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Press Conference on the Documentary Films from Iran, Iraq and Tatarstan at the 15th Kazan Muslim Film Festival

29 April 2019

The press conference with the directors of the full length and short documentaries from the competition programme of the 15th Kazan Muslim Film Festival was held today at Riviera Complex. The press conference was attended by Salavat Yuzeev (Russia / Tatarstan), Mehdi Gazanfari (Iran) and Kamal Pshtzhvan (Iraq). The guests shared the insights from production process as well as explained the main difficulties in documentaries filming.

Salavat Yuzeev together with a producer Marina Galitskaya presented the full-length documentary ‘Shihab Hazrat’ about an outstanding Tatar theologian and scholar Shihabetdin Mardzhani. Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of this scientist. The film was created in the format of a bicycle guided tour by Radif Kashapov at places related to Mardzhani. The film aims to present the attitude of the youth to the great philosopher. 

‘We came up with the idea of ​​this film after a conversation with the cousin of Salavat Yuzeev, who read all the works of Mardzhani. He dreamed to write a book about him or to make a film. ‘It took us three years to work on the scenario and funding’, commented the producer. Whereas, Salavat Yuzeev highlighted that there are still many interesting moments in the biography of Mardzhani, that he would like to reveal in his further works.  

Mehdi Gazanfari and a producer Hadi Gazanfari presented a documentary about twin sisters, ‘The Past’, one of them was adapted at early age and lives in a city, whereas another one grew up and lives in a village. ‘We selected this story actually to find out who is happier, a person who knows the truth or a person who lives in ignorance. 30 years ago we had a war and many families found themselves in a trouble. People who adopt one of the twins cannot have children. For them, this is a kind of salvation. I want to say that this story has two sides: one is painful and dark, the other is beautiful and soulful’, said Gazanfari. The film had been created within six months. The most difficult challenge met by the film crew was finding the second twin and trying to contact a foster family. 

The film ‘Little Paradise’ by Pshtzhvan Kamal tells the story of a village located on the border of Iraq and Iran. In 1980-s it was within the zone of military conflicts, when the heroes of the film were forced to move to cities.  Now, they are able to enjoy life on their homeland. They are now able to appreciate again the unity with nature, family and friends. ‘My parents come from a village close to this settlement. Now I live in the city, but I go there once a year. With my work I wanted to show the life of its inhabitants. I believe that such colourful life that exists in the village cannot be found in any city’, shared the director. 

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