Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Does any one know of movement of Iranian directors facilitated by Film Festivals"

"Movement of Iranian directors facilitated by Film Festivals"! It might give a feeling that how could film festivals facilitate movement of Iranian directors. But before stating some explanations to how this could happen one needs to know from where the idea and title of blog came. The idea of this blog and its title came after knowing about an Iranian film called "No One Knows About Persian Cats" directed by Bahman Ghobadi. What is unique about this film? This film has been banned in Iran and uses lot of underground music, lyrics to show the domestic oppression in the political regime of Iran. The film won a special jury prize in Cannes Film Festival. A view point came out that Iranian filmmakers are using the international film festivals as a platform to put their voice against the political regime in Iran that came to power after the presidential election.

This has not happened only with the above stated film. Similar instances have happened with many other politically sensitive Iranian films that have been shown in film festivals of London, Berlin, Montreal. A recent trend shows various Iranian film makers are increasingly going out to international film festivals with their projects and has been raising their voice against the political regime in Iran through their films by using the platforms of international film festivals in various European and other countries of West. The ruling government in Iran has also taken initiatives to curtail such movie makings in Iran. Often, ruling government has been curtailing politically sensitive movie making in Iranian film industry with the defense of putting a logic of cushioning Islamic identities from western influence. Clash of conflictual identities between the state and the directors of Iranian films has become prominent. The push factor emanating from this clash within Iran has contributed towards movement of Iranians to various film festivals organized across various countries of West.

The clash between state and Iranian film directors has not been limited only to politically sensitive films. It has happened in case of a film called "The Circle" directed by Jafar Panahi that highlighted the position of women in Iranian society. The director of the film was arrested, but later he went with his movie to Montreal Film Festival. Clash of identities and lack of space of different values within Iran could have been one of the reason towards this movement. It could also be due to lack of intellectual freedom of directors, different value systems of the directors that differs from the cultural homogenisation process of the ruling Iranian state that has been happening in Iran. Sense of insecurity of state from the directors and capability of influencing the society by the directors towards a different cultural regime could have also forced the state to create pressure on the directors that further acted as push factors. So, within Iran itself, clash of cultures, values and identities between two entities viz. state and an intellectual class (individualistic identity) might have helped in creating such push factors. Additionally, the film festivals in the European countries have acted as incentives for these film makers to put their voice to get a recognition of their work. The film festival platforms also helped them in sensitization of the world about the clash of cultures, values and entities, identities in Iran. The question is to see how far these film festivals have acted as a significant pull factor in creating a movement of the Iranian film makers towards these festivals in comparison to the push factors. Statistical significance testing of the relationship between the "movement of the Iranian directors to the film festivals" and "push factors" (within Iran) and "pull factors" (from outside Iran) {with film festival platforms as proxy variable of pull factors} along with other relevant variable indicators could be a way forward to come out with some empirical conclusions in this domain of research.

Till I find enough evidence and data to carry out such a testing let the above question stay outside the statistical software for now.


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