European film festival opens in Iranian Artists Forum

June 9, 2019 - 17:44

TEHRAN -- A festival of movies from European filmmakers opened in the Iranian Artists Forum in Tehran on Saturday.

President of EUNIC European Union National Institutes for Culture in Iran Alexander Rieger made the opening speech and said that the event is considered to be a great European cultural project this year.

He added that the number of participating countries have increased this year compared to previous editions indicating the fact that the European countries pay considerable attention to increasing cultural relations with Iran.

Rieger, who is also the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Tehran, added that there needs to be more efforts to make cultural bridges with Iran since cultural exchange can help us understand each other deeply.

He also noted that several workshops will be set up during the week in several cities, and he hopes that they will lead to further mutual cooperation.

The Dutch Ambassador to Iran, Jacques Werner in his brief remarks said that a variety of films have been selected to be screened at the festival, each bearing a significant message. 

He added that all the European embassies in Iran want to share these stories with Iranians, and nothing can act better than cultural exchange.

He hoped that the films would be interesting for the viewers.

The program next opened with “The Dark Valley”, a 2014 Austrian-German western drama directed by Andreas Prochaska, and “The Silent Army”, Dutch director Jean van de Velde’s 2008 drama about the hardships of child soldiers in Africa.

Ambassadors and diplomats from different countries including Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Italy were among the participating guests at the opening ceremony.

Kish Island and the cities of Shiraz, Babol, Isfahan, Kerman, Mashhad and Tabriz will be hosting the festival simultaneously until June 17.

Movies from Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia, Finland, Denmark and England will be screened during the cultural event.

The program has been organized as a collaborative effort between Iran’s Art and Experience Cinema and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC).

The two institutions have previously organized the festival in Iran in 2017 and 2018.

In addition, ten filmmakers from Europe and Iran are scheduled to hold several workshops during the festival.

Dutch director Jean van de Velde, Cypriot producer Marios Piperides and Swiss producer Thierry Spicher are among the cineastes.

Fereidun Jeirani, Rasul Sadr-Ameli, Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur, Maziar Miri, Mehrdad Oskui, Mani Mirsadeqi and Siavash Jamali, all from Iran, will also hold workshops at the event.

Photo: Participating guests pose for a photo at the opening ceremony of the European film festival at the Iranian Artists Forum on June 8, 2019. (Honaronline/Saeid Rabiei)