Filipino filmmaker: Iranian cinema conveyor of first-rate ideas

Zahra Behbin - A former filmmaker now turned artist from the Philippines, currently a jury member in Iran’s 31st International Film Festival for Children and Youth, has commended the Iranian cinema, saying that it conveys outstanding concepts and values.

 

Talking to a reporter at the festival’s news headquarters, Rowena Martinez Ulayan talked about her cinematic background, her personal views on Iran’s movie industry, and the required conditions for building a secure future, both for children and adults.

 

She is a children filmmaking graduate from Russia’s biggest cinematic institute in Russia. At first a visual arts education specialist in her home country, Martinez then entered the festival-holding profession, accompanied by her husband who was from Turkey.

 

“We even held Iranian film festivals, supported by the Iranian ambassador to the Philippines. We made one premiere of a very good film. We had a very good relationship with Iranians, because Iran has a rich history of cinema,” said the Filipino artist.

 

Along with her spouse, she started the Universal Kid’s Film Festival, screening films from Europe, Latin American countries like Cuba and Argentina, and of course Iran with which they maintained a favorable relationship.

 

“We were here five years ago. My daughter was chosen a jury member of Isfahan’s International Film Festival for Children and Youth. Two years ago, I was here as a jury member too, and here I am, holding that same position again,” she added.

She is also a member of CIFEJ, a grand cinematic organization which is currently based in Tehran.

“As a representative of CIFEJ, I’ve come here as a jury member.”

 

Martinez praised the Iranian cinema for recruiting active and dedicated people in the children filmmaking department. Highlighting the shared values between Iran and Turkey, she said that the Turkish people can easily understand Persian films.

 

“Everybody can relate to their stories, since we don’t have any cultural problems with your movies.”

 

The filmmaking expert from the Philippines believes that Iranian films are very touching as they contain very good ideas, information and values.

 

Pointing to the international prizes won by Persian movies, she expressed her acclaim of the nation’s filmmakers as well as cinematographers.

 

“In 1987, there was a movie called ‘Where is the Friend’s Home’ which won several awards. Even now, most of the Iranian movies are winning prizes, and I think in the future, you will be number one in cinema for children,” she commented.

 

“Children can be the builders of civilization. They can fix any harm imposed on society and our environment. Cinema is a strong tool to educate and inspire them. Through cinema, we can teach them to be critical thinkers. We can elicit the good and eliminate the bad,” Martinez was quoted as saying.

 

Presided by Alireza RezaDad, the 31st edition of International Film Festival for Children and Youth inaugurated on August 30 in central Province of Isfahan and the event would be wrapped up in September 5.

 

ID: 297  |  Published in: Tuesday, 04 September 2018 20:08