World Festival of Animated Film /
3 to 8 June 2024
World Festival of Animated Film / 3 to 8 June 2024
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ANIMAFEST PRO | ANIMAFEST SCANNER XI | Panel 3: Humor in Animation

Satire and Political Commentary in Iranian Animation - Farzaneh Omidvarnia, Mehrdad Sheikhan (Iran / Denmark)

05/06 WED 10:55-11:25 KIC

Subversive humour and political commentary converge within Iranian animation, creating a dynamic landscape where satire serves as a strong tool for questioning authority and amplifying dissenting voices. In a society marked by censorship and societal constraints, Iranian animations skilfully utilize humour to navigate the intricacies of the culture with wit and originality. This transformation elevates animation to a platform for political critique, employing parody and irony to convey social commentary and challenge the entrenched power structures. Iranian animation often functions as a reflective mirror of societal consciousness, offering insights into the prevailing socio-political setting. Through intricately woven narratives, the layers of humour are blended into the animated works, defying societal norms and advocating for change. In this exploration, the portrayal of gender in Iranian animation’s humour is closely examined, analysing the depiction of women and the dynamics of gender relationships within animated narratives. The examination reveals how Iranian animations leverage satire and wit to confront patriarchal norms or promote gender equality, and amplify the voices of marginalized communities, also challenging prevailing gender stereotypes and advocating for inclusivity and empowerment. In Iranian animation, various techniques circumvent political censorship to convey subversive messages effectively. Utilizing creative storytelling and symbolism, directors navigate the boundary between dissent and compliance, utilizing animation as an instrument for social change and cultural expression. This interdisciplinary study shows fresh perspectives on the dynamic interplay between humour, politics, and cultural expression within Iranian society. It underscores the commitment of Iranian animation directors to challenge prevailing paradigms and stimulate critical discourse through storytelling. Through their narratives and artistic choices, these directors push the boundaries of animation, reshaping societal narratives and provoking thought on a global scale.

Farzaneh Omidvarnia is a multifaceted artist, sculpting fabric and crafting short stories, with exhibitions across Europe and Iran. She ventured into filmmaking in 2017, winning awards for To Be and Song Sparrow. Broken is her latest film. She earned her PhD in Design from Denmark and currently works as a postdoctoral researcher. Mehrdad Sheikhan is an Iranian filmmaker who is active in documentary filmmaking and animation. He has been producing animation professionally since 1995 and has been active as an idea developer, screenwriter and director. He started making TV commercials and industrial films, and started documentary filmmaking as a researcher, producer and director in 2003. Mehrdad’s works have received many awards from local and international film and animation festivals. He has also been a member of the board of directors of Iran’s ASIFA Association, the Iranian branch of the International Animated Films Association.