0249 GMT February 22, 2018
The cinematographer of two Oscar nominated Iranian movies, Mahmoud Kalari believes that film festivals seek to have Iranian films among their selections.
Born in 1951, Kalari is an Iranian photographer, cinematographer and film director. In 1980, he was among the top 15 photographers of the year selected by Time magazine. He began his career as a cinematographer in 1984 and among the movies in which he was a part of the crew are two Oscar nominees, 'Children of Heaven' by Majid Majidi and 'A Separation' by Asghar Farhadi. He also collaborated in other features with world famous Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Last year he was a member of the jury at Busan Film Festival.
IRAN DAILY: How do you view Fajr International Film Festival and the movies participating in the event?
MAHMOUD KALARI: There were some good movies in the festival some of which I watched and judged last year in Busan Film Festival. I think it is important to have this festival since the youth and movie lovers watch the movies that they would not otherwise have a chance to see in cinemas or on television on any other occasion.
It is mostly about the American movies when it comes to mainstream marketing for movies and everyone has access to Hollywood productions all over the world. However, this festival provides an opportunity to screen movies from Latin America, Asia or even Africa.
On the other hand, people involved in the movie business from all over the world get to meet each other and share views and experiences. So it is a positive act to hold this festival and it should be developed year in, year out.
Based on your knowledge about world cinema, do you think there is any country in the world capable of challenging Hollywood and American movies?
American movie making is literally a show business and no country in the world could contend that in that respect. However Chinese cinema has started to challenge American movies. Bollywood is also making some efforts while South Korea has made some progress in terms of visual effects in recent years but they are all yet to be considered as a real challenge for Hollywood. When you analyze the situation with American cinema, you would realize that the most important factor for their success is the investment and the big advertising system supporting their business. This makes it hard for other countries to even come close to their level.
Where do you think countries like Iran stand in international rankings on independence movie making?
We are in a good and considerable position when it comes to independence movies. We have our own style in this kind of cinema which is inexpensive and deals with different aspects of human lives. In fact we have secured our position in that respect since the early 90's. Since then every international film festival has always tried its best to have Iranian features. In fact Iranian movies add to the credibility of international film festivals. Although this situation is gradually changing before Asghar Farhadi made the recent achievements.