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Dear Santa! – My film wish list for Christmas | The Velvet Café

Dear Santa!

I’ve been a good film buff this year.


  • I’ve watched 53 movies in a theatre already and I’ve paid for most of them, apart from the pre-screenings they offered me for free because I’ve got a gold level card after all my movie watching.
  • I haven’t bought a single box of popcorn. The only popcorn I’ve eaten was the one they handed out for free when the projector was broken and they tried to fix it and kept us waiting. Imiraclen the end they couldn’t fix it so I finished my popcorn at home. No cinema visitor had to suffer from my munching.
  • I haven’t watched any film that I downloaded illegally because 1) I think people who make movies deserve to get paid for it 2) I don’t know how to do it.
  • I’ve tried to keep a healthy balance in my movie watching, mixing new and old, arthouse and mainstream and movies from different countries.

That’s a lot of good deeds, don’t you think? I think that you can agree on that I’m qualified for making a wish list.

I’m over 40 years old, an age when most people care more about giving Christmas presents than getting them. And I don’t want to exhaust you, so I made my list short. It’s a four point list. That’s pretty reasonable, isn’t it? Let’s have a look at it!

1. A working business model
Please find up something so that great people with a huge imagination can keep making many different sorts of movies and make a living on it. Make it so that the only independent cinema in my city can find a way to survive. Make it so that the top ten movies in the box office are original ideas, not remakes or sequels number 2,3 or 4.

2. More women in the director’s chairs
I’m sick of seeing only seven percent of the Hollywood production being directed by women. There are a few good directors around, but they sure have a hard time to fight their way into to the spotlight and get noticed. When Hollywood Reporter made a roundtable discussion with directors of interest, they didn’t see any reason to include one single female director. Confronted with this they came up with some terrible excuses. Santa – please give the old farts who rule the film industry a well deserved kick in their ass to get them moving.

3. 3D that makes movies better, not worse
Santa – can you explain why we’re supposed to pay more for something that makes the film look worse? They’ve tried to sell us 3D so many times before and frankly I don’t think it has improved a lot, apart from that the plastic glasses are slightly more comfortable and look slightly less ridiculous than the ones in paper we had thirty years ago. But they certainly know how to charge for them!  Mr Scorsese, who is a film maker I respect a lot, seems to have a strong belief in 3D as the future of cinema. We only need to learn to use the technology properly. And perhaps he’s right. But if that’s so, please make them hurry up and get through the child diseases. We’ve had enough of them.

4. Freedom to make film for everyone
The Iranian director Jafar Panahi has been sentenced to six years of prison and 20 years ban to make movies. Defying this sentence, he made the documentary “This is Not a Film”. He and a friend recorded it secretly in his home using a home video camera and a cell phone and had it smuggled out of the country on a flash drive. While it was an awesome and heartbreaking film, which I’ll write more about another day, it is not acceptable that any film maker or any person in the world should have to live under those circumstances. There are more people like Jafar Panahi out there, more people who aren’t allowed to make a film without having it approved on beforehand by the authorities or without risking to get tossed into jail in case you can be suspected to criticize the regime.

Santa! I want you to free Jafar Panahi and let him make the films he wants to make wherever he wants to make them, inside or outside of Iran!  But don’t let it stop with him. Grant the freedom of speech and freedom of film making to everyone!

You can fix it
So, that was my wish list for this year. Did you get it all? Four little things. Should be easy enough to remember, don’t you think?

Did I hear you mutter something about “tricky?”

Well, I admit it’s not the kind of items you’ll pre-order in a web shop, I give you right in that. And they certainly won’t make any pretty packages under the Christmas tree, since they’re a little abstract and hard to wrap properly. But that’s not a big deal for me anyway.

You’re not like ordinary people. You’re Santa. I know you can fix it.


Best of regards


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