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The key frames: milestones in the institutional history of animation in Iran

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Published
Publication date28/02/2017
Host publicationAnimation in the Middle East: Practice and aesthetics from Baghdad to Casablanca
EditorsStefanie Van de Peer
PublisherI B Tauris
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print) 9781784533267
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Although the history of Iranian cinema dates back to the turn of the 20th Century, the art of animation was not fully utilised until the 1950s. With the Iranian intellectual movements in the 1960s and the advent of Iranian independent cinema, producing animation films were also institutionalized in both governmentally supported institutions, the Iranian national TV broadcasting and in the Kanun (The centre for education of children and young adults). These two institutions that lend a huge hand in creating the Iranian intendant cinema before the revolution, both began an animation department by the 1960s. The number of the people who formed these departments was a hand full but their persistent and their artistic innovations resulted in some of the most memorable works which also did make it to the international arenas. After the revolution similar to many other aspects of the film industry, animation productions were also affected by the changes and shifts in the Iranian society. But what helped animation to revive shortly after the revolution was the fact the two named institutions continuing their work after the revolution following a very similar mission as before the revolution only with new management. Animation began as an elite medium and despite the fact that the number of productions has increased considerably today it has never turned into a commercial and mainstream means of production.
Although animation productions fall behind a few decades to the rest of Iranian cinema what is fascinating about the history of Iranian animation production is in two folds; one, the involvement of women in the animation industry in its early stages of creation and two, the themes and styles that animators have adapted throughout the years. This paper will offer an account of history of animation production in Iran while introducing some of the marginalized figures; such as Mahvash Tehrani, Mahin Javaherian who have begun their work as early as some of the most celebrated Iranian Animation filmmakers such as; Noureddin Zarrinkelk and Farshid Mesghali.