Iran strikes up the ban vs. foreign pix

'Propaganda for the world oppressor' also forbidden

Iran’s hardline Islamic regime has banned all foreign films deemed to promote “secular, feminist, liberal or nihilist ideas.”

Announcement last week by the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, the watchdog org headed by new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also forbids movies that feature “violence, narcotics consumption and propaganda for the world oppressor” — a term specially reserved for the United States.

Decision reverses prior moves by ex-president Mohammad Khatami to open up Iran to Western culture and will likely add more fuel to Iran’s massive black market and illicit satellite viewership.

Iran’s total annual box office revenues amount to approximately $14 million, of which only 3% is attributed to foreign films. Hollywood films that play in the country do so only through unofficial channels, owing to the U.S. embargo on trade with Iran.

But there’s a huge demand in the black market for uncut versions of foreign films on DVD.

“The total turnover of black-market entertainment is easily 50 times more,” says Mohammad Atebbai, head of Iranian Independents, the country’s leading indie production house.

Satellite dishes, though officially illegal, are also hugely popular. Estimates put the number of households in Tehran with satellites at as high as 50%.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety