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Coronavirus pandemic pushes 39th Fajr to jury-only screenings

The 39th Fajr Film Festival is set to screen its lineups only for the jurors due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 39th edition of the Fajr Film Festival (FFF) in Iran has been scheduled to screen its lineups only for the jury members due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabaeenejad, president of the FFF, said the 2021 edition of the festival will be held as usual on January 31-February 10, 2021.

Holding an online presser on the festival’s website, he noted that there will be no public screenings during the festival unless there would be a dramatic change in the conditions.

He added that they have no plans to hold an online version of the festival.

Earlier in August, the director of Cinema Organization of Iran, Hossein Entezami, said the organization is searching for a safe platform to hold the 39th FFF online as long as the pandemic continues until February 2021.

Since there is no platform to guarantee the festival entries against piracy, he further said, “Therefore, I have asked my colleagues to work out a solution."

Based on the festival’s regulations, only movies that have had no previous screenings anywhere are allowed to apply for participation in the event.

Tabatabaeenejad added, “We should accept that we are not in an ideal situation, but I will try to prepare an opportunity to screen the entries for journalists and critics in case of better conditions.”

The 38th FFF was held in Tehran on February 1-11, just a few days before the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

However, the international edition of the FFF, scheduled to be held in April 2020, was canceled due to the pandemic.