The most popular form of entertainment in Iran is the cinema. Cinema is also an important medium for social and political commentary. Iran's film industry became one of the finest in the world, with festivals of Iranian films being held annually throughout the world. Directors Bahram Bayzaʾi, Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and Dariyush Mehrjuʾi produced films that won numerous awards at international festivals, including Cannes (France) and Locarno (Switzerland), and a new generation of women film directors—among them Rakhshan Bani Eʿtemad (Blue Scarf, 1995) and Tahmineh Milani (Two Women, 1999)—has also emerged. Fajr Film Festival is arranged annually in Tehrān and has gained international recognition in recent years. Iranian and foreign films are screened and are awarded.
The nearest thing to the theater in Iran used to be the religious re-enactment of holy stories, known as ta’zie, but theater in European style was introduced to Iran only in the second decade of the 20th century. Initial work was concentrated in Tehran and Rasht. The quick advent of cinema and, later, television in Iran soon after the introduction of theater left little initial opportunity for the latter’s development.
The first cinema hall was constructed in Tehran in the late 1920’s. However, foreign films were the only source for cinemas, and these were shown with sub-titles. Dubbing into the Persian began in 1948, while serious shooting of Iranian films did not begin until 1950. Iranian Young Cinema society was founded in 1974 and its statute officially was approved by the then Supreme Consultative of Culture & Art in 1975. But it was after the Islamic Revolution of Iran that the society started its activities with new policies and aims in 1985 which as follows, to flourish the creativities and talents of the enthusiastic youths who are interested in film making and photography with regard to the national and Islamic culture and values. To train the enthusiastic youths in order to improve their cine culture. To conduct the processes of film making, and amateur photography in Iran.
In the beginning, Iranian Young Cinema Society mainly focused its activities on producing 8 & 16 mm films through establishing training courses, thereafter, holding regional and annual festivals were also taken into Consideration in the frame of its programs. The society started its activities along with its four offices in Tehran and at the present time the society has established fifty branches throughout the country.