Fajr filmfest 2021: pandemic forces jury-only screenings

December 6, 2020 - 18:21

TEHRAN – The 39th edition of the Fajr Film Festival, Iran’s major film event, will go ahead with screenings but only for the jury due to a sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Speaking in a press conference held online on Instagram and the festival’s website, the president of the event, Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad, said that the festival will be organized on its regular date from January 31 to February 10, 2021.

He said that there will be no public screenings during the festival unless there would be a dramatic change in conditions. He added that they have no plans for organizing the festival online.

Earlier in August, Cinema Organization of Iran director Hossein Entezami said that the organization is searching for a safe platform to organize the Fajr Film Festival online if the pandemic continues until February 2021.

He stated that there is no platform in Iran to guarantee the festival entries against piracy.

“Therefore, I have asked my colleagues to find solutions for this issue,” he noted.

However, it seems that the organizers have not been able to design a safe platform to guarantee the festival entries against piracy.
Thus, they do not want to place the entries at the risk of piracy. Based on the festival’s regulations, only movies that have had no screenings anywhere are allowed to apply for the event.

“We should accept that we are not in an ideal situation, but I will try to prepare an opportunity to screen the entries for journalists and critics if conditions improve,” Tabatabainejad said. 

The 38th edition of the Fajr Film Festival, Iran’s major film event, was held in Tehran from February 1 to 11, just a few days before the first cases of the COVID-19 infection were detected in the country.

Afterwards, the international edition of the festival, which was scheduled to be held in April, was canceled due to the pandemic.  

Photo: President of the Fajr Film Festival, Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad, attends a press conference in Tehran on December 5, 2020 to brief the media about the 39th edition of Iran’s major film event.


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