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Iran’s Modern Cinema

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In this article, we look at the films especially made for children and teenagers at a different viewpoint and we take you to the sweet and colorful world of children.

You possibly know that in the majority of countries in which production of films is taken seriously, the rate of sales of films is of paramount importance. Even if a film has been made based on highest standards, unless it is a box office hit, it would be financially considered as a flop. In fact, the success of the film and its high sales is one of the main factors behind the growth and development of film industry. Numerous discussions have been held to this end among the film experts and critics and many believe that reliance upon the high sales of the film cannot solely lead to the success of a feature film.

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Nonetheless, film industry is not just an art and its industrial aspect is fulfilled with the injection of capital into this industry.

The films especially made for children and teenagers maintain a large number of viewers in all corners of the world and the family members usually go to movie theaters together in order to watch these films. The study of the box office hits of this genre of film industry shows that animations and puppet shows lead the scene and children are more interested in these works. The usage of the imaginations and relations of the world of children, and reference to myths, and stories of the ancestors are some of the factors and parameters that can boost the number of viewers of films categorized in this genre of Iran’s film industry.

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Cinema in Iran is an attractive art for adults and children. It is interesting to know that the most successful character in the history of Iran’s cinema is a puppet, which was first viewed at IRIB’s programs and later on was seen at feature films, while currently turning into the most popular character in Iran’s film industry.

“Kolaah Qermezi” is the puppet. The life, character and adventures of this puppet and its friends have led to production of several TV series at IRIB and four other feature films. The story of this puppet came into existence in the year 1993, with the broadcast of a TV series, named “Post Box”. In this weekly program, letters of children were read and their paintings were displayed. Meanwhile, a cheerful puppet and an anchor managed this program. The very simple and lovable puppet, Kolaah Qermezi soon became highly popular among children.

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The success of this program led its creators to produce a feature film with this puppet performing the first role in it. In this feature film, Kolaah Qermezi dreamt of airing programs for children and his dream came true. This feature film has up to now been a record holder box office hit in the history of Iran’s film industry. The film, which was screened 18 years ago attracted two million viewers to movie theaters only in Tehran and was therefore a record holder in this scene.

In the following years, three feature films and three TV series under the name of Kolaah Qermezi were produced; all of which were box office hits and showed that this character remains to be highly popular among the Iranians. Meanwhile, later on, other characters were also created, each of which were successful among the viewers. Puppets such as “Pesar Khaaleh” are bonded with one actor, who is the anchorman. This anchor in fact is a symbol of all adults, who makes children familiar with puppets and their world.

What is the reason behind the popularity of these puppets among Iranian viewers and children in these years? The usage of imaginations and the inner world of children is the first reason behind the success of Kolaah Qermezi. Many of the ideas that are presented in these puppet shows are in fact the topics which today’s children experience, such as the topics of self-confidence, courage, pure friendships, politeness, mistakes, and lessons learnt from mistakes. Kolaah Qermezi in the majority of cases, like all of us, has to choose between the good and bad and presents its reasons with a childish logic. His honesty is possibly the most important reason behind the popularity of this puppet among children, in addition to adults.

In this puppet, the children see a reflection of their restlessness, and never-ending demands. The children find the anchor as a kind, wise, and forgiving adult, who at the end forgives the biggest mistakes.

One of the other reasons behind the success of these programs and feature films is the usage of traditions of puppet shows in them. For instance, the type of Kolaah Qermezi’s remarks has precedent in puppet shows and is used in the traditional satirical shows.

Meanwhile, some of the most glittering stories of this TV series are indebted to the presence of another puppet named “Pesar Khaaleh”, which apparently is one of the relatives of Kolaah Qermezi. His character is opposite to the character of Kolaah Qermezi. His insistence to assist friends and strangers sometimes causes problems. He is selfless and highly influences the viewers. Meanwhile, Pesar Khaaleh cannot be bullied and he usually generously accepts responsibility for others’ mistakes.

But, who are the creators of these successful programs and films? Iraj Tahmaseb and Hamid Jebeli are two Iranian artists, who for the past twenty years have written the scripts, and have directed these puppet shows and have also been the voice actors for Kolaah Qermezi.

Tahmaseb, who acts as the anchor, was born in Tehran in 1959. He is an anchor, actor, director, and screen writer. He has studied acting at Tehran University and has directed five feature films. He was present in Kolaah Qermezi TV series as the anchor, screen writer, and actor.

His colleague in these films and TV series has been Hamid Jebeli, who is a successful actor in theaters, TV, and film industry and has always been the voice actor for Kolaah Qermezi and Pesar Khaaleh. Born in Tehran in 1958, he started his artistic activities as of the age of 14 at The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. He has performed in dozens of films; has directed two feature films, and has written the scripts of Kolaah Qermezi films. Additionally, these two artists have performed in several programs and TV series and have been the voice actors of several puppets in the framework of children’s programs. Currently, everyone knows these two actors as the individuals, who have created the most popular films in the history of Iran’s film industry, providing sweet memories for children.

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1 Comment

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