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Awards for Iranians’ Cultural Successes: Iranian Directors in Cannes Festival

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Farhadi wins Ecumenical Jury award

Academy Award-winning director Asghar Farhadi’s new smash hit drama The Past has won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival.

The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (prix du Jury œcuménique) was conferred on Farhadi for his film’s moral values, according to the statement of the jury.

Established in 1974, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury is an independent film award for feature films at the Cannes Film Festival that was created by Christian film makers, film critics and other film professionals.

The award is dedicated to "honor works of artistic quality which witnesses to the power of film to reveal the mysterious depths of human beings through what concerns them, their hurts and failings as well as their hopes."

Farhadi’s Paris-set tale film The Past has taken part in the Competition section of the 66th Cannes Film Festival to contend for this year’s Palm D'Or.

The movie has received warm critical acclaim by both French movie goers during its short public screening in the country’s movie theaters (since last week) and those ones who followed the film in its premier at Cannes film festival.

Farhadi’s immigrant romantic drama depicts the story of an Iranian man who deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. When he comes back to Paris upon his wife's request for a divorce encounters with a complicated situation of the family there.

The Artist’s Argentine-French actress Bérénice Bejo who replaced former candidate Marion Cotillard along with the French actor of Algerian origin, Tahar Rahim and the acclaimed Iranian actor Ali Mosaffa star in the movie.

The Past is Farhadi’s sixth directorial experience and first one in a foreign country that was shot in the French capital, Paris.

After screening in Cannes film festival, the movie has been invited to be showcased during a particular program at the 2013 Sidney International Film festival in Australia.

The Past, which shares some similarities with Farhadi’s Oscar-winning picture A Separation, is currently being prepared for presenting with Persian subtitle to hit the Iranian movie theaters in next two weeks.

*Asghar Farhadi’s film actress wins at 2013 Cannes Filmfest

Argentine-French actress Berenice Bejo has been awarded top prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for her turn in Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's drama The Past.

Bejo, 36, received the Best Actress award at the 66th edition of Cannes film festival during a ceremony held on Sunday, May 26, 2013.

This year’s competition jury announced the festival's most prestigious award Palme d'Or to the French movie Blue Is the Warmest Color directed by Abdellatif Kechiche.

The 2013 Cannes Grand Prize also went to the American drama film Inside Llewyn Davis directed by Ethan and Joel Coen.

Academy Award-winning director Asghar Farhadi’s Paris-set tale drama The Past (Le Passé) was nominated for the Palme d'Or at this year’s Cannes festival.

The movie was also named winner of the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival.

The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (prix du Jury œcuménique) was conferred on Farhadi for his film’s moral values, according to the statement of the jury.

The movie has received warm critical acclaim by both French movie goers during its short public screening in the country’s movie theaters (since last week) and those ones who followed the film in its premier at Cannes film festival.

Farhadi’s immigrant romantic drama depicts the story of an Iranian man who deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. When he comes back to Paris upon his wife's request for a divorce encounters with a complicated situation of the family there.

French actor of Algerian origin, Tahar Rahim and the acclaimed Iranian director and actor Ali Mosaffa also star in the movie.

The Past is Farhadi’s sixth directorial experience and first one in a foreign country that was shot in the French capital, Paris.

Asghar Farhadi’s 2012 drama A Separation scooped the Best Foreign Film Award at the 84th edition of Academy Awards.

The 66th Cannes International Film Festival that kicked off on May 15 wrapped up during a closing ceremony held on May 26, 2013.

*Iranian film student tops Cannes Cinéfondation Award

Iranian-based woman director Anahita Qazvinizadeh has been garnered as the top winner of this year’s Cannes Cinéfondation Award for her short production.

Qazvinizadeh who is currently student at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago (SAIC) received the prize for her film dubbed The Needle.

The 21-minute movie is about a 6th-grade girl caught in a tug of war between divorced parents.

Qazvinizadeh studied Bachelor of Arts at the Tehran University then left the country to continue her education for MFA in studio arts, in Chicago.

Created in 1998 and devoted to the search for new talent, the Cinéfondation selects fifteen to twenty short and medium-length works each year from film schools across the world.

Cinefondation short film competition is held as one of many sidebars in the world’s premier celebration of cinema.

Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s latest film The Past (Le Passé) was also presented at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival.

The movie took part in the Competition section of the event to contend for this year’s Palm D'Or.

Paris-set tale screen production, The Past, which shares some similarities with Farhadi’s Oscar-winning picture A Separation, was warmly welcomed by many critics who followed the film.

Named among the top 100 most anticipated films of 2013, the movie started its public screening at the French movie theaters during recent days.

The 66th Cannes International Film Festival that kicked off on May 15 will run until May 26, 2013.

*Iran graphic designer wins at German WorldSkills logo contest

Iranian graphic designer Iraj Asadi has been selected as the winner of Best Designed Logo of the 42nd WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, Germany.

Asadi’s winning logo was used on the website of the competition. It is also slated to be considered as main symbol of all correspondence and programs of the 42nd WorldSkills Competition.

Over its 60 years history, WorldSkills International (formerly known as the Skill Olympics) has come to symbolize the pinnacle of excellence in vocational training.

The participants represent the best of their peers drawn from regional and national skill competitions at the fair.

Some 1000 competitors along with 2000 experts from about 61 countries are programmed to take part in this year’s event.

The 42nd WorldSkills International Competition will be held in Leipzig, Germany at the Leipzig Fair Exhibition Centre from July 2 to 7, 2013.

*Goethe Institute honors Iranian translator for his contributions to German literature

The Iranian author and translator Mahmud Hosseinizad was selected by the Goethe Institute as one of the three winners of this year’s Goethe Medal for his outstanding contributions to German literature in Iran.

The Goethe Institute annually honors three non-Germans with Goethe Medals for meritorious contributions in the spirit of the institute.

The institute’s website described Hosseinizad as “one of the most important translators of contemporary German literature into Persian.”

Since 2000, Hosseinizad translated several books by German authors such as Judith Hermann, lngo Schulze, Uwe Timm, Peter Stamm and Julia Franck into Persian.

The Indian publisher Naveen Kishore and the Greek writer Petros Markaris are the two other winners of medal this year.

The prize will be presented to the winners during a ceremony on August 28, the birth anniversary of Goethe.

The Goethe Institute is a non-profit German cultural association operating worldwide to promote the study of the German language abroad, and encourage international cultural exchange and relations.

*Iranian director Khosro Masumi on Shanghai festival jury

Iranian director Khosro Masumi has been selected to join the jury of the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival, which will be held from June 15 to 23.

British filmmaker Tom Hooper will preside over the jury, which also includes French critic Michel Ciment, German director Chris Kraus, Czech director Jiri Menzel, Chinese director Ning Hao and Chinese actress Yu Nun.

Masumi’s family drama “Bear” won a Golden Goblet Award for best film at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival in 2012.

His “Tradition of Lover Killing” had been crowned the best film at the festival in 2006.

Masumi won the best director award of the 12th Pyongyang International Film Festival for “Wind Blows in the Meadow” in September 2010.

“Somewhere Too Far” brought him the best director award at the 30th Cairo International Film Festival in 2006.

Masumi’s credits also include “The Assignation”, “Leaden Times” and “Feather for Flight”.

The Iranian drama “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer than They Appear” by Narges Abyar will compete at the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival.

*Iranian calligraphers sweep awards in Istanbul competition

Iranian calligraphers have received numerous awards at the 9th International Calligraphy Competition held in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Iranian artists participated in the Nastaliq section knocked other competitors out of the section and picked up all the awards of the category.

Habib Ramezanpour garnered the first award while the second prize went to Babak Hejazi, and the third was given to Ali Fakhari.

Three other calligraphers Mohammad Reza Rahimpour, Ali Kheiri, Mohammad Reza Pajand received honorable mentions of the section.

Nastaliq and Cursive Nastaliq are known as the most attractive Persian calligraphy styles, broadly used in copying Arabic words, romantic and epic Persian poetry and literary manuscripts.

Saber Safai was other Iranian representative who won the first award at the Kufic section of the contest.

The eminent Iranian calligrapher Jalil Rasouli was also among the jury members of this year’s competition.

Organized by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) in Istanbul, the competition takes place every three years.

The 9th International Calligraphy Competition was presented in ten main styles of calligraphy.

This year’s contest was held in honor of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turkish academic, diplomat and current Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

*Two Iranian films awarded top prizes at festival in Suva

Two Iranian screen productions have been honored at the Islands in the World Oceania International Film Festival (IWOIFF) in Suva located in the island country of Fiji.

Iranian filmmaker and actor Mehrshad Karkhani's feature length film National Alley and Marjan Alizadeh’s documentary Persian Catwalk received awards at the Competition section of the festival.

Karkhani’s movie picked up the Best Feature Film award of the event. The film tells the story of two young people who accidentally meet, and later embark on a journey to find a copy of an old film in movie theaters of Tehran.

Written by Arash Borhani and Karkhani himself, the movie has been screened at several Iranian and international film festivals so far.

Alizadeh’s Persian Catwalk also won the Best Director and Special Jury awards of the Island’s festival in the category of documentary productions.

The film also won Audience Award at the Vesoul Asian Film Festival in France.

Hosted by the University of the South Pacific, the Islands in the World Oceania International Film Festival was held from April 15 to 20, 2013.

*Iranian music ensemble shines at Tajik festival

An Iranian music ensemble has won the first award in the Shashmaqam Music Festival in the Tajik capital city of Dushanbe.

Iranian musicians put on an immaculate performance to outshine representatives from China, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan on Sunday, IRNA reported.

The Iranian ensemble included the vocalist Vadoud Moazzen, along with Mehran Ahmad Hazrati, Ahmad Sattari, Yusef Moharramian, and Mehran Farshbaf.

Later in the day, the ensemble also performed among Iranians living in Dushanbe with the participation of Iranian Ambassador to Tajikistan Ali Asqar Sherdoust.


The annual festival is held to commemorate Tajikistan’s National Shahsmaqam Day, on May 12.

Shashmaqam (six modes) is considered as Central Asian musical genre which is popular in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The music is described as a refined sort of music with lyrics derived from Sufi poems about divine love. It is set in one of the classical Persian musical modes, or melodic forms.

This year’s festival was held at the Sadriddin Aini State Opera and Ballet Theater in Dushanbeh.

*British Museum to discuss work by Iranian artist Zenderudi

A religious-themed artwork by the Iranian artist Charles Hossein Zenderudi will be discussed at the British Museum on May 12.

The artwork “Who Is This Hussein (AS) the World Is Crazy About?” is a large, linocut print on linen, which illustrates dramatic scenes from the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) in Karbala on Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram.

The British Museum acquired the artwork, which was completed in 1958 by the renowned modern artist Zenderudi, in 2011.

In the presence of Zenderudi himself, a series of presentations will consider the work in detail and discuss his oeuvre more widely.

The Farjam Curator of Islamic Art at the British Museum Ladan Akbarnia will introduce and situate the work within the context of the Iranian passion play traditions.

The specialist in contemporary art Marie Rivière Zenderudi will place it within the wider context of his oeuvre. Following this will be a panel discussion chaired by Venetia Porter.

Afterward, the museum will present Abbas Kiarostami’s installation “Looking at Tazieh” (The Spectators).

Tazieh or the Iranian passion play recounts religious events, historical and mythical stories and folk tales.

Independent curator and writer Vali Mahluji will introduce Kiarostami’s important installation during the event.

Kiarostami’s piece focuses on the gaze of the spectators watching a live Tazieh performance. The screening includes footage of the original passion play performance filmed by Kiarostami.

*Iran’s “Big Snowman” named book of the month at German academy

The German Academy for Children’s Literature has picked the Iranian book “The Big Snowman” as the Pictorial Book of the Month for May 2013.

Written by Ali Shojaei, the book is illustrated by Elaheh Taherian.

“The Big Snowman” is in Persian and German. Nazli Hodaii has translated the book into German and the Baobab Books has published it.

The book tells the story of a big snowman built by village children. However, the snowman, rather than being grateful to the villagers for creating him, he instead demands guards and ice cubes since he doesn’t want to melt, and this creates problems for the people.

“The multi-layered picture book addresses the issues of power and impotence, and explains them in a playful way for children,” the publisher of the book Baobab commented on the book on its website.

The book, originally entitled “What if the Snowman Won’t Melt?”, was released in Iran by Neyestan Publications.

The German Academy for Children’s Literature selects three books each month for children and young adults.

The children’s book “My herbarium” by Stefanie Zysk from Germany and the young adults’ book “Our life After the Rampage” by Marie-Louise Brown, Steffen Sailer, Annabell Schober et.al are the other selectees of the academy for May 2013.

*“Private Life of Mr. & Mrs. M.” wins awards at Canada festival

The Iranian family drama “The Private Life of Mr. & Mrs. M.” directed by Ruhollah Hejazi won two top awards at Canada’s 4th Iranian Film Festival, which was held in Toronto from April 26 to 28.

The film was selected as the best film of the festival and Hejazi received the best director award at the event, Persian media outlets announced.

“The Private Life of Mr. & Mrs. M.” is about Mohsen, who is trying to move his business up to a higher level, but when his wife gets involved in the business, he finds it difficult to tolerate the underlying conflicts.

The best short film award went to “This Was My City” directed by Tina Pakravan.

Parviz Parastuii won the best actor award for his role in “I and Ziba”.

The best actress award went to Parivash Nazarieh for her role in “Waiting for Miracle”.

Fereidun Hassanpur won the best scriptwriter award for “I and Ziba”.

The best animation award went to “Fishers” directed by Nima Ghazanfari.

The festival also presented a lifetime achievement award to actress Gohar Kheirandish, who was also the head of the jury at this edition of festival.

*Iranian film ‘Queen’ wins at Cyprus Film Days

Iranian feature length movie The Queen directed by Mohammad Ali Bashe Ahangar has been honored at the 11th international Film Festival ‘Cyprus Film Days’.

The 104-minute movie picked up the Jury Special Award for Selected Students of the festival.

Bashe Ahangar received the prize shared with the Greek director Ektoras Lygizos for his movie Boy Eating the Bird's Food.

Produced by Iran’s Farabi Cinema Foundation, the movie has been screened in several international film events such as the 50th International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.

All participated films in the Cyprus festival were screened in their original language, and subtitled both in Greek and English.

Established in 2004, Cyprus International Film Festival Cyprus Film Days is an annual event that takes place by the University of Nicosia in cooperation with the Friends of Cinema Society.

This year’s edition of the festival was held from April 19 to 28, 2013.

*Ehsaii’s artworks shine at Sotheby’s in Doha

Works by prominent calligrapher and painter Mohammad Ehsaii shined at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art auction in Doha held on April 22, 2013.

His work “Love”, an acrylic and silver leaf on canvas in six parts that was among the first top lots, sold for U.S.$437,000, and his “Allah”, an oil on canvas in twelve parts, earned U.S.$197,000 dollars in the auction.

Works by several more Iranian artists including Farhad Moshiri, Nasrollah Afjeii, Jamshid Bayrami and Rokni Haerizadeh were also among the surprises of the sale, Sotheby’s has reported on its website.

The top lot was Donald Judd’s Untitled (Bernstein 90-01), which sold for just over US$3.5 million. Other works included Julie Mehretu’s “Rising Down”, which sold for US$3 million, and “Icons of the Nile” by Chant Avedissian, which set a record for the artist at US$1.56 million.

However, the sale at Sotheby’s achieved a total of US$15,199,750, the highest price ever for an auction of contemporary art in the Middle East.

Robin Woodhead, chairman of Sotheby’s International believes that Sotheby’s ability to attract bidding from collectors from 15 countries across four continents in this auction affirmed the growing importance of the region in the international art world.

Mohammad Ehsaii (born 1939) is undoubtedly one of the most prolific and talented calligraphers of the modern era. While his paintings display a level of technical proficiency on par with the old masters of the kufic, naskh and nastaliq traditions, his depictions are stripped of the superfluous adornments of their older counterparts, giving them a boldness, purity and immediacy which affirms the relevance of calligraphy in a modern context.

A true master of his craft, Ehsaii’s bold, stunning calligraphy is the modern standard-bearer of an artistic tradition spanning one thousand years.

*Austrian festival to present traditional Iranian music

Iran’s renowned Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor and the eminent vocalist Ali Reza Qorbani are to perform traditional music program at the Austrian festival.

They are slated to give a concert at the International Festival 4020 in Linz, Austria on April 27, 2013.

Santur maestro Ali Bahrami Fard and percussionist Ali Reza Mollahosseini will accompany Kalhor in this traditional ensemble.

Several other Iranian music groups have participated in this year’s festival that kicked off on April 24.

The traditional music team is planning to tour across the Europe beginning in Belgium in May.

Kalhor is known for his brilliant performances on the traditional instrument of Kamancheh and creating a unique mixture of classical Persian music with folk tunes of the Kurdistan region.

He has toured internationally and performed in several countries on numerous occasions. Two of his works were nominated for Grammy Awards in 2004.

Qorbani, who is a member of Iran's National Orchestra, has also participated in many successful concerts in different countries as well as festivals like the Sounds of Persia Festival in Toronto, Canada and the annual Festival de Saintes in France.

*Poster by Iranian designer published in Amber Lotus calendar

Amber Lotus, an American publisher of calendars, greetings cards and journals, has selected a poster by Iranian graphic designer Onish Aminollahi for its 2013 Posters for Peace & Justice wall calendar.

This is the second time a poster by Aminollahi has appeared on the calendar, first of which was published in 2011.

The calendar contains 12 posters by world graphic designers including Luba Lukova from the United States and Chaz Maviyane-Davies from Zimbabwe.

The Posters for Peace & Justice wall calendar is a survey of political protest poster art, a combination of graphics and messages, which are plastered on brick walls, stapled to power poles and silk-screened onto T-shirts, the publication website has announced.

Onish Aminollahi, born in 1972 in Tehran, holds an MA in graphic design and owns an advertising and graphic design studio.

*Moshiri’s painting achieves highest price in Christi’s Dubai

Eminent contemporary Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri’s seminal piece has been recognized as the highest value work in the 2013 Christie’s sale in Dubai.

The value of Moshiri’s painting Secret Garden has been estimated at USD 300,000 - 500,000 in the 2013 Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art in Dubai.

Secret Garden, as one of the artist’s self-portrait works, features a giant bear carrying the artist depicted as a sleeping child.

Moshiri’s 2009 created art is predicted to headline Christi’s Dubai auction as a work of art that achieved the highest price.

Christie's April auction has been programmed to highlight the works by around 90 artists, more than 20 of whom are represented in an international auction for the first time.

Leading modern and contemporary Middle Eastern and Turkish artists are also to represent their works at this year’s auction.

Works by Zenderoudi, Sepehri, Moshiri, Modarres, Guiragossian, Kayyali and Essaydi are some of the paintings that will lead the Christie’s sale.

Iranian artworks were warmly received at last year’s Christie’s two-day Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art where Moshiri’s Golden Goddess was sold for USD 98,000 respectively.

Christie’s Dubai sale of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art is slated to be held in Jumeirah Emirates Towers from April 16 to 17, 2013.

*Iranian film collects awards at Moscow festival

The Iranian film “The Interpretation of a Dream” directed by Reza Daduii won three awards at DetectiveFEST, the international film festival of detective films and television programs in Moscow.

The winners were announced during the closing ceremony of the event on Saturday.

Daduii won the special jury prize at the festival, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Sunday.

Shahab Hosseini won the best actor award and Hamid Ebrahimi received the best supporting actor award for their roles in the film.

The film is about a policeman who faces several problems in his family life. After the murder of his close colleague, he has adventures working on the murder case.

The Iranian TV series “The Wall” directed by Sirus Moqaddam and “Desert” by Mehdi Mohammadi and Ali Khazaei also competed in the festival, which was held  from April 17 to 21 in Moscow.

*Farhadi’s ‘The Past’ enters Palme d'Or nominee list

Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s latest drama The Past has entered the 2013 Cannes Palme d'Or nominee line up.

Farhadi’s recently produced film, The Past (Le Passé) which is his sixth directorial experience, is slated to compete with 18 other movies at the Main Competition section of the festival.

Farhadi’s immigrant romantic drama depicts the story of an Iranian man and his French wife as chronicles their family life.

The Artist’s Argentine-French actress Bérénice Bejo who replaced former candidate Marion Cotillard along with the French actor of Algerian origin, Tahar Rahim and the acclaimed Iranian actor Ali Mosaffa star in the movie.

The Past is Farhadi’s first filmmaking experience in a foreign country that was shot in the French capital, Paris.

Named among the top 100 most anticipated films of 2013, the movie is scheduled to hit French movie theaters from May.

Three other Iranian cinematic productions are also to represent the country in divergent sections of the 66th Cannes film festival.

More Than Two Hours directed by Ali Asgari will be screened in the short film section, while Needle by Anahita Qazvinizadeh and Duet by Navid Danesh will be presented in the Cinefondation section.

Australian film director and screenwriter Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby is programmed to open the 2013 Cannes Film Festival

Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Alexander Payne's Nebraska, Roman Polanski's Venus In Fur and Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave are among the movies that will be screened at the event.

American director and producer Steven Spielberg has been invited to head up the jury of this year’s festival.

The 66th Cannes International Film Festival is to be held from May 15 to 26, 2013.

*Iran’s “Low Economy” tops World Press Cartoon contest

“Low Economy” by Iranian artist Saeid Sedeqi has won first prize in the Gag Cartoon category at the World Press Cartoon contest in Portugal.

He received the award during a special ceremony at the Olga Cadaval Cultural Center in Sintra on April 12, the WPC website announced.

The work had previously been published in the Persian daily Jam-e-Jam.

In addition, another Iranian cartoonist, Firoozeh Mozaffari, received an honorable mention in this category for his “Child Kingdom”, which had been published in the Persian newspaper Etemad.

Second prize of this category went to “Who is…” by Robert Rousso from France and Peruvian cartoonist Raul Zuleta won third prize for “Free Warrior”.

Marilena Nardi from Italy, Ricardo Antunes from Brazil, Riber Hansson from Sweden, Francisco Punal from Cuba, and Antonio Antunes from Portugal were the members of the WPC jury.

They honored Greek cartoonist Michael Kountouris with the WPC Sintra 2013 Grand Prix for his “EU Rescue Team” in the Editorial Cartoon category.

Second prize of this category went to an untitled work by Radulovic Spiro from Serbia and Gregório de Holanda from Brazil won third prize for “USA Greatest Enemy”.

Winners of the Caricature category were also announced during the ceremony.

Pablo Lobato from Argentina won first prize for “Evo Morales” and Jarbas Domingos from Brazil received second prize for “Mandela”. The third prize went to “Messi” by Carbajo from Spain.

Works of the winners along with a selection of entries to the contest have been showcased in the Olga Cadaval Cultural Center in an exhibition, which runs until June 30.

The contest has been organized the Sintra Museum of Modern Art and the Olga Cadaval Cultural Center to honor cartoons published in newspapers or magazines.

*Iran’s Gharibpour to stage puppet show in Italy

Iranian playwright and stage director Behrouz Gharibpour is planning to perform his Hafez opera puppet show in the Italian city of Milan.

Accompanied by Aran troupe, Gharibpour will present the opera which is inspired by the life of Persian lyric poet Hafez Shirazi.

“Piccolo Teatro in Milan, which is one of Italy’s most prestigious theaters, has invited us to perform the play in the city,” Gharibpour said.

“I started writing Hafez puppet opera three years ago and tried to make it different from all my previous works,” he had earlier explained on the show.

The play is programmed to go on the Italian stage in May, though the host officials will announce the exact date of performance, Gharibpour noted.

Behrouz Gharibpour is considered one of the pioneers of traditional Persian puppet theatre, known for his extensive research on Qajar puppetry.

Gharibpour has staged his Qajar style puppet play with Aran Puppet Theater Group in numerous domestic and foreign festivals.

Macbeth, Mowlavi, Ashura and Rostam and Sohrab are among his better-known works.

*‘The Colonel’ nominated for Best Translated Book Award

The English version of the Iranian novel The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi has been nominated for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award (BTBA).

Dowlatabadi’s book entered the nomination final list of the American literary event BTBA held by the University of Rochester in the United States.

Released by Melville House Publication in the US, The Colonel was translated from Persian into English by Tom Patterdale.

The book chronicles life of a colonel who remembers the memories of his families and friends in his solitude.

Dowlatabadi’s fiction is slated to contend for award with the Nobel laureate Herta Muller’s creation and other works from eight different countries such as France, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil and Russia.

The Planets by Sergio Chejfec, translated from Spanish by Heather Cleary; Prehistoric Times by Eric Chevillard, translated from French by Alyson Waters; and Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin, translated from Russian by Marian Schwartz are among the finalists.

Born in 1940, Dowlatabadi is an Iranian writer and actor who is known as a realist writer of stories on rural life, in which he largely draws on his own experiences.

The result is scheduled to be announced on May 3, 2013, and the winner will garner a USD 5000 prize.

Established in 2007, the Best Translated Book Awards aims to bring attention to the finest original works of international fiction and poetry published in the United States.

*Insight Filmfest honors Iran short

Iranian filmmaker Babak Nabizadeh’s short production has garnered Moustapha Akkad Award at the 2013 edition of Insight Film Festival in the UK.

Nabizadeh’s film Empty Handed But Standing Strong (Dast E Khali Del E Por) beat other competitors and grabbed this year’s Moustapha Akkad Award at the festival.

The 14-minute film is the story of an old man who is a newcomer in a village, and the way he cherishes hope and faith in his life.

Nabizadeh's HD production has been screened in several international events such as Italy's Religion Today Film Festival in 2011.

Moustapha Akkad Award is presented in ‘The Radical Middle Way’ section of the festival to the film that best explores the Islamic faith or the Muslim experience, with a particular focus on contemporary or modern experience of living with or dealing with faith.

The award is given in honor of the visionary Syrian-born director and filmmaker Moustapha Akkad, whose films The Message, chronicling the life of the Prophet Muhammad, and The Lion of the Desert, on the story of Libyan resistance leader Omar Mukhtar, transformed the way in which cinema-going audiences around the world saw Islam and Muslim history.

The 4th edition of Insight Film Festival took place from March 15 to 17, 2013 in the city of Manchester, England.

*Italian filmgoers impressed by Iran’s “Facing Mirrors”

“Facing Mirrors”, an Iranian film on the transgender issue, received the audience favorite film award at the Film Middle East Now Festival in Italy.

The film received the award following a poll conducted by the organizers during the closing ceremony of the festival at the Odeon Cinehall in Florence on April 8, the Persian service of ILNA announced.

The film’s stars Shayesteh Irani and Ghazal Shakeri attended the ceremony and received the awarded from the festival’s officials and Italian Iranologist Felicetta Ferraro.

Directed by Negar Azarbaijani, the film is about Rana, a conservative young mother, who has been secretly driving a cab to support her family since her husband went to jail.

When she picks up Adineh, a young woman from a wealthy family who is fleeing an arranged marriage and the country for a transgender operation, it’s a clash of class and belief systems, but an unlikely alliance forms.

The Film Middle East Now is the only Italian festival dedicated to cinema, documentaries, art and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. It is organized by the no-profit cultural association Map of Creation.

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