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Report of the Iranian Motion Picture Delegation at the LA-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Day 1



Report of the Iranian Motion Picture Delegation at the LA-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Day 1

At 5:00 am on Friday, October 8th, Tom Sherak and Sid Ganis, current and former presidents of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences respectively, and 5 members of the Academy who had traveled to Iran last March on the invitation of the House of Cinema, hosted a dinner banquet to welcome the visiting Iranian moviemakers. During the event, all guests were engaged in conversations on topics of mutual interest. Afterwards, a 90 minute face to face meeting was held at the UCLA, moderated by Sid Ganis and attending the Iranian moviemakers and a crowd of interested audience. During this session, former Academy President Sid Ganis described the special attributes of the Iranian cinema, saying: “For a while now, we have realized that we are the Academy of Motion Pictures and not the Academy of American Motions Pictures, and so we have been trying to establish relationships with other countries. First we went to Vietnam and then to Iran, and in our visit to Iran we found out that the Iranian cinema goes back more than a hundred years, and that’s how old American cinema is.” He further added: “We encountered some amazing facts in Iran.” He voiced his regret that two members of the delegation, Fatemeh Motamed Aria and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, were barred from leaving the country, and expressed his hope that they could soon join the other visiting Iranian moviemakers in the US. He then asked the Iranian delegates about the objective behind accepting the Academy’s invitation. Also expressing his regret for the absence of the missing members of the delegation, Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour replied: “Our objective was to establish relationships and cooperation for joint projects, and to a certain degree, to gain entirely personal experiences!” The Q&A session on filmmaking in Iran wrapped up at 8:30 pm.

It’s worth mentioning that during the introduction of Iranian moviemakers, the audience gave an especially enthusiastic applause on hearing the name of Ebrahim Hatamikia.

On 9:00 pm, the movie “As simple as that” was screened at UCLA’s fully packed movie theater, followed by a 15 minute discussion during which director Mir-Karimi answered a few questions from Sid Ganis and the audience on the film’s production process and the reasons for making it.

 

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