IRIB brings back 100 foreign films as souvenirs from Cannes

June 22, 2010

TEHRAN -- An official of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting said that IRIB purchased 100 foreign films from the Cannes Film Market in May.

“We are waiting for the purchase agreements to be signed then the list of films will be published,” Ali Ramezani, who is charge of acquiring foreign films and programs for Iranian TV, told the Persian service of ISNA on Monday.
IRIB has to cut scenes, which are in conflict with Iranian legal and social principles, he noted. However, he said that the cuts are not allowed to ruin the film’s story.
Showing film characters in skimpy attire, in romantic scenes or drinking alcohol are forbidden on Iranian TV.
Iranian films, which originally include such scenes, are shunned by the IRIB due to the specific messages these productions have.
“Broadcasting Iranian films is our first priority, but we have to take our standards into consideration,” Ramezani said.
He noted that most domestic films are not allowed to be broadcast on Iranian TV under the IRIB’s code of standards.
Due to these standards, Iranian filmmakers have not been inclined to collaborate with the IRIB. However, over the past three years, they have been lured into making telefilms for the IRIB by large sums of money the organization pays for them.
Last week, Ramezani said that new software has increased the capability of the IRIB for censoring foreign films.
He said that new precision software that has been acquired since 2008, enables them ‘to better correct’ foreign films.
“The films now face fewer cuts,” he added.
The IRIB uses the new software to erase forbidden items or to cover the bodies of female characters in foreign films purchased for broadcast on Iranian TV.
In addition, love scenes are entirely cut from foreign films and TV series. Sometimes, the plots of films are deeply damaged by the changes made in adapting the productions for viewing in Iran.
Iranians prefer to watch the unedited bootleg versions of foreign movies and TV series on their home TV sets.
Bootlegging of foreign movies and TV series has become a moneymaking business on the Iranian black market, where high quality DVD copies of the productions are offered at very reasonable prices.