This is a great article by Faramarz Shiravand, about the Regime sponsored Film Festivals in Toronto. I urge everyone to act immediately, either through circulating this article or calling or writing to Empire theaters and voicing your concerns about this film festival.


Iranian Short Film Festival in Toronto

Organized by: Iranian Young Cinema Society (attaché of cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance), Persia film Inc. and the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa www.persiafilm.ca

In the article, The Islamic Regime in Iran and Its Attitude towards the Jews: The Religious and Political Dimensions, author Dr. Soli Shahvar Lecturer at Dept. of History of the Middle East, University of Haifa,
writes:

“Anti-Semitism is deeply ingrained in Shi`i Iran, both religiously and historically. Apart from being the first enemies of Prophet Muhammad, Jews have been the subject of gross accusations, such as having a desire for world control, exaggerating the dimensions of the Holocaust, committing genocide, using blood in making unleavened bread, and distorting Holy Scriptures. The establishment of a Jewish state, Israel, added a political dimension to the already hostile religious attitude towards the Jews. This hostile religious-political attitude was contained to a large extent under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, but it burst out with vigour after Khomeini and his fellow clerics took over the reins of power in 1979. Faced with the constraints of international game rules and the pressure of a Western public opinion sensitive to expressions of anti-Semitism, the ruling clerics attempted to conceal their anti-Semitism by adopting a number of tactics, such as issuing far fewer public anti-Semitic statements, or by allowing others, through 'freedom of speech', to 'freely' express their anti-Semitic views. This is in line with taqiyyah (concealment) - one of the basic principles of Shi `i Islam.” 1

For the last 30 years, since the Islamists under the leadership of after Khomeini took over the reins of power in 1979, people of Iran have been the subject of brutal suppressions. The brutality of the Islamic Regime have been practiced and exercised, mainly, against “infidels” (non-believers, atheists, secularists, converts, ...), ethnic minorities and religious minorities. The Iranian Baha’is and Jews have been major targets of the Islamic Regime’s physical and emotional brutality suppression for the past three decades - the kind of brutalities (beatings, murders, summary executions, torture, rapes, ...), that the world witnessed post sham [s]“election” in June 12, 2009.

Moreover the Iranian Baha’is and Jews have been subjected to brutality of Islamic propaganda via the regime’s media. The Iranian Jews, in particular, have been the main target of the sophisticated Islamic regime’s cinema/film industry; film industry which is under total controlled of Cinema subcommittee of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

The cinema subcommittee of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, under the leadership of Seifollah Daad, the producer and director of the “Anti Semitic” film, “Survivor” with the assistance of Behrooz Afkhami an experience filmmaker and past member of Islamic Parliament (2000-2006) , has adopted new anti-Semitism tactics. The aim of these tactics by Islamic Regime of Iran, known as concealment (taqiyyah), is to conceal the anti-Semitism through its film industry. These new tactics have been heavily financed, through “questionable sponsorships”, meticulously planned and sophisticatedly executed by the Islamic Regime’s agents, representatives and sponsors under different pretexts.

It is well understood that Canada has been the main destination for the Islamists for the past decades. It is unknown how many of these individuals already in Canada, particularly in Toronto and vicinities (York Region).

According to the reports by the Fars News, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has been clandestinely active through the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa, and its allies, for the past decade. Furthermore, the Cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has surreptitiously working as dormant “Sleeping Cells” for the past few years and recently has become very active.

Faced with the constraints of internal and international pressures and the pressure of a public opinion sensitive to expressions of anti-Semitism and failure in the International film festivals, the clandestine of the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa has been actively trying to rebrand itself with new package, “Iranian Film Festivals”.

According to the reports by the Fars News the “Iranian Short Film Festival in Toronto” organized by Iranian Young Cinema Society (attaché of cinema department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance), Persia film Inc., and the Cultural Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Ottawa, was originally planned for the Summer of 2009 in Richmond Hill, Ontario – “incidentally” coincided with the 20th Anniversary of mass execution of the Political Prisoners in Iran. This Festival was cancelled under the pressure of activists and effects of uprising in Iran.

Once again the organizers are planning the run the “Festival”, this time in Toronto after failing to bring it to Richmond Hill, Centre for the Performing Arts. The festival is named, “Canada’s 1th Iranian Short Film Festival” and it is running from November 6-12, 2009, at Empire Theatre at empress Walk – 5095 Yonge Street, North York, Ontario. Due to pressure, the organizers kept the location and dates of such a “Festival” with 115 films, secret and only last week they advertised the “Festival” schedule in their Weekly Papers. It is very surprisingly strange that a “Film Festival” with such magnitude, publicized only the week prior to being showcased! It is unknown that whether The Empire Theatre is aware of the issues or not.

According to the Fars News, amazingly, the 1th prize of the “Canada’s 1th Iranian Short Film Festival” is named in honour of “Seifollah Daad”, the Director of the “Anti Semitic” film, the “Survivor” and writer of screenplay of the film “the Son of Morning” about the life of “Khomeini” directed by Behrooz Afkhami. (Afkhami presently is running classes/seminars on screenplay writing at two locations: Futureskills High School and 585 Production Inc. in Toronto)

I invite all, human rights defender and activists, freedom lovers, democracy promoters, and those who opposed “Sexual Apartheid”, segregations, discrimination and racism to oppose to this form of celebration of “anti- Semitism”.

Something has to be done! Tomorrow is too late!

M. F. Shiravand
Rowshangar, Persian Monthly Paper

2 Comments:

  1. Mazyar said...
    Thanks for your attempt and motivation.If our land has angles like you, we would have heaven.
    Alpha3958 said...
    As an outside observer of Iranian politics, I have come to the conclusion that Iran will continue to be a screwed-up country until, as a society, they settle whatever psychological issues they have with Israel/Jews.

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