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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: January 2019

3 - Industrial Professionalisation


The aspirations of filmmakers, critics, intellectuals and cinema enthusiasts for the creation of a sovereign cinema, as discussed in Chapter 2, were re-enacted in the form of a sustained commercial cinema industry that commenced its feature film productions in the late 1940s. After the production of the first few Persian-language films before World War II, Iranian feature film production came to a halt for almost a decade. The reasons for this drought have been attributed to many factors arising from the political and economic conditions of the time. Contrary to popular belief, the hiatus in film production did not mark a suspension of cinematic activities. The absence of feature film production created a vacuum that enabled the influx of international films to Iran, the making of documentary films, the establishment of alternative cinematic activities such as dubbing foreign language films, the bolstering of a consumerist culture linked to the circulation of local and global cinema and theatre stars, and the professionalisation of cosmopolitan actors and film critics, all of which laid the foundation for the establishment of a new industry. Toward the end of the 1940s, cinema and stage actors, critics and film directors who had engaged global cinema trends in one way or another participated in the production of the first post–World War II Persian-language commercial films.