Barmak Akram the Afghan Director is attending the 5th Urban International Film Festival which is going on these days at Mellat Cinema Pardis and 8 movies theaters in Tehran as judge of international Long Feature Film Competitive Section.
Barmak Akram, born in 1966 in Kabul, lives in Paris now. His first feature film, KABULI KID (2008), won several awards in several festivals including the Venice Film Festival and also best director award of Asian Cinema Section at Fajr Film Festival in 2009. He has made many documentary films, including TOUTES LES TELES DU MONDE (2009).
He has won the best screenplay award at 2013 Sundance Film Festival for his last movie Wajma (An Afghan Love Story).
We did an interview with him due to his presence in Urban Film Festival which is as follow:
Mr. Barmak Akram how did you see the quality of movies as judge of international section of Urban Film Festival?
The quality of some films were so good and I can say some films had average quality. Of course we could not have seen all movies yet. We are still watching them. I emphasize again that I couldn’t see all movies but among the films I saw till now - non-Iranians - Selma had famous actors and great quality. Also “71” attracted me.
What about Iranian Movies?
I think “Today” directed by Seyed Reza Mirkarimi had a good structure and also his work with actors was great. The other films also had appropriate structure.
How did you see Urban Film Festival?
I had already traveled to Iran. In 2009 I had come for Fajr Film Festival to Iran. However Fajr Film Festival has bigger dimensions and many people had come to watch movies to Milad Tower. At that time Milad Tower had not completely been prepared and the building was unfinished. This festival also has good audiences.
How is the atmosphere of this festival?
I find it very nice and warm.
During this time that you have been in Iran, could you see Tehran City?
Not yet. I am waiting for my friend “Yann Arthus-Bernard”, we are going to go to Shiraz and Tehran to shoot Iran’s cities from sky view or in the other word heli shot.
Did you get permission to shoot?
Yes. I had come to Iran last year and visited Mr. Ayoubi.
Which Iranian filmmakers are your friends?
I met Abbas Kiarostami when he had just made ”Close-up”. We invited him along with Jean-Claude Carrière and met each other. Because I am interested in Poetry and Mr. Kiarostami is also interested in poetry I like him and we are friends. Also I sat next to Mr. Kiarostami while editing “Taste of Cherry” for a week.
Mr. Barmak Akram what is your opinion about the current situation of Iranian cinema?
I think Iranian cinema could have entered the history of cinema and it’s one of the bests. Except Europe and France, Iranian Cinema is the best foreign cinema.