By: Mir M.Hosseini
The history of cinema in Iran started 5 years after the Lumiere brothers invented the cinema-photograph machine. In March 1900, during a visit to France, Mozaffaroddin Shah gets to know the new invention and his companion Mirza Ebrahim Khan Akkasbashi makes the first Iranian documentary from the Shah during a festival in Belgium on Aug, 14, 1900. In 1905, Sahhafbashi starts an unsuccessful cinema business which ends in bankruptcy only after a month and he gets arrested and sent to exile in India. The Iranian rulers have always claimed guardianship over the nation and therefore making use of new technology hard and painful resulting in backwardness of the country.
On May, 10 1930 the first school of cinema opened in Tehran with 300 registrations but only 12 people could finish the course which included film-making, acting, music, dance, make-up and other related lessons. An advertisement was published in the newspaper on April, 13 announcing inauguration of the artist school. The word artist has entered as the main actor in the Iranian literature. There was no tuition and attending the classes was not obligatory. Women could not attend the classes. The school closed after the third year , however Oganians, the founder succeeded in producing the first Iranian movie which was a silent film named Abi and Rabi. There were no actresses in this movie. It went on screen in Mayak movie theatre on Jan, 2, 1931. Two years later, Oganians made his second film named "Haji Agha, the movie actor" featuring Asya Ghostanian, the first Iranian actress from Armenian descent .
For many years the movie business was seen as a thing for foreigners and so the Iranians, specially women could not enter the field. The first black and white Iranian movies were of low quality reproduction of foreign movies. The state has always been supervising such cultural activities and thus Iranian movie business is living a crisis.