The largest government festival canceled after 139 Iranian artists were boycotted

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Source: Arabic.Net – Saleh Hameed

The biggest annual “Fajr” film festival in Iran is about to collapse, after more than 139 stars and artists decided to boycott it in protest against government policies and the suppression of the popular demonstrations triggered by the tragedy of toppling Ukrainian passenger plane Two missiles of the Revolutionary Guards.

In a joint statement from one sentence, which spread widely on social media, 139 movie stars, directors and producers boldly declared, “We will not attend the Dawn Festival.”

It is noteworthy that the Revolutionary Guards had admitted last week the downing of the Ukrainian plane that crashed at dawn Wednesday, January 8, minutes after take-off at Khomeini airport in Tehran, killing 176 passengers on board.

This recognition came after days of denial, before both the Chief of Staff and the Air Force Commander acknowledged that a missile had shot down the aircraft.

After that recognition, thousands of citizens took to the streets, especially university students, to protest against the incident and to condemn the authorities’ secrecy and failure to reveal the truth, while the authorities deliberately suppressed some of those marches.

In solidarity with the protests, 139 Iranian movie stars and film directors, including award-winning internationals such as Ja`far Bannahi and Muhammad Rasulov and prominent actors such as Hamid Farrukh Ahmadinejad and Ali Mustafa, joined in and announced the boycott of the Fajr Festival.

Iranian Artists
Iranian Artists

Earlier, actor, director and writer Biman Maadi wrote on his page on Instagram, “All Iranians were in mourning. So with what joy can I go to the festival and celebrate?”

He added: “When the bright days come, we can all celebrate life and love together.” It is noteworthy that the reactions were not confined to the movie stars and directors and their boycott of the Fajr Film Festival. Rather, many musicians and singers, including Maestro Shahram Naziri, Ali Reza Asar and Ali Reza Qurbani announced the cancellation of their concerts.

Two of Italy’s most prominent directors, Eugenio Barba and Romeo Castelcci, decided to boycott the Fajr Festival theater.

Threats and criticism

On the other hand, the Iranian judiciary, the Revolutionary Guards, and the conservative media have launched harsh threats and criticism against the artists boycotting the Fajr Festival.

Human rights organizations reported the arrest of three theater directors in Mashhad, the second largest city in Iran, for a week.
Famous actress Trana Ali Dosti was also summoned to court.

In light of that vast boycott, the organizers of the Fajr International Film Festival announced the cancellation of the opening ceremony, which was scheduled for February 1.



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