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Awards for Iranian Filmmakers

Monday, May 24, 2010

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*Iranian director Esmaeil Monsef has received the Best Short Film award of the 58th edition of Italy's Trento Film Festival for his Oyan.

The 19-minute film, which received the Silver Gentian award of the event, depicts the daily life of a young postman who takes letters from across the border to a village in western Iran.

Shot in the isolated mountains of Iran, Oyan artistically revisits the story of a mysterious girl waiting for letters from her husband, who is a prisoner on the other side of the barbed wire that marks the border.

The film takes audiences to a mysterious phase when the postman finds out that the sender is not the girl's husband.

Monsef has produced more than 30 short films and documentaries and Oyan is his first experience as a director.

The festival's panel of jury consisted of Tue Steen Muller (Denmark), Elio Orlandi and Maurizio Zaccaro (Italy), Siba Shakib (Iran) and Sylviane Neuenschwander (Switzerland).

The Trento Film Festival ran from April 29 to May 9, 2010.

*Iranian artist Masoud Shojaei-Tabatabaei has been selected to serve on the jury of Turkey's 5th edition of Don Quixote Cartoon Contest.

Shojaei-Tabatabaei will join Nezih Danyal, Suat Yalaz, Eray Ozbek, Behic Ak, Piyale Madra, Sevket Yalaz, Erdogan Karayel, Valeriu Curtu and Ares.

Artists from around the globe take part in the contest, which will be held in August on the theme of 'Europe-Asia Bridge: Istanbul.'

Born in 1964, Shojaei-Tabatabaei is the current director of Iran's House of Cartoon and a member of the Asian-Pacific Animation and Comics Association.

He has judged at many events and received numerous national and international awards including the Special Award of China's 2005 Peace Cup International Cartoon and the first prize of Syria Cartoon contest in 2006.

*The Iranian film “The Hunter” wins the top award at the 16th International Environmental Film Festival Envirofilm 2010 running from May 10 to 15 in several cities of Slovakia.

Directed by Jafar Nurmohammadi, the short film features the story of a 12 year-old rural boy who has a special talent for mimicking birds’ songs. Local hunters scheme to exploit the boy’s talent for hunting partridges, but the village teacher unmasks their ulterior intentions.

The award presentation ceremony took place at Zvolen Castle with several Iranian and Slovakian officials in attendance. The mayor of Banská Štiavnica handed the award to the Iranian ambassador to Slovakia, Mr. Amiri (first name not given), who accepted it on behalf of the director.

The short film was also screened for the participants.

“Shimbar” by Hojjatollah Qasemi and “Battle of Clouds” were the other Iranian entries to the festival. All three Iranian productions will go on air on the national TV of Slovakia.

Envirofilm is an international festival of films, TV programs and videos with the theme of protecting nature and the environment. Its objective is to present and promote films and TV programs which focus on nature and environmental protection.

*Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy has won Juliette Binoche the best actress prize of the 63rd edition of Cannes Film Festival.

The hypnotic Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives has won the festival's top honors.

According to New York Times, the Grand Prix, effectively second place, went to Xavier Beauvois's Of Gods and Men a quiet, touching French drama, loosely based on actual events in Algeria in the 1990s. The Jury Prize went to A Screaming Man a film set against civil war directed by the Chadian-born director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.

The prize for best director went to the French actor Mathieu Amalric. He won the award for Tournée (On Tour), about a promoter taking an American neo-burlesque troupe around France.

Best screenplay went to the South Korean Lee Chang-dong for Poetry a beautifully directed, emotionally wrenching drama about a grandmother who discovers that her only grandson has been involved in a horrific crime.

The award for best male performance was shared by Javier Bardem and Elio Germano. Germano's surprising win was for his performance as a besieged construction worker in Daniele Luchetti's Our Life an Italian film without much critical support. Bardem won the award for his deeply felt turn in Alejandro Inarritu's Biutiful.

On Saturday, the Certain Regard prize went to Ha Ha Ha, a wistful, intricately structured comedy from the South Korean director Hong Sang-soo.

Rounding out the awards the Caméra d'Or, the prize for first feature, was awarded to Ano Bisiesto by Michael Rowe. The Palme d'Or for best short film was awarded to Chienne d'Histoire (Barking Island), directed by Serge Avédikian.

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