FCC Banner hangs in the TIFF Film Market, 2019, Photo: Mujgan Afra Ozceylan
2019 – A Year in Review
by Marisa Sittheeamorn
As new year celebrations come to an end, FCC takes a minute to reflect on the biggest moments of the past year. With a growing team and fresh perspectives, FCC takes a look back at the strides made in 2019, and offers a glimpse into what’s in store for 2020.
2019 was a year of many firsts. We established our first major local partnership with ACTRA Toronto, announcing the collaboration at a co-hosted Happy Hour during the Toronto International Film Festival. Working closely with ACTRA’s diversity committee, the partnership aims to raise awareness of the Farsi-speaking talent that exists in the Canadian market, and open up more diverse roles in untold stories.
ACTRA Diversity Committee Co-chair Lisa Michelle and FCC Founder Amir Endalah give speeches during the FCC ACTRA Happy Hour at TIFF 2019, Source: Mujgan Afra Ozceylan
In addition to working with ACTRA Toronto, FCC also collaborated with Diaspora Film Festival, Reel Asian Film Festival, and ReelWorld Film Festival to co-present titles from filmmakers with Farsi backgrounds. Films we promoted included The Pot and The Oak (Kiarash Anvari, 2017), Milk (Samiramis Kia, 2019), Born in Evin (Maryam Zaree, 2019), The Swallows of Kabul (Zabour Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, 2019), and What We Left Unfinished (Mariam Ghani, 2019).
We also celebrated our first presence in the United States with Bates Film Festival, a student-run festival at one of the most prestigious liberal arts schools in the country. Offering curatorial support, we presented the film Midnight Traveller (2019) by Hassan Fazili, and had a team member attend the festival to introduce FCC to students and local audiences.
In addition to partnering with festivals, FCC also attended many of them. Following our presence at Berlinale, Hot Docs, and Karlovy Vary, we launched our first catalog of hand-selected films at TIFF. Collating a strong slate of Iranian films, we represented nine arthouse titles and presented them to sales agents in the TIFF film market. Despite having one of the most active film industries in the world, Farsi-speaking filmmakers face lingual, cultural, and financial barriers, when it comes to promoting and selling their films in international markets. Our catalog strives to minimize these difficulties and actively promote the new arthouse titles coming out Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan at markets every year.
Atiq Rahimi during his interview with FCC at TIFF 2019, Source: Farsi Cinema Center
Another first we worked hard to launch was SCOPE. SCOPE, FCC’s Newsletter, is a monthly roundup of Farsi film industry news, events, and production updates. To our knowledge, SCOPE is the only existing platform to consolidate highlights relating to the Farsi film industry in both English and Farsi. To stay up to date on the industry’s biggest figures and remain informed on the latest festival happenings, subscribe here.
While our blog was not a new addition in 2019, we launched our exclusive interview series with some of the most renowned names in our industry, this year. Atiq Rahimi, Jasmin Mozaffari, and Mahnaz Mohammadi are just a few of the creative geniuses we were fortunate enough to speak with. In addition to introducing our interview series, we delivered over 40 original articles exploring classic and contemporary topics relevant to the Farsi-speaking industry and diversity in film. Some blog highlights from the past year include, A Worldy Embrace of Iranian Film and Culture, 24 Years of Iranian Cinema at Karlovy Vary, A Wind of Change in Kabul Cinemas, Taking the Politics Out of Iranian Cinema, and Bridging The Gap Behind the Scenes. FCC is also now proud to publish all content across all platforms in English and Farsi, at the same time.
As we look into the immediate future, FCC is gearing up for the ninth edition of ÍRÁN:CI. The festival is organized in collaboration with FCC, and is set to kick off in just one week. Visit the festival page on our website for more information about the festival’s history, and this year’s sensational program of films. For now, we hope you continue to enjoy the content across our various platforms, and hope to see you at a festival market in the near future. Stay tuned for updates about events in Toronto and Mexico City very, very soon!