“The language of art and cinema is the best way to reflect the events on the front lines of the battle against corona, similar to what cineastes did during the years of Sacred Defense.”
Iranian officials univocally praised the allocation of the Health Defenders section to the 16th edition of the Resistance International Film Festival.
Asghar Bagherzadeh, Deputy Head of Majlis Health Commission, admired the adding of the Health Defenders section, saying the sacrifice made by those on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus are the same as the warriors of Sacred Defense.
“There is no difference between the warriors and health defenders” said the Iranian MP.
He further added “during the [imposed] war, the battle was over the sovereignty of the country; now it is over the public health.”
Bagherzadeh insisted on reflecting on the gallantry of the health defenders, adding “their acts of valor must be commemorated in a way that we did for the soldiers of war, and bestowed cinema to portray this battle.”
Doctors on the Front
Mostafa Ghanei, Head of Scientific Committee of Coronavirus Combat, declared the health defenders as the warriors of the current era against the “invisible enemy”, emphasizing that doctors and nurses made sacrifices during the 8 years of the imposed war.
“Iranian doctors and nurses sacrificed their lives like their colleagues in the years of war”, he said.
He further added “the hospital personnel are curing infected people while they are aware of the fact that personal protection equipment (PPE) will not zero the risk of contraction.”
As he pointed to doctors' and, nurses' courage in the fight against the virus, saying: “The language of art and cinema is the best way to reflect the events on the frontlines of the battle against corona, similar to what cineastes did during the years of Sacred Defense.”
Calling the cinema as a means to build culture, Ghanei said “there is an expectation that cinema does the same effort as they did during the years of the Sacred Defense.”
Safe or Not?
One may contradict holding the festival with the commemoration of the health defenders that how would it be possible to both avoid social distancing and hold a film festival, flocking filmmakers and audiences into a closed area?
The Director of 16th Resistance International Film Festival, Mahdi Azimi Mirabadi, has assured that the festival will put the public health first.
“I believe that holding the festival is a must, but we have defined a set of guidelines as well… Our scheduling is in a way that we are developing two parallel methods to hold the event”, he said.
Azimi Mirabadi further added “in the first method we are preparing to hold the festival like the previous editions; though, if the under circumstances, we will hold the event online and the movies will be screened online through the VOD services.”
In line with developing the second method, Azimi Mirabadi said the festival is working to protect the copyrights of the submitted movies in case of online screening.
“The copyright of the movies is of our concern and we are working our way to meet the required safeties”, he said.
16th Resistance International Film Festival considers itself responsible for showing the image of this battleground to the world.
This round will be held in two sections of competitive and parallel events. The first section is slated for the Sacred Defense week (September 21 – 27) and includes Health Defenders section. The applicants can register and submit their works through the website of the festival from June 9 to August 20.