By Manijeh Rezapoor

Iranian cinema is true reflection of its society: Spanish producer Rosa Bosch

April 24, 2019

TEHRAN – Rosa Bosch, the Spanish producer of Wim Wenders’ movie “Buena Vista Social Club”, says that Iranian cinema is an accurate reflection of Iranian society.

She is in Tehran to hold a workshop at the 37th Fajr International Film Festival, which comes to an end today.

“Iranian cinema is very true. It is a true reflection of the society and culture of the country. It is as if you have seen the films before, and now you see the sets,” Bosch told the Tehran Times.

“That means Iranian cinema is not artificial, it has a very big heart and it is really based on what happens in life and how life is,” she added with a smile on her kind face.

This is the first time Bosch is visiting Iran but she knows a lot about Iranian people and the history of their country.

She served as the deputy director of the London Film Festival from 1986 to 1997. “I think the festival was the first international event where films from Iran were shown,” she said.

“One thing about coming here is as if you have seen a lot of photographs of a house and you finally go into the house,” she said about her experience of being in Iran.

“For example, I take a taxi and then I see the images of Iranian cinema like what happens in Jafar Panahi’s film ‘Taxi’,” she added.

Working with Sheila Whitaker, the director of the London Film Festival who co-wrote the book “Life and Art”: The New Iranian Cinema” with writer and producer Rose Issa in 1999, encouraged Bosch to improve her knowledge of Iranian cinema.

“When I worked at the London Film Festival I never came to Iran because Sheila came, I was Sheila’s deputy then,” she mentioned. 

With her love of Japanese films and Italian cinema, Bosch called Iranian cinema part of her life as she knows a large number of Iranian cineastes, including Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi, Abolfazl Jalili, Niki Karimi and Fatemeh Motamed-Arya.

“I think all the festivals in the Middle East and the Arab world are in the process of change,” she said. “But really the only true festivals I think are the Fajr and Cairo festivals, and I think it is very important that these things continue.”

Bosch’s workshop was part of the programs arranged for the Fajr festival’s Talent Campus, a venue to discover gifted young students from across the world in various fields of cinema.

“I think it is great, it is an essential thing to have young people at Talent Campus where they have the opportunity to watch and learn. I think the workshops are wonderful,” she said.

“The world’s film figures and fantastic names like Luca Bigazzi and Silke Buhr were here, where the young people met, held talks and learned; this is essential,” she noted.

She praised Mexico, Iran, Denmark and several other countries for their unique films and said, “These four or five cultures have managed to make their own films and work internationally over the past 25 years, and that is a big achievement.”

Rosa also said that she likes both feature and documentary movies of Iranian cinema. She praised “Monir”, Iranian filmmaker Bahman Kiarostami’s documentary about late Monir Shahrudi Farmanfarmaian, a modern art pioneer in Iran who was famous for her mirror mosaics and geometric drawings.

Rosa said that she was going to meet Monir, who died of old age in Tehran last week. But anyway, she was able to visit her museum at the Negarestan Garden Museum of the University of Tehran.

Bosch held a panel discussion and a workshop and also attended a press conference during the festival, during which international festivals, distribution, some technical things about the festivals and the international aspects of filmmaking were discussed.

Photo: Spanish film producer Rosa Bosch attends a panel discussion during the 37th Fajr International Film Festival at Tehran Charsu Cineplex on April 22, 2019. (Mehr/Majid Haqdust) 

RM/MMS/YAW

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