Tehran International Animation Festival

Tehran International Animation Festival

The 5th Tehran International Animation Festival (English website) kicked off yesterday in Iran and continues through March 1. It’s a festival that I doubt many Brew readers will be attending anytime soon. Still I think it’s worth pointing out for a couple reasons. The first reason being that their website offers a good sense of the animation being produced in Iran today. Just check out the national competition page to see stills from a wide variety of contemporary Iranian shorts and commercial projects. The international competition offers more standard festival fare like Run Wrake’s Rabbit, Gaelle Denis’s City Paradise, Andreas Hykade’s The Runt, and Georges Schwizgebel’s Jeu, as well as features like Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle and Christiane Cegavske’s Blood Tea and Red String.

The most interesting feature on their website is that the festival is producing two hours of live video programming every day of the event and the programs are in English. If you miss the live broadcasts, the programs are also archived here. I watched a portion of the Day 2 (Morning) program and there’s a roundtable discussion with an Iranian animation director and a book author. The majority of their talk is focused around, what else, but Flash animation and its impact on the industry. Also cool to see was an interview with an independent Iranian filmmaker about his CG short in competition, A la Mode (the interview is about three-quarters into the program). From the constant barrage of skewed, inflammatory media coverage of Iran in the Western media, one would never even know that artistic activities like animation happen in Iran, much less that the country has a thriving and fast developing animation industry. This website provides a rare look into their industry and shows that no matter what part of the world you live in, sooner or later you’re going to be using Flash and Maya.

Tehran photo found on Flickr


  • Zapnut

    Yeah, there is a lot of talent around in the Middle East. Having been on a business trip for a university to an ‘educational games design’ conference in the Sultanate of Oman, we were both amazed at the work some of the students had drawn for us in a design workshop and appauled that industries are already trying to exploit this talent with cheap outsourcing. While the trip mainly was about games art design, I have a feeling that animation in the Middle East won’t be far behind in falling down the same route.

  • http://www.playlistcomics.blogspot.com Justin

    in a world where you constantly hear about who died, what celebrity was arrested/died/in rehab and other nonsense…it’s good to know that things like this exist within the turmoil.

    this festival, as small and unknown as it may be, still speaks volumes that it’s able to happen. there’s nothing i despise more than not hearing about the happier side of life within the media and i think this festival needs as much coverage as possible.

    great to hear that as negative as a place can get…an animation fest can still happen. brilliant.

  • http://otherthings.com Cassidy

    I noticed that the photo you took from Flickr is marked “all rights reserved”. Did you guys get permission from the photographer before copying it and using it here? If not, you probably should. Flickr users are not generally keen on people grabbing their photos without asking permission or giving them proper credit.

  • Firoz

    It’s so refreshing to see the wide variety of styles from the stills on the website. If only it were possible to view some of these shorts.

    Thank goodness for animation festivals; they remind you there are still animated film-makers with styles and story ideas that are inventive and wide-ranging. They let us see where the medium of animation can really lead. Certainly, much more so than the bland and uninspiring fare we’re usually accustomed to in mainstream animation.

  • http://www.colorofmoment.blogspot.com/ Arzu

    Thanks for posting this up, I know there are many amazing unknown artists in Iran. If you know Bahram Azimi and Hamid Bahrami, two wonderfully talented caricaturists now producing some very popular animation. This is Hamid’s web address in case you were interested
    http://www.hameedbahrami.com/ and bahram’s http://www.irancartoon.com/azimi/index.htm