Internationally-acclaimed Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami has institutionalized the importance of paying attention to children and youth training and culture by producing documentary- narrative films.
For sure, holding the cultural and artistic festivals in the fields of children and youth is definitely a necessity of today's life, IRNA wrote.
Holding festivals for children and youth could be considered a cultural investment for future generations.
Therefore, organizing film festivals for this age brackets is vital.
After the formation of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Iran in 1965, paying attention to the education of the youngest age group of the society became more important in such a way that the late Kiarostami managed to institutionalize the importance of heeding children and youth' training and culture by producing documentary-narrative films in his works including 'The Experience' in 1973, 'The Traveler' (Mossafer) in 1974 and 'Two Solutions for One Problem' in 1975.
Following the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, several structural changes took place in country's cinema while children and youth cinema goers went under the spotlight of cultural officials' decision, hence the first film festival for children and youth was held in 1982.
The festival was aimed at familiarizing the children and youth with the values of Iranian-Islamic culture, national customs and traditions and in recent years the event has been held in cities such as Isfahan, Tehran, Hamedan and Kerman and its jurors were selected from three age groups including adults, adolescents and children.
The participation of children and youth as members of jury in the festival will not only teach them the importance of attending in the teamwork activities and boost their interactions in the society, but will also play a vital role in socialization of future generations.
In fact, the spread of mass media, easy access to satellite networks and the over-exposure of children to foreign cartoons which give easy entrance to Western culture since early ages, must be taken into consideration as a serious cultural threat.
In the meantime, the children and youth film festival is considered as a venue for introducing indigenous and national cultures. The event can also foil foreign cultural threats and is a proper ground for boosting the cultural, artistic interactions to sell the cinematic products of these age groups to other countries.
Such festivals can also provide an opportunity to introduce ancient Persian literature and narrate ancient folklore stories from one generation to another in a creative, dramatic and imaginative manner; as a result the children and youth of today's society can get acquainted with literary heroes and legends.
Presided over by Alireza Rezadaad, the 31st International Film Festival for Children and Youth is slated for August 30-September 5 in Isfahan at national and international levels.
* Pouria Behrad Kian is cinema critic and expert.