GEORGE TOWN, Penang state, Malaysia The first ever Iranian Film Festival Malaysia has received overwhelming response during the screening of the movies from Iran in Kuala Lumpur.

Iranian Embassy cultural counselor Ali Mohammad Sabeghi said during the festival, six selected Iranian movies including ‘Under The Smoky Roof’ that bagged last year’s Crystal Simorgh Award for best actress In a leading role at the Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, would be on show for free at selected Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) International screens.

He said the response was overwhelming at the launch in Kuala Lumpur last week with tickets for the movies snapped up two days before the screening and an occupancy rate of 97 per cent recorded.

“Iranian films are largely about family values and it contains minimal violence, which makes it attractive for all,” he told reporters after the launch of the festival here.

He said Malaysia and Iran had a lot in common, especially in cultural aspects and the film festival would showcase aspects of Iranian culture through stories of common folk around the country.

We hope that this festival will strengthen long-standing ties between Iran and Malaysia, and promote Iranian cinematic art as a bridge for cultural understanding and friendship between both countries, he said.

Sabeghi said Iranian film companies were also interested in co-producing films with Malaysian ones and most recently, Bernard Chauly directed the Malaysian-Iranian telemovie ‘Janji Zehan’, which was filmed in Teheran starring Malaysian actress Nur Fazura and Iranian actor Amir Rezazadeh.

He said that Janji Zehan tells the story of a pair of newlyweds encountering all sorts of emotional problems while on a honeymoon in Iran.

“It is hoped that one day, Malaysian and Iranian film makers will team up in the future to create world class films,” he said.

The film festival, being organised by the Cultural Centre, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and GSC earlier made its debut in Kuala Lumpur on March 7, and will be shown at GSC Gurney Plaza here until March 14 before its last leg in Johor Bahru from March 15 to 17.

The six movies being screened in Malaysia are ‘Under the Smoky Roof’, ‘Sweet Taste of Imagination’, ‘The Queen’, ‘Crazy Castle’, ‘Ceasefire 2’ and ‘Where is My Shoes’.�

Source: NAM News Network