Zlatina, have you been familiar with Iranian documentary cinema?
This is the main reason I am here now because always we had Iranian documentaries in our festival and I have always liked Iranian cinema. However, festival can be a good opportunity for getting more familiar with Iranian cinema also speaking and connecting with the directors. I can say that I’m very very familiar with Iranian documentary cinema because we always selected Iranian documentaries for our festival. it is very interesting for me that the atmosphere of them are very humanistic and touching, while they are speaking about social problems, they are very personal too. As far as I see, some of the Iranian documentaries have really authored personal approaches. I don’t say that because the reality is what we don’t know it very well but it is obvious that it is very hard work. It mustn’t be very easy for the directors. There is lot of personal involvement for the directors to make film. I just remember Mahmoud Rahmani’s Molf-e Gand that was so original film. It was amazing and expecting very brave. It was very hard to imagine doing such a film. For me it was really touching. For me Iranian cinema is so appreciable.
Therefore, you were very familiar with Iranian documentary cinema. How much was Cinema-Verite close to your expectations?
It is really hard to say in this moment, because we watch films as jury members. We are a great jury team, we have lots of good discussions after watching films and I’m very glad that I’m member of this team. However, today was the first day that I’m in festival venue which is a nice place. It has a good atmosphere and the very positive point is that, there are lots of spaces for meetings. This is very important for a festival.
You have a film festival in Belgium, and now you are in Tehran in a festival which is experiencing its 13th edition. How do you compare them?
I think every festival has its special identity, and I think Cinema-Verite festival has its special identity. The first difference of our festivals is the audiences. For example in our festival many audience are following big production documentaries in international section like many other documentary festivals worldwide, but here in Cinema-Verite the biggest part of the festival is allocated to Iranian cinema. Moreover, it was important for me that the atmosphere of the festival is not commercial and the big space is for meetings. Another difference is about the place of the festival, this is very same as our festival and I liked it very much. Our festival is in different five places with different five themes. However, Brussels is very international city so it is very different to touch all different audience, we have European audience, with big diversity, and communities, big Turkish community, polish community, Italian ones, Moroccan one, , so, always one of our main questions is about what will be our audience? And we should always have a look to children, so we should organize for special juries and committees for it.