According to a report by the News Department of Imam Reza (A.S) International Foundation for Culture and Arts, the first introductory meeting regarding Razavi International Film Festival was held with Hujjatollah Ayoubi, head of Iran’s Cinema Organization, and Sayyed Javad Jafari, the manager of Imam Reza (A.S) International Foundation present.
Stating that Iran is a country with remarkable cultural capacity, Ayoubi declared: “Art, cinema, theater, music, poetry, and great figures of the country constitute enormous cultural capacity which must be accurately introduced to the society. Thus, it is essential to convey the cultural message to the youth through new facilities.”
He emphasized that Mashhad is the best choice for the religious cinema, and added: “with Imam Reza’ holy shrine in Mashhad, presence of artistic and cultural figures, and religious and cultural capacities of this city, Mashhad may appropriately host Razavi International Film Festival. The title of the festival must necessarily include the word “Razavi”. ”
Touching on the fact that there are many cultural and artistic festivals held in Iran, he articulated: “In my opinion, we are not having an excessive number of festivals in Iran; holding various festivals does not incur an extra cost. Throughout the world, each city is known for a festival.”
He further stated: “holding this festival in Mashhad creates a link among cinema folks, clergymen, and Prayer Leaders through conversations, and makes a great to change their points of views”.
Ayoubi said that the general ideas regarding the design of the festival are reasonable, and added: “There is a proper foundation laid for presence of important figures of the cinema in Mashhad. Along the same line, it is necessary to hold a meeting in Tehran during the next two weeks discussing the details of the plan, with participation of the Iranian cinema society, the minister of culture, and the parliament members of Tehran province.”
Announcing that Mashhad will be introduced as the cultural capital in 2017, he said: “holding the festival for several years can help us make it an international festival in 2017 to host religious cinema.”
Ayoubi reiterated that “it is necessary that the private sector, huge investing companies, Astan Quds Razavi and Mashhad Municipality play a more significant role in this plan.”
He referred to the good status of Iranian cinema in the movies industry, and added: “comparing with the neighboring countries, Iran’s cinema enjoys a good status in movies industry, since we can produce 200 movies during a year, while some countries produce two movies a year.”
Head of Iran Cinema Organization stated that Ministry of Culture does not regard Khorasan Razavi the same as other provinces, and added: “due to the cultural and artistic capacities, and also the huge number of pilgrims of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S), the approvals concerning this province will be pursued as national issues. In many cases, we even placed Mashhad in international level.”
Ayoubi confirmed that there are not enough movie theaters in Iran, and said: “the role of private sector investors in establishing cultural centers and movie theaters has helped the spread of this industry in Iran.”
Addressing the deputy governor of Khorasan Razavi, he said: “With 85% of the countries hotels located in Khorasan Razavi, and many investors investing there, this province can build and equip the cinema halls, and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance will also support this plan”.