Maestro Mohammadreza Shajarian Awarded Chevalier of the Legion of Honor

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Maestro Mohammadreza Shajarian awarded Chevalier of the Legion of Honor

Iranian vocalist Mohammadreza Shajarian received France’s Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

The medal, which is the highest decoration awarded by the French government, was presented to Shajarian by French Ambassador Bruno Foucher during a ceremony at his residence in Tehran, the Persian daily Sharq reported.

A large number of Iranian celebrities, including musicians Farhad Fakhreddini, Hossein Alizadeh, Mohammadreza Darvishi, and Anushirvan Rohani, attended the ceremony.

Director Asghar Farhadi, actress Leila Hatami, actors Peyman Moadi, Reza Kianian, and Ali Mosaffa, calligrapher Gholamhossein Amirkhani, painters Aidin Aghdashlu and Parviz Kalantari, writers Mahmud Dowlatabadi and Dariush Shayegan, and Shajarian’s sons Homayun and Rayan also attended the ceremony.

In an address at the event, Foucher gave a short biography of Shajarian and said, “The French government and the Ministry of Culture have the honor of presenting its highest cultural medal to him.”

Shajarian, 73, called himself “a servant of the Iranian nation” and said, “I’m glad to see that the friendly government and nation of France recognize Iran’s domestic cultural affairs and I’m also grateful to the French envoy for awarding this medal to me.”

After Shahram Nazeri, Shajarian is the second Iranian vocalist to receive the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Shahram Nazeri received the honor in September 2008.

Iranian Artists Forum Director Majid Sarsangi announced last week that Shajarian would receive the honor in Paris.

*Iranian cartoonists honored at Turkish contest

Four Iranian cartoonists have been honored at the 31st edition of Aydin Dogan Cartoon Competition in Turkey.

Iranian artist Mojtaba Heidarpanah has won the second prize while the first prize went to the Turkish cartoonist Kursat Zaman.

Three other Iranian cartoonists including Farzaneh Vaziritabar, Sajjad Rafei and Ali Reza Pakdel are among the 12 winners who received honorable mentions at the competition.

The Polish cartoonist Krzysztof Grzondziel was also named as the winner of the third prize of this year’s competition.

The winners were honored during an awarding ceremony in the Turkish capital city of Ankara on June 18, 2014.

Some 2556 works created by 814 cartoonists from 70 countries were submitted to this year’s competition.

Eminent Iranian cartoonist Dokhshid Ghodratipour was also among the members of the selection committee headed by the renowned American cartoonist and writer Liza Donnelly.

The selected works of the 15 finalists of the competition have been displayed during an exhibition kicked off on June 17 at the Milta Bodrum Marina Osmanli Tersanesi Kaymakamlik Art Gallery.

The Aydın Dogan International Cartoon Competition’s message is that “cartoons rely on tolerance and wisdom and form one of the building blocks of societies open to differences of opinion and beliefs.”

*‘I’m Not Angry’ wins awards at Shanghai film festival

Acclaimed Iranian film I’m Not Angry directed by Reza Dormishian has swept several awards at the 17th edition of Shanghai International Film Festival.

Dormishian’s social drama nabbed the Asian New Talent Award for Best Film and the Best Director Award was also dedicated to the film’s director.

Dormishian shared the Vincent Ward Prize with the Indian director Indranil Roychowdhury for his film Dragon Fly. The prize is sponsored by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

“I made this film with a love for Iran and the people of my country,” Dormishian states during his speech at the awarding ceremony held last night.

I’m Not Angry narrates the story of a university student, Navid, whose studies are disrupted due to his activities and beliefs.

A number of eminent Iranian theater stars play roles in Dormishian’s newly created drama.

The film took part in a number of international film festivals. It was also Iran’s only representative at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival.

Born in 1981, Dormishian started his career in cinema by writing as a film critic for several newspapers in 1997, and later as executive editor for cinema books and magazines.

His debut feature-length film Hatred was screened in many international festivals and received critical acclaim and awards.

Hatred that was hailed by critics and audiences in the 30th edition of Iran's Fajr Film Festival was screened at the 2012 Montreal World Film Festival in Canada, the 28th Warsaw Film Festival in Poland and the fifth edition of Jaipur International Film Festival in India.

Internationally-renowned Iranian actor and filmmaker Peyman Moadi served at the jury panel of the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival.

Some 900 films in different categories were presented in 35 theaters at this year’s  Shanghai film festival. 

Established in 1993, Shanghai film festival is China’s most international film festival and remains an important fixture on the film festival circuit an Asia.

The 17th session of the Shanghai International Film Festival kicked off on June 14 and will come to an end on June 22, 2014.

*‘Fish and Cat’ wins two awards at Bled Intl. Film Festival

Acclaimed Iranian film Fish and Cat directed by Shahram Mokri has garnered two awards at the first edition of Bled International Film Festival (BFF) in Slovenia.

Mokri’s drama beat seven other features and took Special Jury Award and the Audience Award at the festival.

The film competed at the Feature-length Competition section of the event that took place from June 17 to 21.

Mokri dedicated the received awards to the Iran national football team after the team staged a stirring performance against Argentina during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Fish and Cat will be also showcased at the Iranian Cinema Focus section of the 68th Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland held from June 18 through 29.

The film will be Iran’s only cinematic representative at the Non-competition section of Horizons in the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Czech Republic that will take place from July 4 to 12, 2014.

The 127-minute movie depicts the story of a group of university students who face different problems during their trip to the north of Iran.

Produced by Kanoon Iran Novin, Fish and Cat has been participated in many international events so far.

Shot in one continuous sequence, the psychodrama swept two top awards at the 28th Fribourg International Film Festival recently held in Switzerland.

The film received the FIPRESCI Jury (International Federation of the Cinematic Press) as well as the Youth Jury Award.

The movie won the Special Orizzonti Award for Innovative Content at the 70th edition of Venice International Film Festival.

It received the best film award at the 13th Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival in Portugal in November 2013.

*Algerian festival honors Iranian calligraphers

Two Iranian calligraphy artists have garnered awards at the sixth edition of International Arab Calligraphy Festival in Algeria.

Iranian calligrapher Einoddin Sadeqzadeh won the first award of the contemporary calligraphy section, while the Algerian artists Laid Tayeb and Khaled Sebagh received the second and the third prizes.

The second prize of the classical calligraphy section went to the Iranian artist Hossein Gholami and the Algerian calligrapher Abdelkrim Bouraada named the first winner of the category.

Over 200 works created by artists from 22 countries were showcased at this year’s International Arab Calligraphy Festival that took place at the National Museum of Miniature, Illumination and Calligraphy of Algiers last week.

Considered one of the highest Islamic art forms, calligraphy became an indispensable part of Persian society in the beginning of the Islamic era so that it was not only practiced by professional artists but also by royalty and nobility.

In the 11th century six basic calligraphy styles became popular, which were referred to as, Naskh, Thuluth, Muhaqqaq, Rihani, Tauqi, and Riqa.

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.

*Marzieh Boroumand tops award at Russian film festival

Renowned Iranian woman director Marzieh Boroumand has won top award at the 2014 International Ecological Television Festival in Russia.

Boroumand was honored with the Golden Award of the 18th edition of the festival titled To Save and Preserve.

She received the Jury Special Award of the Other Look section of the event for her film The Angel.

The Angel was inspired from the traditional Iranian beliefs about their New Year, Norouze, and the Nature’s Day in Iran.

Boroumand has created several TV series for children in 1980s including Grandmother’s Home, The School of Mice and Ta-Be-Ta tales, which were warmly welcomed by audiences.

In 1984, Marzieh Boroumand and Mohammad Ali Talebi made the big-screen hit The City of Mice, a puppet show based on a children TV series The School of Mice (1981-1984).

The festival follows to establish competitive demonstration of new TV programs and films forming ecological consciousness in the society as well as new creative methods for showing the ecological theme on TV.

Sponsored by the Government of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Ugoria, the 2014 edition of the Russian festival was held from June 2 to 7.

*Iran director Asghar Farhadi to lead 2014 APSA jury

The internationally renowned Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been selected to lead the jury panel of the eighth Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).

Award winning director, Farhadi, will preside over the six-member international jury of the festival.

He is a three-time APSA winner across the seven-year history of the event including Best Screenplay and the Jury Grand Prize for About Elly in 2009, Best Film for A Separation in 2011.

Asghar Farhadi became a member of the APSA Academy in 2009 when his film About Elly won the Jury Grand Prize.

Born in 1972, Farhadi received his Bachelors in Theater from University of Tehran's School of Dramatic Arts in 1998 and his Masters in Stage Direction from Tarbiat Modarres University a few years later.

His 2011 family drama A Separation became a sensation and received rave reviews from numerous international film events and festivals.

The film won the award for the Best Foreign Language film at the Golden Globe Award and Academy Award in 2012.

“Farhadi is a filmmaker who makes one becomes familiar with the rich culture of Iran. His works remind us of Victor Hugo,” The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe had earlier said during an award ceremony during which the Grand Medal of Vermeil from the City went to Farhadi for his latest drama The Past (Le Passé).

The Past has scooped numerous awards so far such as two prizes at the 66th Cannes film festival including the Best Actress award and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (prix du Jury œcuménique).

Dancing in the Dust (2003), The Beautiful (2004) and Fireworks Wednesday (2006) are his other directorial works.

The eighth Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be held in Brisbane, Australia on December 11, 2014 at Brisbane’s spectacular City Hall.

*World Press Photo award dedicated to Amir Pourmand

Iranian photography artist Amir Pourmand has received his prize during an award ceremony held in the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam.

The Director of World Press Photo  Michiel Munneke dedicated the awards to the 2013 winners whose names announced in February 2014.

Pourmand scooped the third award in the General News Singles section of the 57th international competition for his photo titled Moments before the Hanging.

The photo features a young man named Ali Reza Mafiha, a stabbing culprit who lays his head on the executioner’s shoulder just before a noose is put around his neck.

A photo taken by the American photographer John Stanmeyer was named as the World Press Photo of the Year 2013.

The image, taken in the Republic of Djibouti, depicts African migrants raising their phones under a clear night sky in an attempt to receive a signal from neighboring country Somalia, a tenuous link to relatives abroad.

The winning works have been selected from among 98,671 images submitted by 5,754 photographers from 132 countries. The contest creates a bridge linking the professionals with the general public.

The winners have been also honored with an exhibition tour held in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam started on April 18 and will continue until June 22.

*‘Hush! Girls Don’t Scream’ scoops awards in Los Angeles Filmfest

Iranian social drama Hush! Girls Don’t Scream has swept awards at the third Women’s Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Directed by the leading Iranian woman filmmaker Pouran Derakhshandeh, the film swept two awards as well as an honorable mention of this year’s competition.

The film received the best screenplay award, while the best actress award went to the film’s star Tannaz Tabatabaei.

Derakhshandeh’s latest production also nabbed an honorable mention in the Narrative Feature Film Category of the event.

The film tells the story of abused children and ignorant families who do not make enough time in their day to listen and solve their children's issue.

The movie received a great attention from the movie goers in Canada and the United States.

Oscar Academy had earlier requested a copy of screen script of Hush! Girls Don’t Scream during a letter signed by the center’s Script Librarian Gregory Walsh.

The film has been screened in numerous international competitions and garnered several awards such as Audience Special Award of the 2014 Irvine International Film Festival in the United States.

Los Angeles Women’s Independent Film Festival has named this year’s winners before holding the festival that will take place from May 16 to 18.

The participated films will be screened at the festival only to contend for the audience award.

*Iranian movies nab awards at Silk Road film festival

Several Iranian screen creations have garnered top awards at the 2014 edition of Silk Road International Film Festival in Ireland. 

Sugarland directed by Babak Nazari won the Best Aimation award while the Best Short Animation prize went to The Adventures of Mirzabalad directed by Elham Mortazavi and Amir Hossein Salehi.

Mohammad Farahani’s The Theft was named the second prize winner of the short film section and the third prize of the section presented to  Motherly by Navid Nik-khah Azad.

Four other Iranian screen productions also represented the country’s film industry at this year’s Irish festival that was held in the capital city of Dublin.

Renovation by Mohammad Haddadipour and The Sleepy directed by Hassan Khorasani were screened at the Animation section of the event.

Those Who Remain by Farzan Moazzam and Blue Bubble by Farshad Khoshbakht were also presented at the Narrative Film section.

Eminent Iranian cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari and director Khashayar Mahmoudabadi jointly presided over the festival’s jury.

Mahmoud Kalari was also hailed at the event for his lifetime achievements in cinema during a ceremony that hosted Ireland’s minister of culture and Dublin’s mayor.

Kalari took part in a cinematography review session focused on  his works in two acclaimed Iranian movies A Separation directed by Asghar Farhadi and Fish and Cat by Shahram Mokri.

The Silk Road Film Festival (SRFF) annually hosts films from the countries that were once part of this historical network of ancient trade routes, and focuses on Asian, Arab and Middle Eastern cinema.

This year’s event was sponsored by a major carpet weaving company in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, Haqiqi Persian Carpets.

The 2014 edition of Silk Road Film Festival was held from March 19 to 25.

*Farhadi’s ‘The Past’ hailed by British film critics

A number of British film critics have hailed award winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest drama The Past (Le Passé) after its public screening in the UK.

Farhadi’s film which has gone on Britain’s screens from March 29, has garnered rave reviews.

“The Past is a film that announces this director's arrival in the rank of those film-makers like Kiarostami, Haneke and PT Anderson, directors who are intent on the unfashionable business of making morally serious films for adults,” critics say.

Farhadi was honored with French L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (the Order of Arts and Letters) for his Paris-set tale drama. The order is presented to a person who has made significant contributions to the arts, literature or any other related fields.

The Past has had massive screening programs across the world and scooped many international awards.

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 film nabbed  two prizes at the 66th Cannes film festival including the Best Actress award that went to Argentine-French actress Berenice Bejo, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (prix du Jury œcuménique).

The movie was also nominated