Sep 27 - Oct 14, 2018

Asian Film Academy 2018

2007 Dean's Letter


In my country, Iran, many students graduate from film schools each year, but prominent Iranian filmmakers hardly come out of these institutions.

Why have these schools failed to train successful filmmakers? Is it because of inadequate instructors? Have they taught useless courses? Have these schools admitted untalented students? And, are only schools in Iran like that? Or, is it true that cinema can not be taught?

If we can find the proper answers to these questions, we can brighten the way on how to learn about cinema. In fact, not only filmmakers but also world famous writers have not usually learned their art from academia. For example, Hemingway used to sit on the street and record everything he saw just like a photographer. He created the art of writing from 'keen interests in writing', 'hard life experiences' and 'his own personal outlook'. The paper and the pen that he had could be found anywhere, but his talent and passion for writing were rare and outstanding.

Today, thanks to digital cameras, filmmaking is becoming something like writing, but just as we do not have as many writers such as Hemingway and Marquez as we have pens on earth, we also lack as many filmmakers such as Fellini, Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray in the world as we have cameras. Going to the universities or the facilities teaching cinema doesn't make one become a filmmaker. Then what's the resolution?

How come do we gather in Busan? Do we gather to share this despair with one another? I believe in order to make the film 8 1/2, you have to be Fellini first. If any of you can liberate the potential artist within him/herself awaiting birth, then all of life will turn to be the school of cinema, literature and art. As Gorky said: "My school has been my life." This year, we gather from around the world in Busan to reflect on how we can give birth to the poets within ourselves.



Mohsen MAKHMALBAF
Dean
Asian Film Academy 2007