If I’d started

If I’d started this blog a few weeks earlier, I would no doubt have used it to report on my recent trip to Tehran for the Fajr Film Festival, but since not, my diary of the visit has instead been published in the first online edition of Vertigo Magazine. I still find it difficult to read magazines on-line, but this is an unashamed plug for a publication about independent film and video throughout the world – the print edition has been going since the early 90s – which is one of the happiest projects I’ve been associated with, and from which I’ve learned the most. Vertigo is one place where I don’t kibbitz…

I also shot about four hours of video in Tehran, without any clear plan or intentions, which I’ve now more or less edited into a half-hour video diary of the visit, and which so far I’ve shown to a few colleagues. No more about that here for the moment – if you’re interested, here’s the written diary.

On another front, let me pay tribute here to a dear friend of many years ago, who has just died, Ana de Skalon. In the late 80s, when I was going through a dark period, I used to go and meet Ana every week or so, we’d talk about anything and everything, and she was terrifically supportive. I lost touch with her after she returned to Latin America, but I recently learned that she was working with Telesur, the new Venezuelan satellite television station, which is something else I’m very interested in. But I learned recently from one of the Telesur people who was visiting London that Ana was very ill, so Jon Snow’s obituary for her in The Guardian didn’t come as a total surprise.

Last week, by coincidence, Jon was heading the Channel Four news team in a week of transmissions from Tehran.

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