November 4, 2008
■ Cinema Never Dies
Marziyeh Riahi-SFN- Meeting Philippe Jalladeau was one of the good events happened to me during my stay in Tajikistan for participating in the third Didar Film Festival.
Having similar experience by working with my sister in SFN, his expressions on their understanding, differences and goals with his brother was completely understandable for me.
Philippe Jalladeau, together with his brother, established Nantes Three Continents Festival in 1979 to support the new filmmaking talents.
He knows Iran cinema very well and in this interview he will talk about the different programs of the 30th edition of Nantes Festival and Iran cinema.
You work with your brother in Nantes Festival. How is working with your brother? Do you have any difference in your ideas?
Our view points in watching the films are the same. We both search to find creativity in cinema. For us, concept and the cinematographic language is the most important. A good film is a film which has a reflection about the language.
We usually agree with each other but sometimes there are some differences in our ideas. My brother mostly follows up Eastern Asia cinema but I follow up the cinemas of Arabian countries, Latin America, and Iran.
As far as I know, you believed that festivals such as Cannes do not pay attention to the new talents and this was the reason you established Nantes Festival. What were your other reasons?
I and my brother like to risk for finding the news talents. In many big festivals you mostly see the famous faces. In Nantes, we would like to make the opportunity for the young new filmmakers to show themselves.
Nantes screens long fictions and documentaries. Please tell us your opinion about documentary and especially Iran documentary cinema?
Fictions have a fixed position but documentary cinema is improving. But regarding Iran documentary cinema, I have to say that they are the combination of documentary and fictions. For example, 10+4 by Mania Akbari which was in Nantes last year, I believe it is a fiction that is made with the style of documentary. I say it is neither a fiction nor a documentary. May be we can have a new genre for these kinds of films and call them Doc-Fiction.
Your festival shows the films of three continents of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Why do you focus on these three continents?
Because cinema in these three continents, comparing with America and Europe, is still mostly unknown. In Nantes we try to give chances to the films from different countries of these three countries, such as Iran, to be seen in the same level as the others.
The whole cinema of America is Arnold!? We do not see any need to enter films from America, Canada, and Australia to the festival.
You are searching for the new talents in Nantes. Usually, the new talents, start their work with short films and there are brilliant talents in short films. Why do not you accept short films in your festival?
Because if we have short film section in the festival, we will surely receive a large amount of films and we can not handle the selection and organizing them. I think if we want to screen the short films then we have to narrow it to, for example, Iran short films.
This program will surely need more colleagues, more money, more organizing, and more venues. If we want to focus on short film we have to focus on the short film of one country and we can not organize such a program for the short films of the three continents, in this moment.
This year we perform such program for Ecuador and Africa because we wanted to support them to make their next films. To perform such a program was feasible in these countries because there were not many short films from there and we could organize it.
Generally, I agree with you that there are many new talents in short film but at the time being we can not organize such a program for Nantes. Probably it will be organized in the next future.
You had a very long time research on the cinema of the Middle Asian Countries. I want to know if the research has a personal reason or it was related to the festiva?
I like to research about these films because they have a different culture. American and also Australian films are very similar to our culture but Arabic, Tajik, or Iranian films are from another culture. I am not talking about the forms; I mean the concepts that are in the films. They have completely another story, another world.
You know Iran cinema very much. What is your idea about it?
You use cinema industry exactly the same as it is used in any other part of the world. You have both commercial and artistic cinema. Your commercial films are very much similar to American films which is not of interest for us and do not impress us.
But your artistic cinema is of great interest for us. We like Iranian films by Bahman Ghobadi, Abolfazl Jalili, Jafar Panahi, Abbas Kiarostami, and other Iranian brilliant talents.
Every year we have one Iranian film in Fiction Competition of Nantes and each year we discover one filmmaker. Iranian cinema is very creative. Iranian cinema has its special school. It is not exactly a school, but there is a special life in Iranian cinema which makes it very special. Iranian life and also Iranian fictions makes Iranian cinema creative.
Iranian directors do not make big films with big plots, they narrate a very small and touchable story and this is what makes Iranian films high quality.
In addition to the routine sections of the festival, is there any special section in the 30th edition of Nantes Festival?
There will be a special program for 4 directors who have won Nantes Golden Award for 2 times till now.
In the 30th edition, we will engage works by Amir Naderi (Iran) , Abolfazl Jalili (Iran) , Hou Hsiao-hsien (Taiwan), and Jia Zhang Ke (China). Also there will be a special program which will show the 29 golden awards of the last 29 years.
What is your greatest wish for Nantes Festival?
This is very great question! We always get new films. We introduce new documentaries. Our general goal is always to support creativity in cinema.
We are planning to have a program with the name of Working for Rest that is to help the filmmakers who have not finished their works due to shortage of their budget. In today's world it is difficult and simple at the same time. It is easy to make films by today's digital facilities but, on the other hand, it is difficult to get to a good quality.
We think that Cinema will never die. It never can die. Our wish in Nantes is to support it.