and social behaviors, and the former is of great value to all of us and a code to which we should all be committed. “
He further added: “I think the serious obstacle on the way of guild activities is ignoring professional ethics, which at times stops us from seeing the achievements clearly, and makes us wrongly blame one side or another for problems or faults, when in truth we are all responsible for what has come up, good or bad.”
Next, Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour introduced the Association of Iranian Film Critics and Scriptwriters as the second selected guild, and presented the plaque of recognition to Saeed Mostaghathi.
On receiving the award, Mostaghathi said: “I am grateful to the House of Cinema’s Board of Directors. What our association has done in the past year was to work on a situation where many called for the association’s termination and bringing it up to a normal status. We tried to establish a healthy interaction with cinema in general.”
The Association of Iranian Screen Actors was then introduced as the third selected guild of the Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds, and Mohammad Sarir presented the plaque of recognition to Davood Rashidi, Dariush Asadzadeh, Ali Deh-Kordi, Fariba Kosari, Afsaneh Chehreh Azad and Alireza Khamseh.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Cinema Deputy of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mr. Jafari Jelveh said: “I have come here today just to say how pleased I am by the valuable guild activities that have been done to promote the exalted position of the Iranian cinema. That was my sole intention. Briefly speaking, the four years that I have been at the service of Iranian cinema was mainly focused on tending to infrastructures of cinema industry in Iran. In fact, we knew that serious efforts should be extended to build up the country’s cinema infrastructures before we could follow up any cultural and educational purpose and any cultural requisition from the Iranian cinema society. Efforts had to be made to reinforce the economy of cinema, to strengthen the industrial circle of cinema, to introduce initiatives and cinematic technologies and to go ahead with reconstructions within which cinema is defined and its fate is determined, and efforts were made indeed. Among the activities to build up cinema infrastructures was the reinforcement of guild activities which we believe we successfully pulled off under the given circumstances. What happened during this course of activities and efforts by the cinema officials of the country and you, the alliance of motion picture guilds, was the reinforcement of guild activities, whether by the constituents of the House of Cinema or within this guild organization as a whole.”
He continued: “Human resource is the necessary infrastructure to reinforce the cinema of Iran. Reconciliation, trust, security as well as growing knowledge of today’s information are essential in order to build up the required culture. House of Cinema has found and taken on a special role in the two past terms and especially the last three years, and it has been able to adopt the correct attitude in relation to the promotion process of the Iranian cinema, to move ahead in the area of guild activities, educational activities, social security and the general expectations of a guild organization, and to set the ground for future steps.”
Stressing the fact that such infrastructures are now more in place than ever before, Jafari Jelveh expressed hopes that such efforts and attempts will be appreciated more in the future so that the House of Cinema could play its role as effectively as possible.



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