ACTION ALERT: Iranian Film Festival in Canada to Push Islamic Iranian Regime Propaganda


Thank you to Sayeh Hassan and Faramarz Shiravand for bringing this to our attention.

It's recently been announced that Canada’s "1st Iranian Short Film Festival” has been rescheduled and will be running from November 6-12, 2009, at Empire Theatre at empress Walk – 5095 Yonge Street, North York, Ontario.  According to Fars News, the 1st prize of this festival is named in honour of Seifollah Daad, the director of what we are told was an antisemitic film called, “The Survivor."  

Faramarz invites all human rights defenders and activists, freedom lovers, democracy promoters, and those who oppose sexual apartheid, segregation, discrimination and racism to oppose this festival and says "something has to be done! Tomorrow is too late!"  Sayeh urges everyone to "act immediately, either through circulating this article or calling and writing to Empire theaters and voicing your concerns about this film festival." 

The number for the Empire Theater is (416) 223-9550.  Please call and ask them not to support the Islamic Iranian propaganda and cancel this event, as the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts did. 

Background:

The festival was supposed to originally happen in June and then in August, 2009, at the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts, in Richmond Hill, (the hub of Iranian community) Ontario. The festival in June was postponed to August as a result of demonstrations in Iran; later in August, the organizer Persia Film Inc. (located at 319 16th Avenue, Richmond Hill), directed by Seyed Shohrokh Barololumi) cancelled the festival due to lack of positive response by the community influenced by the atmosphere in Iran, and the exposure and pressure from activists. There were attempts to bring back the festival to Richmond Hill which failed, meanwhile the date and location of future presentation became a secret until last week which was printed in the Islamic regime's friendly Farsi- papers and shops in North York.

The following links will take you to the official site of the festival,  its organizers and sponsors. Almost all of the sponsors are the Islamic government agencies and instruments which deal with the Islamic regime's propaganda

The JIDF has also located a Facebook group for this film festival, here.   

Mr Shiravand also provided us with additional files (some in Persian, some in English) which we have zipped and you can download here.

Below is the original article which brought all this to our attention:  
Iranian Short Film Festival in Toronto
by Faramarz Shiravand

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.”
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 canceled 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 1st 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 1st prize of the “Canada’s 1st 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!
We're still hoping to glean more insight into this film festival, so if anyone can offer more information, please add it to the comments.  In the meantime it might be a good idea to go ahead call the Empire Theater at this number:  (416) 223-9550 and ask them not to support the Islamic Iranian propaganda and cancel this event, as the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts did.  Also, Sayeh Hassan wrote an open letter to the theater, which we urge you to read and emulate. 



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