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IRGC funding for cinema stirs debate in Iran

Financial support from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps becomes a heated topic in Iran’s cinema community.
A worker cleans a sidewalk in front of a local cinema in central Tehran January 16, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.   - GF20000096748

“I am a dependent filmmaker. I am a man of the system. … I thank Owj [Arts and Media] Organization. They work hard and deserve the title of ‘The unknown soldiers of Imam Mahdi.’ I am honored to have made a film for ‘the defenders of the shrine’ [Iranian-led soldiers in Syria]. I am proud to have received an award from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] and Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani for making this film.” 

Iranian director Ebrahim Hatamikia made these comments at the 36th International Fajr Film Festival in Tehran last month. During the event, Hatamikia received the award for best director as well as best music and best sound mix for his film “Damascus Time.” The movie narrates the story of two Iranian pilots who are on a mission to save the people of the Syrian city of Palmyra from the Islamic State by transporting them to Damascus.

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