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Iranian Film Wins Amnesty International Prize at Berlinale

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Iran film wins Amnesty prize at Berlinale

Iranian documentary film-maker Mehrdad Oskouei’s ‘Royahaye Dam-e Sobh’ (Starless Dreams) has won the Amnesty International Film Prize jointly with ‘Fuocoammare’ (Fire at Sea) by Italian director Gianfranco Rosi at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale.

The 5,000-euro (5,500-dollar) prize, which was awarded on Saturday, is aimed at drawing the audiences’ attention to the theme of human rights and encouraging film-makers to work on the issue.

Royahaye Dam-e Sobh displays the life of several girls at an Iranian rehabilitation center, while Fuocoammare is a harrowing documentary about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy.

The 76-minute Iranian documentary uncovers the disturbing effects of addiction and poverty that have destroyed the lives of the girls.

The film received the award for the best documentary film director at the 34th International Fajr Film Festival, which was held in the Iranian capital Tehran earlier this month.

The 66th edition of Berlin International Film Festival was held from February 11 to 21 in the German city.

*Iran's Saberi fetches World Press Photo Awards prize

Iranian photojournalist Zohreh Saberi wins the third prize for single photos of Daily Life Section of World Press Photo Awards.

Saberi's work titled 'Into the Light' was taken on November 12, 2015 in Babol, Mazandaran, Iran. It is about Raheleh, who was born blind, puts her face towards the sun behind a window in the morning, Mehr News Agency reported.

Stories of pain, joy and transformation have flooded the news in the past 12 months, and with them, an overload of images: Scenes of tragedy in Paris, of citizens confronting police violence in the US, and of seemingly endless migration flows at Europe’s borders.

It’s hard to find new ways to show large-scale and widely-reported events. But the winners of the 2016 World Press Photo Foundation contest have done it: From a black and white shot of a child passed across barbed wire at the Hungarian-Serbian border, to a seeming still-life of murder in Honduras, these arresting images shed new light on the past year’s stories.

Awards were given in several categories to both single images and series.

The first prize in Daily Life category was presented to 'China’s Coal Addiction' which was photographed in November 26, 2015. Shanxi, China. Chinese men pull a tricycle in a neighborhood next to a coal-fired power plant in Shanxi, China. A history of heavy dependence on burning coal for energy has made China the source of nearly a third of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

The second prize for single photos was given to 'Amazon’s Munduruku Tribe' which was taken in Itaituba, Brazil on February 10, 2015. Indigenous Munduruku children play in the Tapajos River in the tribal area of Sawre Muybu, Brazil. Brazil’s government plans to flood much of their land to build a $9.9 billion hydroelectric dam, the Sao Luiz do Tapajos, as part of a wider energy strategy across the Amazon rainforest.

*Iran's 'Voices of the Earth' reaches Japan

Two Iranian teenagers received First Prize for the international section of Japan’s 16th International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest.

The International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest is sponsored by Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA) & The International Certification Network (IQNet) and supported by UNICEF.

Now in its 16th Edition, the international competition has awarded two Iranian teenagers with First Prize and another with an Honorable Mention.

The drawings must have had an important message with respect to environmental protection and the future quality of “Voices of the Earth". According to the event’s website, the contest is a platform that shows the commitment made by future generations to care about and protect the natural resources and environment.

As a result, Mahsa Kazemini, 11 years old from Shiraz, won First Prize for her drawing of a blowing wind through a wheat field and a woman farmer in colorful local clothes embracing the golden grapes of wheat.

Milad Sadeghi, 15 years old from Ardabil, won First Prize for bringing the terrible sound of cutting down trees to the attention of the world. His drawing also depicts the sorrowful face of a man sitting on a tree branch, horrified at having witnessed such an immoral act.

An Honorable Mention also went to Negin Sadeghian, 11 years old from Isfahan, for her drawing of a village at the foot of a mountain range with girls in traditional dresses playing in the field and birds flying overhead.

Iran participated in the contest with 25 works and competed with a total of 18,299 drawings from 85 countries across the globe.

Last year, the contest awarded the First Prize to 10-year-old Fatemeh Mahalati from Kerman and granted Honorable Mentions to four other Iranian children. 

*Iranian cartoonist on German festival jury

Iranian cartoonist from Tabriz has been chosen to serve on the panel of jury at the 9th Don Quixote International Cartoon Festival in Germany.

Announcing this, the cartoonist Rahim Baqal-Asghari, said that the theme of the upcoming German festival is 'migration and war refugees'. He added he will judge the festival for the 18th time, IRNA reported.

Selected cartoons will be displayed both in Berlin Museum and in Cartoon Museum of Tabriz, he said.

Also on the panel of jury at the event is Massoud Shojaee-Tabatabaee from Tehran who is judging at the event for the 13th time.

The cartoon festival will be held in Berlin in April.

*Iranian children shine at Czech’s Lidice art competition

Iranian children were awarded at the 43th International Children’s Exhibition of Fine Arts Lidice (ICEFA Lidice) in Czech Republic.
Dedicated to the theme LIGHT at the suggestion of the Czech Commission for UNESCO to celebrate 2015 as the International Year of Light, this year's edition saw 21,380 participating children from 71 countries.

Out of 13,819 foreign entries from 69 countries (apart from Czech) and 1,171 organizations, 533 won prizes, including 81 medals (61 medals to individuals, 1 medal for a collective work and 19 medals to schools for their collections). Most awards went to children from China, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia and Ukraine.

10 members from Iran's KANOON, Institute for Intellectual Development of Children & Young Adults, received the competition’s diplomas of honors, including Nasim Amini, 9 years, Kiarash Babaei, 7 years, Farzaneh Emami, 14 years, Parnian Khosroabadi, 7 years, Atena Mehrzad, 9 years, Mahdis Moradian, 7 years, Hossein Noroozi, 8 years, Bahar Raznahan, 12 years, and Sogand Shams, 7 years. Reza Shahraki, 15 years, received an Honorable mention while a medal went to the school for their collection of paintings and drawings.

Iranian 11-year-old artist Romina Rahnamoun, participating independently from KANOON, also received an honorable mention.

The International Children’s Exhibition of Fine Arts Lidice (ICEFA Lidice) was established in 1967 to commemorate the child victims from the Czech village of Lidice murdered by German Nazis, as well as all other children who have died in wars.

*“Wednesday, May 9” wins awards at French filmfest

Iranian filmmaker Vahid Jalilvand’s debut film “Wednesday, May 9” has won the Grand Prix of the International Jury and the NETPAC Jury Prize for Promotion of Asian Cinema at the 22nd Vesoul International Festival of Asian Cinema.

The social drama incites debate, raises questions and gives hope to the audience, as posted on the festival’s website quoting the jury’s statement during the closing ceremony of the French event on February 10.

“Wednesday, May 9” is about a philanthropist intent on helping Tehran’s poor with unexpected consequences as it tells the story of Jalal, a man who publishes an unusual advertisement in one of Tehran’s morning papers to donate $10,000 to a needy person.

Last September, the Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique (FIPRESCI) honored the film at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. It also won a special jury award at the 33rd Fajr International Film Festival in 2015. 

*Iranian director to judge at Italy's Cinema Povero

Italy’s Cinema Povero (Festival Internazionale Del Cinema Povero) has invited Iranian director Yousef Kargar to judge the third edition of the event.

Acclaimed director Yousef Kargar has bagged almost 10 awards at over 50 international film festivals for his recent short film Elegy, which centers on the story of an old man who has been waiting for the return of his missing son for 25 years.

Kargar is now named as the member of its International Selection Board and the jury for the competition section of the Italian Filmfest.

A member of Urmia office of Iranian Youth Cinema Society, Kargar has introduced a number of his short films to the Italian Film Festival and now he will represent Iran, along with other representtaives from Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain and France, to judge the competition section of Povero Film Festival.

The 3rd Festival Internazionale del Cinema Povero 2016, is intended to authors who have made their work at zero cost or at very low budget. The event holds a social and cultural approach to the discovery and introduction of short filmmaking talents in the field of short films and documentaries.

*“Sonita” wins top award at Sundance Film Festival

“Sonita”, a joint production of Iran, Germany and Switzerland by Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Qaem-Maqami, won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film is about 18-year-old Sonita, an undocumented Afghan illegal immigrant living in the suburbs of Tehran who fights to live the way she wants: As a rapper in spite of all the obstacles she confronts in Iran and her conservative family. In harsh contrast to her goal is her family’s plan to make her a bride and sell her to a new family for the price of $9,000.

The film also received the Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary section.

The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic went to “Sand Storm” by Israeli director and screenwriter Elite Zexer.

“Weiner” by U.S. directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary while “The Birth of a Nation” by U.S. filmmaker and screenwriter Nate Parker won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic.

The festival is annually organized by the Sundance Institute in Park City, Utah. 

*Iranian ‘Junk Girl’ receives American award

Junk Girl, an animated short film, bagged Twin Rivers Media Festival’s best animation award.

Directed by Shalale Kheiri and Mohammad Zare, the animation attended the 22nd edition of the American festival which is held annually in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Twin Rivers Media Festival supports independent media artists, audio artists, and writers.

Junk Girl narrates the story of a girl who is made of junk and is dirty.

It was produced in Tabriz with the technique of ‘Stop motion’ in two years. 

The film has so far been nominated for awards in many different film festivals around the world and garnered more than 30 awards. It was firstly screened in 2014 edition of Tehran's International Short Film Festival.

The animation is an adaptation of the namesake poem from Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, and Other Stories book.

*‘Sormeh’ wins Best Film Award at Italian Dieciminuti

Iranian short fiction movie ‘Sormeh’ by Azadeh Qochaq won the Best Film Award in the main section of Dieciminuti Film Festival in Italy.

Qochaq competed with other movies from France, the UK, Finland, Bahrain, US, Italy and Norway, Mehr News Agency reported.

The flick narrates the story of a married woman ready to leave the flat for a friend’s marriage ceremony in the midst of 1979 uprisings, but gets stuck on her way out of the building with a runaway rebel.

The flick was previously screened at Germany’s Exground Film Festival as well as the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival. It won the 3rd prize at the 16th International Izmir Short Film Festival, Turkey.

Established in 2005, Dieciminuti Film Festival has become one of the most important events in Italy dedicated to screening short films. More than 4,000 short films with a total of almost 9,000 spectators attended the festival last year. The event is held in various competitive sections: Official Section (for short films up to 10 minutes), Extra Large (for short films between 11 and 15 minutes), Animations (for up to 10 minutes), Seen from Near (for short films from the province of Frosinone).

The 11th edition of Dieciminuti Film Festival was held on January 26-30 in Italy.

Born in 1980, Azadeh Qochaq graduated in film from Sooreh University. Ever since she has been actively involved in the Iranian film industry in many different fields such as a script supervisor, director, editor, first assistant director, production manager. Sormeh is Azadeh’s latest film, which have been selected in the lineup of many international film festivals throughout the world.

*Iranian children bag gold medals in India

Iranian children and adolescents received 4 Gold Medals and 13 Honorary Diplomas at the Young Envoys International Painting Contest in India.

The Iranian children won in the competition, held on free topics, and their works were chosen from some 3800 paintings submitted by 13 countries.

The Iranian winners were Mehdi Arbabi, 12 years old, Reza Mahrouei, 11 years old, Hana Karami, 13 years old, Paria Monsefi, 9 years old, Kiarash Babaei, 7 years old, Melika Shafiee, 12 years old, Fatima Molaei, 12 years old, Hadis Nouri, 9 years old, Masoud Amini, 10 years old, Nazanin Kashef, 8 years old, Shahrzad Amin Zadeh , 7 years old, Abtin Nouri, 8 years old, Sahar Naghshi, 10 years old, Kiana Salek, 4 years old, Ali Kameli, 14 years old, Parmida Faraji, 14 years old as well as Melika Rabiee, 16 years old.

Some of the paintings were sent by Iran's Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) which received an Honorary Diploma for its active participation and encouraging children.

*'Blue Eye' wins award at La Mirada Tabú fest

The short film 'Blue Eye' has won its 13th awards at Spain’s La Mirada Tabu Festival.

Blue Eye narrates the story of a boy who sees world in blue color and whose family is worried about him and consider it as disorder; so they use myths and superstitions to treat him. Finally, treatments turn blue to black and the boy sees everything in black.

Generally, the film makes criticism of shallow beliefs in everyday life.

Two short films receive awards from the festival, The Fish , directed by Saman Hosseinpour and Blue Eye, directed by Amir Masoud Soheili, produced by Youth Cinema Association in Mashhad.

La Mirada Tabu festival was held on December 17th to 20th. The Fish received special reward of juries, and Blue Eye wins audience reward. France, Spain and Japan received other awards.

*Iranian painter awarded France’s highest honor

Prominent Iranian painter Aydin Aghdashloo was honored with France’s Chevalier of the Legion of Honor during a ceremony held by the French embassy in Tehran.

The medal, which is the highest decoration awarded by the French government, was signed by French Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin.

The decoration was presented to Aghdashloo by French Ambassador to Tehran Bruno Foucher at his residence.

The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 May 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer), and Grand Croix (Grand Cross).

Aghdashloo, born in Rasht in 1940,  is an Iranian painter, author, art critic, art historian and graphic designer.

Besides painting, Aghdashloo is an expert in Iranian pre-Islamic and Islamic art history and artifacts. He assesses items for auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Aghdashloo has published eight books; three articles collections, two paintings collections and two researches in Iranian art history.

He has been teaching art and art history in a number of universities in Iran since 1981.

*'I Dance With God' wins top Canadian award

Iranian film 'I Dance with God', directed by Houshang Mirzaee, won the award for Best Documentary Over 30 Minutes at Calgary International Film Festival in Canada.

The flick depicts the life of an old blind man, Kak-Ali Badri, from Paveh, Kermanshah Province. He is a tailor who goes about his job despite physical disability. He has also managed to save up enough to buy a beautiful garden in which he plants fruit trees. The man has a lively spirit full of passion for life, Mehr News Agency reported.

The flick had earlier attended several festivals and won the Best Documentary award at the 9th Jahorina Film Festival in Pale, Bosnia-Herzegovina which was held in August as well as the Special Audience Prize at the MiradasDoc International Documentary Film Festival in Spain.

Calgary International Film Festival was founded in 2001 in Canada. The event screens films in five categories of Fiction, Documentary, Animation, Education and Performance on the theme of disability or works created by disabled people.

*Actress Motamed-Aria receives special award at Dhaka IFF

Multi-award winning Iranian actress, Fatemeh Motamed-Aria won the Best Actress Award for her role in Azerbaijan's film 'Nabat' at the 14th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF).

The Dhaka award was Motamed-Aria's fourth international honor for the Azerbaijani production, IRNA reported.

She had earlier bagged the Best Actress Award at the 4th LET'S CEE Film Festival which focused on productions from Central and Eastern Europe.

The Iranian actress had also won the same title at Kazakhstan's Eurasia Film Festival as well as Turkey's International Bosphorus Film Festival.

In addition to the four international awards for 'Nabat', Motamed-Aria also claimed the best actress title at the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) for her role in 'Avalanche', directed by Morteza Farshbaf. She thus grabbed a total of five international awards over two months which is a record among Iranian stars.

Directed by Elchin Musaoglu, 'Nabat' describes the fate of a poor peasant woman against the background of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the beginning of the 1990s; but at the same time it is a universal parable on all mothers during the time of war and on women mourning their sons' death, women who lovingly care for their husbands in need and who have to struggle with their own loneliness themselves.

DIFF was held in Dhaka from January 14-22, and the general theme of the festival was 'Better Film, Better Audience, Better Society'.

*Iranian decorated with Japanese insignia

Iranian painter and scholar Parivash Ganji received the Japanese insignia 'The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon' (Kyokujitsu Chujyusho) on November 3.

The Japanese government conferred the orders on 89 foreign nationals.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established by Emperor Meiji of Japan in 1875. It was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture and contributing to the preservation of the environment.

The Order is awarded in the name of the Emperor to both Japanese and non-Japanese nationals.

As a researcher from the Japan Foundation, Ganji studied the significant influence of Sassanid design through the Silk Road on Kimono (the traditional Japanese garment) and Obi (the traditional Japanese sash) in the city of Kyoto in 1995.

The impacts of Japanese culture such as Sumie (Japanese ink wash painting) and Shoji (indoor use of paper and wood dividers) are evident in her works.

Ganji has been teaching art courses in Iranian universities, namely Al-Zahra, during which she lectured on Japanese sense of culture including Shoji and Sumie in an excellent way as noted by her students.

The Iranian artist also played a significant role in the success of Japanese and Iranian Contemporary Craft Exhibitions in Japan in 2004 and 2006.

Japan Embassy in Tehran hoped to see Ganji even more active in future, in different fields, particularly the expansion of the artistic ties between Japan and Iran.

*Story of a Rainy Night wins San Pedro Filmfest

The acclaimed Iranian short film The Story of A Rainy Night by Mehdi Fard Ghaderi won the jury’s nod at San Pedro International Film Festival.    

The Story of A Rainy Night (2014) directed by Mehdi Fard Ghaderi won the Best Short Film category of San Pedro International Film Festival held in American city of Los Angeles.

Produced by Youth Cinema Association, Story of a Rainy Night narrates the story of an old man's birthday that is affected by the arrival of his family.

Fard-Qaderi has so far directed a number of short films including Shadow of Fog, Life of sun, Gramophone and Reverse Circles. His films have so far featured in over 45 international and national festivals and won 15 awards.

The 24-minute film Story of a Rainy Night has so far attended various international film festivals. In its latest presence, it won the best short film award in the US Hollywood Festival of New Cinema and Ohio's Colony Film Festival.

Earlier in March, the movie also won the best short film award of the 9th Annual Colony Film Festival in Marietta, Ohio.

*Iranian photographer wins at Arbella festival

Iranian photographer Afshin Azarban received the first award at Arbella First International Photograph Competition for his photo 'Offering Broth'.

Azarban received a prize of $1,000 at the festival, IRNA reported.

Amirhossein Kamali, Seyyed Ali Miremadi and Mehdi Khadem-ul-Qorani were also selected among the top photographers at the event.

The festival was held in three sections: 'Sharing Your Food', 'Mother and Child Love' and 'Free'.

The event aimed to create a platform to bring together photographers from Turkey and around the world.

*'Fish & Cat' tops Chicago Reader's 2015 list

A 2013 Iranian film 'Fish & Cat' was screened in the US in 2015 and Chicago Reader's critic Sachs puts it at the top of his 2015 favorite film.

Ben Sachs, the film critic for leading American weekly paper 'The Chicago Reader', named Shahram Mokri's 'Fish & Cat' the best film screened in the US in 2015, Mehr News Agency reported.

The critic hoped "an American DVD release is forthcoming; this is a film that can be revisited endlessly".

Sachs put the Iranian film atop his list ahead of works by Paul Thomas Anderson, Mia Hansen-Løve, Michael Mann, Aleksei German, George Miller, Jean-Luc Godard, Johnnie To, and Sebastián Silva.

Though Mokri's suspenseful slasher-like-photographed film was a work of 2013, the film was screened at Gene Siskel Film Center in February 2015 for the first time in the US.

The acclaimed work has bagged many international awards including two top awards at the 28th Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland. The movie won the Special Orizzonti Award for Innovative Content at the 70th edition of Venice International Film Festival.
The film also won the Best Film Award and the Best Critics Award at the 2014 Istanbul !f !nspired International Film Competition.

*'About Elly' gets best critics' review

'About Elly', an Iranian psychological thriller from Oscar-winner director Asghar Farhadi, is among the top 10on the film critics' list, selected from the best of 2015 screenings in the US.

Annually Metacritic website aggregates reviews of movies and collects the top ten list published by major film critics and publications, IRNA wrote. This year, their running tally of the films most frequently mentioned by individual critics, includes Farhadi's 'About Elly', which although produced in 2009 in Iran, was screened for 160 days, from April till October, in the US, CHN reported.

The film is mentioned in 10 critics' lists, in different rankings. Sheila O'Malley from rogerebert.com put it on the top of his list. It is ranked second in the Associated Press critic Jake Coyle's list.

Two more critics at rogerebert.com, Steven Boone and Steven Erickson put it on the fifth and sixth, respectively. Jason Bailey from Film School Rejects blog and Cary Darling of Fort Worth Star Telegramý, US daily newspaper, both placed it on the seventh rank in their lists.

Mark Dujsik of rogerebert.com and Michael Atkinson from Village Voice weekly newspaper gave it a ninth ranking and Mike D'Angelo from A.V. Club website put it at the end of his list. "If you have been electrified by Farhadi's 'A Separation' (2011) — which won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film — and 'The Past' (2013), you are well aware of the filmmaker's formidable skill with pure narrative torque. His film­making is both sophisticated and crystal-clear. However, it's his scripts, the inexorable tension of his carefully constructed stories, that do the heaviest lifting,” wrote Atkinson about Farhadi.

The two-hour movie, shown at 16 theaters in the US, grossed over $470,000. It is about a group of upper middle class, grown-up college friends who go for a weekend to the Caspian Sea coast. But everything goes wrong when one of them goes missing. As the film unravels more secrets are revealed.

David Bordwell, American film theorist and film historian, said of the film, "A masterpiece. The less you know in advance, the better." Said director Farhadi, "If you give an answer to your viewer, your film will simply finish in the movie theatre. But when you pose questions, your film actually begins after people watch it. In fact, your film will continue inside the viewer."

It was Farhadi's start to global fame. The movie brought him the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 59th International Berlin Film Festival. Its cast includes Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hoseini, Merila Zare"i, Peyman Moaadi, and Mani Haqiqi.

Since its global debut screening in 2009, the film has collected positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes website reports a 98 percent approval rating. Internet Movie Database (IMDB) shows an average rating of 8.1/10 and according to Metacritic, the film holds a score of 87 out of 100.

*Australian award for 'Oblivion Season'

Iranian film 'Oblivion Season', produced and directed by Abbas Rafei, bagged two awards at the Phoenix Film Festival Melbourne 2015.

The flick received the festival's awards of 'Feature' (budget under $250,000) and 'Best Human Rights'.

Following its highly successful presence in a number of prestigious international film festivals, Rafei's production won the best film award at Italy's 16th Asiatica Film Mediale, held from November 20 to 28.

'Oblivion Season' has also won the awards for best film and best actress at the Universal Film Festival in Kansas City, Missouri, the US.

It has received several awards at international events including the Best Feature Narrative Award at Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF) in the US, the Third Annual Rahway International Film Festival in New Jersey, the US, Hudson Festival in New York, the US, the 39th Montreal World Film Festival in Canada, Afghanistan International Women Film Festival as well as Brasov International Film Festival in Romania.

The film narrates the story of a struggling but strong-spirited woman who, against all prejudices, tries to assert herself against working women and also against the hostility and contempt of her husband's family.

*Iranian orchestra conductor comes under Italian spotlight

Italy’s Florence Symphony Orchestra performed Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ conducted by Iranian artist Masih Tahvildari.

The performance was held on Dec. 6 in Florence and works of Schubert, Mozart and Paganini were staged. The young Iranian musician’s conducting was indeed well received by the audience and local media, Mehr News Agency reported. 

Tahvildari was invited by Florence Music Association and Grazia Rossi, one of the most famous Italian conductors. The performance is supposed to officially be released in Italy soon.

The Iranian conductor is also composer and tar player, working with Iranian and foreign artists.

The Florence Symphony Orchestra was born in the spring of 1949 to give local musicians an opportunity to make music together for their own and public pleasure.

With six concerts a season and components such as the Florence Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Florence Symphony Guild, the Florence Symphony Orchestra enriches the cultural quality of the city and the surrounding areas, according to its website.

*Iranian cartoonists crowned best at Belgian contest

Iranian artists Mehdi Azizi and Saeid Noruzi has won top prizes in different categories of the 27th Olense Kartoenale Cartoon Contest, which was held in the Belgium municipality of Olen in November.

Azizi won first prize in the adult section while Noruzi won first prize in the youth category.

In the adult section, Stefaan Provijn from Belgium received the second prize, and Makhmudjon Eshonkulov from Uzbekistan and Izabela Kowalska Wieczorek from Poland won the third and forth prizes.

The second prize in the youth category went to Zahra Moqaddam from Iran, and Imke Ergo from Belgium and Ren Bing Hao from China was presented with the third and forth prizes in this section.

Over 300 competitors from 54 different countries vied for awards at the event that was held with the theme of “Energy, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. Winners were announced on November 13. 

Source: CHN.irReal Iran, Press TV, ISNA, Iran Daily, Mehr News, IRNA

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