Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Video: The truth about Iranian cinema

Between Iran's Nuclear programs and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disdain for diplomacy, the country is seen by many to pose a legitimate threat to the rest of the world. Despite all this, or perhaps because of it, Iranian filmmakers are among most prolific and influential globally today. Their government’s influence over the film industry is unlike any other. In 1978, cinemas were burned to the ground after images of American decadence were shown on screen. The medium itself was outlawed until the Ayatollah Khamenei saw a film he liked, the cinemas were reopened, and the industry grew again.

It's revitalised passion for film has Iran making a major impact on the world, with the country’s cultural, national, and individual diversity on view in celluloid. In this episode, watch Shane Smith's journey to Iran for the 3rd Annual Urban Film Festival in Tehran to see film sets, sound stages, top directors, actors, and clerics.

Watch it here:

Credit: VBS.tv