The biggest names in Iran’s cinema take part in this festival, this year’s opening ceremony started with the Message of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani read by the Minister of Culture. The president’s message said the Fajr festival is the most important yearly gathering of those in the making of Iran’s cinema.
The President’s message said Iran’s cinema should bring audiences like those of the festival to cinema halls everyday of the year. The president also mentioned a yearly presidential award to be given to the best art work of the year.
The message comes as some artists and cinemagoers had distanced themselves in the past several years with Iran’s cinema and even Iran's Cinema House was closed for some time, mostly blamed on the previous head of Iran's Cinema Organization. The new head of Iran’s Cinema Organization Hojatollah Ayoubi said we should call the cinema of these days the Cinema of Hope, in reference to the new administration’s slogan of prudence and hope. He mentioned that on Thursday all cinemas in Iran were free of charge in a plan called "Salam Cinama" meaning "Hello Cinema," in an effort to get getting families to come to theaters.
Ayoubi said, "Iranian families went to the theaters in great numbers on Thursday to tell Iran's cinema that they want to reconcile and reunite with cinema once again."
Following the coming to power of the new administration of President Hassan Rouhani, many in the art scene look forward to this year's event and the ones in the future.
Renowned Iranian actor, Reza Kianian said, "The films in this festival are from the dos and donts of last year , we hope these dos and donts will be given to us to decide as we've worked and lived in this country for years and clearly know the red lines. So we will see more of our citizens watching Iranian movies and Television series."
The Fajr film festival is comprised of four main sections, which are Iranian cinema, international cinema, documentaries and debut filmmakers. Awards given here are called Simorghs which a mythical flying creature found in Iranian art and literature.
The first Simorgh was awarded to the best poster , given to the film "The Sealed Secret." This was awarded in the opening ceremony while most of the awards will be awarded in the closing ceremony in ten days time and artists here are all hopeful of getting their hands on a Simorgh.
Actor Amin Hayaei talked about the festival and his upcoming movie, "Fajr is one of the international film festivals in Iran, so the judging process is done differently, unique films are chosen and the competition is quite serious here, it's like the top league amongst the other football leagues. I have a film called Lady by Ms. Tina Pakravan in this festival and it turned out quite special and I'm hopeful."
Iran holds the international Fajr art festivals every year to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.