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Middle East: Iran Launches New Movie Channel in Arabic

Iran inaugurated its first Arabic language movie channel during the Muslim feast of Eid-ul-Fitr, which commemorates the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The new channel is meant to target about 300 million Arabic speakers according to the press release published on the website of the Iranian news and broadcasting network, PressTV.

The new channel, dubbed iFilm, will begin airing programs, mainly movies and television series, on Thursday afternoon Tehran time, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Mohammad Sarafraz, told reporters on Monday.
The September 9 launch of the 24-hour television network is meant to familiarize some 300 million Arabic speakers in the Arab world with Iran's history and art.

According to Ya Libnan the new channel will also show documentaries on film making and movies reviews.

It will show “documentaries on making of films, film reviews, feature films, and short films,” Iran’s English-language Press TV said, adding that the channel will be broadcast via the Arabsat and Nilesat satellites.

Amir Taheri also wrote in Uskowi blog about iFilm and how the equipment used there is assembled in Iran.

iFilm's film editing equipment and systems and archive of film records as well as its broadcasting equipment have been assembled by the IRIB World Service engineers and are totally automated.

The iFilm international channel will broadcast on Badr 4 (Arabsat), frequency: 12169 MHz, vertical polarization, symbol rate: 27500, FEC 3/4. It can also be received on Atlantic Bird 4A (Nilesat), frequency: 11393 MHz, vertical position, symbol rate: 27500, FEC 3/4; and Eutelsat W6, frequency: 11564 MHz, vertical position, symbol rate: 3214, FEC 3/4.

And in Egypt, Hossam Eid wrote a tweet to his Egyptian friends about the new channel and its frequency:

ياجماعة القناة الإيرانية الجديدة الناطقة بالعربي و بتذيع افلام موجودة علي نايل سات واسمها IFilm وترددها ١١٣٩٣
Guys, the new Iranian channel that airs movies dubbed in Arabic is called iFilm, and its frequency on Nile Sat is 11393.

Ya Libnan then continues that such a channel is believed to be one of the Iranian regime's tactics to break the siege on Iran:

The channel’s launch comes three years after the start of Press TV, which the Islamic republic says is a bid to break the “stranglehold” of the West over the world media.

This channel is not the first Iranian channel targetting the rest of the world.

The Islamic Republic also has plans to launch a round-the-clock Spanish-language channel for the large Spanish-speaking audience in the world.
The slated launch of iFilm comes following growing popularity of Iran's 24-hour English news channel Press TV.

Finally, as mentioned in Ya Libnan, it's strange how Iran is trying to break the siege on them and launch satellite channels in different languages while the use of satellite receivers is still illegal in Iran.

Although Tehran uses satellites to broadcast its programming abroad, it is still illegal to have satellite receivers inside the country, where officials frequently denounce the “cultural decadence” spread by foreign channels.
In recent years, many Iranians have discreetly installed satellites in their homes, but these can be the target of sporadic crackdowns by the police who confiscate illegal dishes.

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