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Iran’s House of Cinema Threatened

Friday, January 6th, 2012 by

Some time ago, our Marketing Manager Paige wrote a piece on the disheartening imprisonment of Iranian filmmakers simply for their use of self expression. While tragic, their sentences were not carried out and the film world felt a sense of accomplishment that justice had somehow found its way through strife.

You can read the full article here.

What strikes us as troubling now is that, several months later, the Iranian government is on the move again via the proposed shut down of the independent Iranian House of Cinema which stands as an integral part in the unity of Iran’s film community.

The House of Cinema, an icon of film for 20 years, would prove a great loss if the sanctions issued by the Iranian Minister of Culture are carried out. According to reports by the Los Angeles Times and media sources in Iran Minister Mohammed Hosseini accused the House of Cinema of operating illegally and/or outside government regulations.

In response to this, House managing director Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur was quoted in saying “I believe this letter has no legal weight since disbanding a nongovernmental organization with a verdict issued by the executive power is impossible; however, we are still waiting for the court date, which is on Jan. 11.” Needless to say, if the court rules in favor of the government it will send a lightning rod through the Iranian film community which looks to the House of Cinema as a stable pillar for their art.

The House made many efforts to combat initiatives to force it to close its doors, given the political underpinnings of these attempts. The outcome of this trial will shine yet another spotlight on Iranian cinema as it has promising talent that could potential have to fight even harder to be heard.

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