Maziar Bahari on idfa tv

On this site we have written about Mazia Bahari several times. For readers who have not seen his films here is a unique chance to get to know his work. Idfa, the world’s biggest documentary festival has published this press release: The filmmaker and journalist Maziar Bahari was arrested on 21 June 2009, nine days after the presidential election in Iran. IDFA TV has compiled a special programme celebrating Maziar Bahari’s work and his vision of Iranian society. Life in Iran through the eyes of Maziar Bahari includes five documentaries by Bahari about Iran, the master class he presented at IDFA 2007, and the interview he gave following his release from prison.
 
Bahari (1967, Teheran) has made more than ten documentaries, both inside and outside Iran. Life in Iran through the eyes of Maziar Bahari includes five of his documentaries that focus on various facets of Iranian society.  Art of Demolition (1998) focuses on a group of artists in Teheran who transform a building scheduled for demolition into an art gallery. One member of that group, Iranian painter Khosrow Hassanzadeh, is also the main character in Paint! No Matter What (1999). This is a self-portrait by the artist, in which he discusses his art with customers in his greengrocery shop and with members of his family.

Football, Iranian Style (2001), currently being screened as part of the IDFA TV Soccer Docs programme, reveals a cross-section of Iranian society through the stories of football fans. In And Along Came a Spider (2002, realised partly with support from the Jan Vrijman Fund) Bahari interviews an

Iranian serial murderer who preyed on prostitutes, and used Islam to justify his actions. He also talks to members of the serial murderer’s family, the judge who presided over the trial and the victims’ relatives.
The programme also includes Bahari’s latest film The Fall of a Shah (2009), which IDFA has not screened before. In this documentary made for the BBC, Bahari examines the events that led to the downfall of the Iranian monarchy.
At IDFA 2007, Bahari compiled the Top 10 and presented a master class in which he extensively discussed his work and censorship in Iran. Life in Iran through the eyes of Maziar Bahari also includes the recording of this master class, which was led by journalist Eefje Blankevoort, an authority on Iran.
 
Bahari was one of dozens of journalists who were rounded up after the elections in Iran on 12 June 2009. He reported on the elections and the ensuing demonstrations for the Canadian Newsweek magazine. Bahari was confined for almost four months in the infamous Evin prison in Teheran, and he was allowed only occasional and brief telephone contact with his family. During his incarceration pressure was exerted from all corners of the world to secure the release of Bahari, who has dual Iranian and Canadian citizenship. IDFA collected signatures from documentary makers for a petition that was sent to the Iranian authorities in early August 2009. After release on bail on 17 October 2009, Bahari went to England, arriving just in time for the birth of his first child.
At IDFA 2009, Bahari spoke openly for the first time about his experiences in the prison in a conversation with IDFA director Ally Derks. This conversation and the interview that he gave a day later in the programme Doen Docs on the television channel Het Gesprek can be viewed on IDFA TV.
 
Since his release, Bahari has been campaigning on behalf of all the other journalists and filmmakers still incarcerated in Iran. On 11 May this year, Bahari was himself sentenced in absentia to 13 years in prison and 74 lashes.
 
IDFA TV’s Life in Iran through the eyes of Maziar Bahari programme will remain available for viewing for the forthcoming year, at

www.idfa.nl/idfatv.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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