She, who is one of this year’s jury members of the International Contest, talked about her interest in documentary cinema: "I have always been following documentary cinema with great interest, not only the Iranian documentaries, but also the international ones. I’ve had also some experiences in making documentaries, which were completely personal, including a documentary about Aruna Vasudev, known as the "Mother of Asian Cinema".
Motamed-Aria continued: "In past years, I've been following documentary cinema more than the narrative one. From the latest documentary by Werner Herzog to British documentaries about the Seventeen and Eighteen centuries. I've been following all these films seriously, especially documentaries by filmmakers who were also working in the field of narrative cinema, filmmakers such as Peter Greenaway, who before becoming one of the UK greatest filmmakers in the field of documentary, reconstructed real events in fictional format. Also Bernardo Bertolucci, who died recently, and has a very fascinating documentary about Abadan and Iranian Oil Industry.
Referring to the social issues and concerns of the day in documentaris, she said: “We are more interested in recording social issues in our documentaries, and I feel that we take this aspect of documentary cinema more serious than other approaches. There are few filmmakers such as Mojtaba Mirtahmasb or Rakhshan Bini-Etemad, that along with recording social issues, are also recording personalities; filmmakers who, along with daily events, are also aware of the historical capacities of our country. Of course, Iranian documentaries are very powerful in commenting on social issues. Still, I believe that social documentaries generally tend to have a heavier mood than the actual events, and this irritates me a bit.”
When we asked Motamed-Aria what do you think about the fact that some people believe today’s Iranian documentary cinema is much better than it’s narrative cinema, she said: "I’m so glad you asked this. I believe that Cinema Verite Film Festival can be a great example for our narrative cinema and Fajr Film Festival. Cinema Verite selects professional films and jury members for its various sectors, and presents these works to documentary enthusiasts. In the end, the movie theaters are supposed to be filled with the audience, and what's better than no empty seat in the theater when my friends came to watch The Eyes of Orson Welles late at night. These nights, we saw long lines for watching documentaries, which I think is important. This can be considered as a model for holding similar cinematic events.”