• 16th Resistance International Film Festival

16th Resistance International Film Festival

One may ask what would had been the urge to hold the festival years after the war? And there lies the importance of the resistance concept for the revolutionary ideology.

Resistance International Film Festival was the first film festival held after the Islamic Revolution, with 15 biennial rounds since 1983, only five years after the Islamic Revolution and three years into the eight-year imposed war called Sacred Defense.


One may ask what would have been the urge to hold the festival years after the war? And there lies the importance of the resistance concept for the revolutionary ideology.


“The war might be over, but the resistance still goes on,” said filmmaker Morteza Avini (1947-1993), who survived the war but, a remnant of it, namely a landmine, took his moral life, and give him a life of eternity, in Fakkeh located in South Western province of Khuzestan, as he was making a documentary about the sacrifices Iranians made during the Sacred Defense.


The documentation of the resistance and war history in the form of a festival was first organized as a non-competitive event. Later it was expanded to a film festival. Named Sacred Defense Film Festival, in the beginning, the event focused on the eight-year war at its early editions and limited to Iran only. Since the 11th round, the festival developed to international competition by redefining its territories over time. It has passed the borders of Iran and captured the attention of the world’s independent filmmakers. In the Main Competition section, the selected international and national films compete with each other


The redefinition of the borders is not only limited to the geography of the festival. The Resistance International Film Festival expanded later on and focused on the regional definition of the resistance such as the Palestinian cause. It is also unique in terms of its sections, as new branches are added to the festival in every edition.


The year 2020 started with the spread of coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China. Iran was among the worst-hit countries since the beginning of the pandemic in February’s second half. Since then, the health sector has been the new battlefield of war for the nation as the health workers have been sacrificing their lives on the path of protecting social health.


For this edition of the festival in September 2020, a new section has been allocated to show, document, and demonstrate the battle against the invisible enemy, coronavirus, with a focus on this new wave of the resistance.


In the occasion of the first anniversary of his divine ascension, to pay a tribute to the epic achievements of the prominent martyr of resistance, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, a special section, called Resistance Prominent Martyr, has been allocated.


In this edition of the festival, the scriptwriters can submit their feature-length, short-length, and adapted scripts to their special section Narrations of Pen.


Meanwhile, one film will be selected out of all the best films regarding the Content; Technical and Artistic Quality; Attraction and Connection to the Audience; and the Efficiency in the relations of the Economics and the Audience. This film will be awarded in the section of Best Film in the Absolute Sense.