Filmgoers flock to screens in newly built shopping centres, as critics warn that other genres are being sidelined
As they rose to their feet for the national anthem, the mood among the crowd was sombre. Iran’s leading film festival, usually seven days of red carpet premieres and gong-giving, was forgoing the glamour of the silver screen as the country outside suffered the chill of economic hardship.
The organisers had months earlier said the festival would match the downcast mood of a country where sanctions and escalating political turmoil have hit the living standards of many ordinary Iranians. The death of Ezatollah Entezami, a celebrated actor of the 1960s Persian new wave, known in Iran simply as Mr Actor, further dampened spirits.