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Tuesday, June 7, 2011
“Thesis” distributor tries new trick to get box office boost
Tehran Times Art Desk
TEHRAN -- The distributor of the ostracized film “Thesis” is trying another method to sway people to watch the film centering on the unrest that occurred after the Iranian presidential election in 2009.
The Jebrail Institute has announced the “Neighbor’s Ticket” plan, by which half-price tickets are being offered to people living in the vicinity of Tehran’s 21 movie theaters screening the film, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported on Monday.
“Since an equal opportunity is not provided for advertising the on-screen films and Iranian TV refuses to broadcast a commercial for the film, we are forced to use new methods of advertising,” Jebrail Institute Director Mohsen Sadeqi said.
“The people living close to movie theaters are always bothered by filmgoers. The ‘Neighbor’s Ticket’ plan was prepared to show appreciation for these people’s patience,” he added.
The Jebrail Institute has previously used bizarre methods to lure filmgoers with prizes of gold coins and used cars.
The institute announced that five Bahar Azadi gold coins (each worth about $40) will be handed out in raffles each week among filmgoers.
In addition, they said that they will raffle off the cars used in making the film when its premiere ends.
However, it seems that all the ploys have failed to draw people to watch the film, because it has earned only 450,000,000 rials (about $43,000) during its premiere over the past three weeks.
“Thesis”, which was made by 28-year-old actor-turned-director Hamed Kolahdari, was strongly censured by critics and journalists during a review session following a screening at the 29th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran in February.
It was booed due to its subject and shallow structure.
The story of the film is set in the atmosphere of Iran’s postelection unrest. It is about four students who intend to deliver the text of a dissertation to their advisor.
The opposition believed that the film’s story had been planned in a manner to undermine the case of Neda Agha-Soltan, a student who was killed during the unrest in Tehran in 2009.
However, the film’s publicist denied any connection between the story of the film and the Neda Agha-Soltan case.