Brian Bennett, 9Fest, interviewed at 34th Fajr International Film Festival by Financial Tribune —
Saturday. April 23, 2016 – 02:00 Mohamadreza Seyedagha Financial Tribune, Tehran, Iran
New Venue, New Flair at 34th Fajr Film Fair Art And Culture
Local film enthusiasts and international guests at the Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF) are enjoying their time in the Iranian capital, Tehran, as the 34th edition has adopted a new approach in running the event. These days the downtown Charsou Cineplex is busier than usual as it is the festival venue, just one year after its inauguration.
Over 3000 people daily visit the venue located at the intersection of Jomhoori and Hafez Streets in central Tehran, to attend the festival programs.
The American festival manager Brian Bennett, who has been running 9FilmFest in Bangkok, Thailand since 1999, is totally pleased with this year’s edition as he finds it “friendlier than ever.”
This is the fifth time he is partaking in the FIFF; however, this year he clearly feels the difference due to a number of factors. “This is the first time the festival has a friendly atmosphere due to the new location in the heart of Tehran and more welcoming staff and touring programs have created a better chance to communicate with the people and experience the culture of the city,” Bennett told the Financial Tribune.
He calls it a big step to the further success for the event and believes that the organizers should follow the same approach in future editions. As a festival manager, he says the number of movie premiers and attendance by famous stars does not guarantee the success of such an event. “In the first 9FilmFest in 1999, we did not have any premieres and well-know guests, but by providing a pleasant environment, we managed to improve,” Bennett noted. Today, his festival is one of the leading short film events in Asia.