Iranian Cinema: Searching For The Roots (1900-1979)

Writer, Producer, Director: Bahman Maghsoudlou
Executive Producer: Bijan Maghsoudlou
Associate Producer: Behrouz Maghsoudlou
Writer/Consultant: Mohammad Tahaminejad (Iranian Film Critics/Historian)
A long documentary in production

Iranian cinema is recognized today as one of the most significant, poetic and humanistic national cinemas to emerge onto the world scene. But while it is rapidly becoming better known around the world, most audiences are still unaware of how the seed of this cinema was planted and how it flourished and grew.

Iranian Cinema: Searching For The Roots (1900-1979) will be the most comprehensive documentary to examine the rise of the cinema in Iran. This documentary will objectively convey the complete history of Iranian cinema from birth to the Islamic revolution in 1979. It will analyze Iranian films from both commercial and artistic standpoints.

The film begins with an exploration of the thought, imagination and expression in all forms of Persian art, particularly in terms of the depiction of movement, since the beginning of civilization in Persia, and demonstrates how a uniquely cinematic aesthetic existed long before the introduction of the camera to Iran in 1900. From there we will examine the birth and growth of Iranian cinema from its origins through the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The film will try to objectively establish:

a) That the roots of the current worldwide success of Iranian cinema existed in the cinema before the 1979 Revolution.
b) That from the mid-’60s to mid-’70s Iranian filmmakers created the most important films in Iranian cinema from both artistic and social standpoints.

This documentary, which features over 100 interviews, will consist of:

1) Interviews with the most distinguished Iranian directors, both those living in Iran and those outside.
2) Interviews with film critics, film historians, actors and actresses, producers, editors, cinematographers, and other notable people from the film industry in Iran.
3) Interviews with the directors of major international film festivals, film critics from all over the world and western distributors of Iranian films.
4) Excerpts from all of the significant films artistically, commercially, socially, politically, historically, etc.
5) Insight into the important events that shaped Iranian cinema.

Length: 2 hours for theatrical and television releases; 10 hours for DVD and VHS release.
Shooting format: Digital DVCam, PAL, Final 35mm negative.

We have already shot more than 160 hours of this documentary and conducted interviews with more than eighty five people.

Highlights of the content:
1- Discovery of previously unseen footage, which has been restored, shot in Tehran circa 1900.
2- Footage of all cinema houses in Tehran.
3- Footage shot in the graveyards where those who worked in the cinema industry are buried.
4- Footage of the Golestan Palace in Tehran, where the first instances of photography in Iran took place.
5- Hundreds of posters and stills.
6- Hundreds of film clips.
7- Interviews with several very important people in the film industry who have since passed away.
8- The presentation of new, recently discovered material pertaining to Iranian cinema and its pioneers.
9- Footage of distinguished critics and the presidents of major international film festivals discussing Iranian films and the directors who captured their attention as their work made its way to the west.

Mohammad Tahaminejad – Iranian film critic and historian

1- Iren
2- Zari Khoshkam
3- Shahla
4- Zhaleh Olovv
5- Shohreh Aghdashlou
6- Farzaneh Taidi
7- Fakhri Khorvash
8- Fahimeh Rastgar
9- Katayoun
10- Parvaneh Masoumi
11- Mary Apik
12- Zinat Moaddab
13- Partow Nooriala
14- Vida Ghahremani
15- Simin Ghaffari
16- Shahrzad (Kobra Saidi)

1- Fardin
2- Naser Malek-Motei
3- Manouchehr Vosough
4- Behrouz Behnezhad
5- Hamid Ghanbari
6- Jamshid Mashayekhi
7- Said Rad
8- Davoud Rashidi
9- Ali Nasirian
10- Taghi Mokhtar
11- Gregory Mark (Marco Grigorian)
12- Abbas Moayeri

1- Nosratollah Vahdat
2- Reza Fazeli
3- Nosrat Karimi
4- Zakaria Hashemi
5- Mohammad Motevasselani
6- Iraj Ghaderi

1- Farrokh Ghaffary
2- Arbi Ovanessian
3- Azizollah Bahadori
4- Aman Manteghi
5- Amir Shervan
6- Houshang Kavoussi
7- Parviz Kimiavi
8- Hossein Torabi
9- Davoud Mollapour
10- Reza Allamehzadeh
11- Masoud Kimia’i
12- Bahram Beyzai
13- Mohammad Reza Aslani
14- Ismail Riahi
15- Daryoush Mehrjoui
16- Kamran Shirdel
17- Abbas Kia-Rostami
18- Hagir Daryoush
19- Reza Badiyi 20- Amin Amini 21- Fereydoun Goleh

1- Nouradin Zarrinkelk

1- Shahrokh Golestan
2- Solomon Minasian
3- Nemat Haghigi
4- Mahmoud Koushan
5- Azizollah Rafii
6- Petros Palian
7- Farrokh Majidi
8- Mohammad Zarfam
9- Maziar Partow

1- Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh
2- Fereydoun Shahbazian

1- Abbas Ganjavi
2- Zari Khalaj

Festival Presidents
1- Sheila Witaker-London
2- Pierre-Henri Deleau, Cannes
3- Ricard Pena, New York

Film Critics
1- Andrew Sarris (USA)
2- Godfrey Cheshire (USA)
3- Fereydoun Hoveyda
4- Houshang Kavussi
5- Parviz Davai
6- Callisto Cosolich (Italy)
7- Parviz (Shin) Nazerian
8- Mohammad Haghighat
9- Babak Sasan

Film Historians
1- Farrokh Ghaffary
2- Mohammad Tahaminejad
3- Masoud Mehrabi
4- Shahriar Adl
5- Mohammad Ali Issari
6- Bahman Maghsoudlou

1- Akbar Alami

Political/Social Historian
1- Amir Taheri

1- Towfigh Momtaz

Production Manager
1- Asghar Bichareh

1- Ali Abbasi
2- Ali Mortazavi
3- Sasan Veysi
4- Dominique Antoine
5- Kaveh
6- Hassan Sharifimehr/scriptwriter
7- Iraj Gorgin

Script Writer
1- Abbas Pahlavan
2- Omid Rowhani

Set Designer
1- Khosrow Khorshidi

1- Yousef Shahab
2- Nezam Kiaiee

1- Najaf Daryabandari
2- Ahmad-Reza Ahmadi
3- Eric Phlippou (France)
4- Annes DeVictor (France)
5- Mohammad Ali Afghani

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