Press TV – April 13, 2009
President of the American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Sid Ganis says Iran is very different from what the US mainstream portrays.
Ganis visited Iran along with American actresses Annette Bening and Alfre Woodard, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Frank Pierson, producer William Horberg and Phil Alden Robinson in early March.
“Our entire group was somewhat surprised to see how different Iranian life is, the way people live it on a daily basis, from the usual depictions we see in the media, especially the news media,” said Ganis in an interview with Foreign Policy Journal.
“Iranians are very sophisticated, educated and culturally literate people and they have access to far more western media and technology than any of us had realized.” He said.
“We traveled freely around Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan and we didn't see any signs of political demonstrations or speech directed against Americans.”
Ganis also referred to the unexpected hospitality of Iranians saying that they “were met with an incredibly warm and hospitable welcome by the filmmakers of Iran, and the people in general.”
The 69-year-old producer described his visit as a great opportunity to learn about Iranian culture and the ancient Persian civilization.
“The opportunity to go on this trip has given me an incredible opportunity to study this ancient country and its people.”
“Iran has been so difficult to visit for Americans, and there are so many preconceptions about it, that it's hard to get an accurate picture without actually going there yourself.”
The Hollywood delegation attended seminars and workshops on screenwriting, directing, acting, documentary filmmaking, production, and film marketing and distribution.
The group also visited Iran's Cinema Museum and attended a press conference at the House of Cinema during their stay in the country.
Last updated 16/04/2009