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Report of the Iranian Motion Picture Delegation at the LA-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Day 2




 The second day of the Iranian delegation’s trip to the US began with a visit to the Academy’s Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study. One of the three buildings of the Academy, the center is in fact a restored Water Treatment Plant. The Iranian delegation had an up close look at the center’s activities and resources. Director of Margaret Herrick Library at the Fairbanks Center Ms. Linda Harris provided information on the history and services of the Center and answered the visitors’ questions.

The center is available to motion picture researchers in three categories of motion picture documents on film, material and individuals, with collections of film posters, photographs (more than 30 million), scripts-decoupages (approx. 35000), accessories and 30000 volumes of books on motion picture. Of interest to the visiting Iranian filmmakers were posters of Iranian films submitted to the Academy for the Oscars, including “So close, so far”, “Song of Sparrows” and “Children of Heaven”. The tour of the Center went on for two hours, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

At 7:00 pm, the Academy guests joined the audience at the UCLA movie theater to watch the documentary “Lady of the Rose”, directed by Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, one of the two filmmakers who were left behind.

In a note delivered by Ms. Zahra, an Iranian resident of LA and one of the relatives of Ms. Homayoon Sanati, Mirtahmasb expressed his displeasure at being barred from leaving the country, and shared his excitement over the possibility of his film’s screening in the US. At the end of the film, which is the story of the determination and persistence of the benefactress lady Homayoon Sanati, the full house showed their admiration with a lengthy applause.

Next on the night’s program was the screening of “In the name of father”, directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia. After an introduction on the director’s filmmaking career, the host invited the audience to watch a film about the issues and problems of a post-war society. The Q&A session after the movie was moderated by Academy board member Curtis Hanson. Answering Hanson’s question on his reasons for making such movies, Hatamikia said: “I have really come to cinema from the war, and I still feel comfortable in that setting. Of course I have recently made a film unrelated to the war, but 14 of my 15 films are a study of war and the aftermaths in the post-war society.” Answering to a question on how he comes up with the budget for such films, Hatamikia answered: “War movies are sponsored by government budgets, and as this genre is very much involved with the use of guns and artilleries, the government’s support of the filmmaker is a necessity when it comes to military forces. Of course I hope some day we can make a film with the cooperation of private sector companies about the 8 year war which represents a lifetime for my generation.” At the conclusion, Hatamikia said how delighted he was to hear that the ban on his film “The color Purple” has been lifted. He mentioned that it was announced the day he was flying for the US, and expressed hope that the film would soon go up on the screen.

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