2 Iranian films invited to Melbourne Film Festival

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Two Iranian films are invited to 2020 Melbourne International Film Festival, which has moved online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The virtual festival, titled MIFF 68 ½, will run from August 6-23 and marks the first time Australia’s biggest film festival will not take place since its launch in 1952. The selection comprises 74 features and 44 shorts from 56 countries.

Iranian film “Just 6.5” directed by Saeed Roustaee and Iranian documentary “Sunless Shadows” directed by Mehrdad Oskouei are selected as the representatives of Iran’s cinema at the festival.

“Just 6.5” has already attended a number of international festivals around the world and won several international awards including the Best Director and the Best Actor awards from Tokyo International Film Festival. “Sunless Shadows” has also participated in several festivals and already won awards such as the best director award at International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam and honorable mention at Big Sky film festival in the US.



Ancient artefacts belonging to Iran have been handed over to the Iranian representative in Austria via legal formalities. The antique objects had been illegally taken out of Iran by profiteers and smuggled into Austria.

The antiquities were delivered to the Iranian representative in Austria on July 9, 2020 under a judicial cooperation agreement between the two countries with the cooperation of Iran and Austria’s Interpol offices.

Present at the ceremony were top Vienna police officials as well as the Iranian representative, who expressed gratitude to Austria’s police and prosecutor’s office for their cooperation in discovering and returning the antique items.

He said the cooperation was a sign of deep-rooted historical and cultural relations between the two countries, calling for expansion of those ties, according to IFP. The artifacts will be returned to Iran as soon as possible.


The Center for Science and Technology Studies Leiden Ranking has placed 36 Iranian universities in the list of over 1,000 major universities worldwide in 2020 compared with 26 universities in 2019.

The ranking is prepared based on the indicators of scientific impact and collaboration.

The rankings are compiled by the CWTS (Dutch: Centrum voor Wetenschap en Technologische Studies, CWTS) at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020 offers a sophisticated set of bibliometric indicators that provide statistics at the level of universities on scientific impact, collaboration, open access publishing, and gender diversity.

Leiden Ranking system, unlike other ranking systems in the world, does not calculate single rankings for universities in its system, but universities are ranked in all criteria and indicators in the Leiden system, Mohammad Javad Dehghani, head of the Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC), said.

With the presence of 36 universities in this ranking system, Iran, as in previous years, ranks first among Islamic countries in terms of the number of top universities. Turkey and Egypt are ranked second and third with 30 and 7 universities, respectively, he explained.

In 2020, Tehran University, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares, Sharif University of Technology, Iran Science and Technology, Isfahan University of Technology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Science and Research Branch, Tabriz Medical Sciences, Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology, Mashhad Medical Sciences, Shiraz Medical Sciences, Iran Medical Sciences, Shahid Bahonar, Babol Noshirvani University of Technology, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Sahand University of Technology, are among Leiden rankings.

In terms of scientific impact, almost all universities in the country (except 5) have performed better in terms of rankings compared to last year, and the University of Tehran, which is the first university in the country, has risen from 156 in 2019 to 140 in 2020.

In terms of collaboration, in general, there is no significant improvement in the ranking of the country's universities. However, the best ranking of the country has increased from 212 to 201 by the University of Tehran.

In terms of open access publishing, the ranking of the country's universities has not changed much, the best ranking in the country has been obtained by the University of Tehran, which has been upgraded from 212 in 2019 to 201 in 2020.

In gender diversity, also there are no significant changes, however, the best rank in the country has been upgraded from 186 to 156 by Tehran University of Medical Sciences.



Two Iranian animation films “Crab” directed by Shiva Sadegh Asadi and “Am I a Wolf?” directed by Amir Houshang Moein will vie at the competition section of the 2020 Hiroshima International Animation Festival in Japan.

At the competition section of the 18th edition of the festival, 59 works from different countries were selected. These 59 works are the representatives of the 2,339 entries in total that will vie at four competition programs.

The 18th edition of the Oscar-qualifying festival will take place August 20-24 at JMS Aster Plaza. Established by Mr. Renzo Kinoshita and Ms. Sayoko Kinoshita, the celebrated event gathers the international community together every two years under the perennial slogan of “Love and Peace.”



Iranian director Mohammadreza Aslani’s drama “The Chess Game of the Wind” will be screened in the Cannes Classics as the Cannes Film Festival Cannes announced on Wednesday the lineup for the program, which showcases restored classic films and documentaries.

Starring Mohammad-Ali Keshavarz and Shohreh Aghdashlu, the film was directed in 1976. It is about the decadence of a family in the Qajar dynasty of Iran. The first lady of a noble house has died and now there is a conflict between the heirs for taking over her heritage.

“The Chess Game of the Wind” has been restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata and the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.

Twenty-five feature films and seven documentaries in this category as the 2020 Cannes Film Festival was not held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cannes Classics will be organized by the Lumiere Festival in Lyon, France, from October 10 to 18 and the Rencontres Cinematographiques of Cannes from November 23 to 26.

“Charlie Chaplin, the Genius of Liberty” by Francois Ayme and Yves Jeuland, “Be Water” by Bao Nguyen and “Belushi” by R.J. Cutler are among the documentary films selected to be screened in the section.

The feature films also include “In the Mood for Love” by Wong Kar-wai, “Breathless” by Jean-Luc Godard, “L’Aventura” by Michelangelo Antonioni, “Friendship’s Death” by Peter Wollen and “The Story of a Three-Day Pass” by Melvin Van Peebles.

“Soul, the French Dispatch” by Wes Anderson and “Lovers Rock” and “Mangrove” by Steve McQueen were also selected for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival.


Iran national football team remained 33rd in world and second in Asia in the latest FIFA ranking released on Thursday.  Japan as the best Asian team sit 28th in the world.

Although club football has slowly restarted in various leagues around the world, the spread of COVID-19 remains an obstacle to the staging of international matches.

This has again affected the latest FIFA World Ranking, which remains unchanged. Belgium remain top followed by France and Brazil, while England and Uruguay are 4th and 5th, respectively.

Lurking behind them in descending order are Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, and Colombia.