Iranian Book Named Winner at Leipzig Book Fair

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Iranian book named winner at Leipzig Book fair

An Iranian Novel Hello Stone has garnered the award of "the best designed books from all over the world" at the 2014 competition of Leipzig Book fair.

Written by Mohammed Reza Bayrami , the book’s cover was illustrated by Amir Maftoun while Majid Zareh was in charge of the book’s art and design management.

The book which took an honorary plaque competed with many books from around the world participated in the 51st edition of contest.

Iran with 26 selected works took part in the event along with 567 books from 30 countries including Austria, Germany, Estonia, Portugal, China, Romania, Japan, Canada, Finland and some other nations.

Twigs of the Sour Cherry Tree  written by Akbar Khalili was the other Iranian book entered the final nominees.

The jury panel comprised of seven jurors from Germany, the United States, Austria, China and Switzerland selected 57 books from eight countries for the final stage of the competition.

Each year the prizes for "the best designed books from all over the world" are awarded at the Leipzig Book fair.

Leipzig Book Fair 2014 is scheduled to be held in the German city of Leipzig from March 13 to 16.

All submissions will be showcased in exhibitions at the Leipzig Book Fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and many other popular national shows around Europe. 

*Iranian photojournalist receives honorable mention at UNICEF contest

The Iranian photographer Yunes Khani has received one of nine honorable mentions from the UNICEF annual contest for selecting a photo of the year.

Khani, who is collaborating with Iran’s Mehr News Agency, was honored for his collection “Father Poured Acid on Us”, the organizers announced.

In his photos, Khani documented the aftermath of an attack in Iran during which a man poured acid over the faces of his wife, Somayyeh, and his two daughters, Rana and Nazanin, while they were sleeping at home in a village in the southeastern city of Bam in 2012, after Somayyeh filed for divorce.

Somayyeh lost her sight in one eye. The skin across her face and arms is covered with rough, discolored scars. Her younger daughter, Rana, now at 3, has been disfigured and also lost one of her eyes. The older daughter, Nazanin, was injured less severely.

“I have worked in this project for two years and previously published a series of photos on the Mehr News Agency website,” he told MNA.

Marcus Bleasdale from UK, Patricia Willocq from Belgium, Sara Lewkowicz and Michael C. Brown from U.S., Laura Boushnak from Palestine, Joachim Adrian from Denmark, Gordon Welters from Germany and Chris De Bode from the Netherlands are other photographers who received honorable mention at the competition.

The Swedish photojournalist Niclas Hammarström won the prize for photo of the year 2013 for a picture showing an 11-year-old Syrian girl wounded in a bomb attack.

*Iranian children shine in Japan international painting contest

Five Iranian children of cultural and art centers have shined in Japan 14th International Painting Contest winning the 1st level prize and honorable mention.

The contest’s subject was “living species on Earth” where Iranian artist, 10- year old Masoumeh Khodaei from Ardebil, won the 1st level prize at international section. Her painting featured large number of flora and fauna including insects, birds, animals, trees and other plants that share Earch with us.

11 year-old Reza Sarbazi from Ardebil, 14 year-old Daniel Sahra and 13 year-old Zahra Jafari both from Zahedan and 10-year old Faezeh Pesaran from Urmia won honorable mention of international section.

In this round of contests 16409 paintings from 77 countries around the world participated and 562 paintings came from Iran’s cultural art and centers for teenagers and children.

Paintings of participants in the competitions were printed and given to the guests as postal cards.

*Abbas Kiarostami to preside over Cannes Cinéfondation and Short Films jury

The world-renowned Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami was selected as the president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films jury of the Cannes Film Festival, the organizers announced.

The jury is composed of directors Noémie Lvovsky from France, Daniela Thomas from Brazil, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun from Chad, and Joachim Trier from Norway.

Submissions by students from film schools across the world will be competing in Cinéfondation, and three winners will be announced for this section on May 22.

The winner of the Short Film Palme d’Or will also be selected by this jury on May 24.

A number of Kiarostami’s films have since been screened in various sections of the Cannes festival where his “Taste of Cherry” won the Palme d’Or in 1997.

He also presented “Through the Olive Trees”, “Taste of Cherry”, “Ten”, “Certified Copy” and “Like Someone in Love” in the competition section of previous editions of the event.

Kiarostami has been interested in the Cinéfondation since its creation in 1998 when he agreed to be a patron of the project along with Martin Scorsese.

The 67th Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to be held from May 14 to 25.

*France honors Iran director Asghar Farhadi

Academy award Iranian Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been honored with French L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (the Order of Arts and Letters).

Farhadi received the honor during a ceremony held in the French capital Paris on February 27, 2014.

French Minister of Culture and Art  Aurélie Filippetti dedicated the honor to the acclaimed Iranian  director.

Established in 1957, the order is presented to a person who has made significant contributions to the arts, literature or any other related fields.

Farhadi made his latest production The Past (Le Passé) in Paris that Premiered in the 2013 Cannes film festival.

Farhadi’s Paris-set tale drama 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).

Farhadi had earlier received the year’s medal of Paris City Hall that was dedicated by the city’s mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, during a ceremony held in the capital’s City Hall.

Farhadi's Nader and Simin: A Separation won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards in 2012.

*L.A. festival wants to screen Iranian war drama “Track 143”

The organizers of the 20th Los Angeles Film Festival has asked to screen the Iranian war drama “Track 143” in the competition section of the event, which will be held in June 2014.

“I have received a fax from the organizers asking to screen ‘Track 143’ in their upcoming festival,” producer Mohammad-Hossein Qasemi told the Persian service of IRNA.

Directed by Narges Abyar, the movie is currently competing in the 32nd Fajr International Film Festival. Based on a poll conducted by the organizers, “Track 143” is the most popular film of the festival up to now.

The film is scheduled to be screened at Iranian movie theaters during this summer, Qasemi added.

Abyar directed the film based on a book of the same name she previously wrote.

It tells the story of Olfat, a woman who is waiting for her son, who has been missing in action since the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, to return home.

Merila Zarei, Mehran Ahmadi, Gelareh Abbasi, Yadollah Shademani and Javad Ezzati starred in the film.

*Iran ‘Fish and Cat’ wins top awards at Istanbul film festival

Iranian director’s Shahram Mokri’s cinematic production Fish and Cat has swept two top awards at the 2014 Istanbul’s !f !nspired International Film Competition.

Fish and Cat, as the only Asian cinematic representative at the festival, won the Best Film Award and the Best Critics Award of the event.

Mokri’s psychodrama contended for awards at the International Competition section of the festival along with eight other cinematic creations from different countries.

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, Cat and Fish has been participated in several international events so far.

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

Mokri is one of the most successful Iranian directors whose films have been screened in numerous national and international festivals. His Limit of Circle received the Bronze Ebensee Bear of Austria’s 36th Festival of Nations.

!f Inspired International Film Competition is designed to discover and award the emerging visions in cinema.

The 13th edition of the festival kicked off on February 13 and wrapped up during an award ceremony on February 23, 2014.

*“Painting Pool” producer receives UNESCO Award in Tehran

“The Painting Pool” producer Manucher Mohammadi received the UNESCO Award, which his film won at the 7th Annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Australia in December 2013, during a ceremony in Tehran.

The ceremony was organized by the Embassy of Australia and Ambassador Paul Foley handed over the award to Mohammadi at his official residence.

Director Maziar Miri, actress Negar Javaherian, scriptwriter Hamed Mohammadi, a representative from the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, members of the Iranian House of Cinema and Iran’s Sureh Cinema Organization also attended the ceremony.

“It is easy to see why the film impressed the judges,” Foley said.

“It is a sympathetic and moving portrayal of the struggles of Soheil and his parents, and the family of Soheil’s teacher, set against the very recognizable backdrop of contemporary Tehran” he added.

Mohammadi dedicated the award to Miri, who also presented it to scriptwriter Hamed Mohammadi.

The film won the UNESCO Award for “outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film,” the APSA jury previously said during at the award ceremony in Brisbane in December 2013.

Since Mohammadi and his colleagues were unable to attend the APSA ceremony in Brisbane, they received the award in Tehran.

APSA is endorsed by UNESCO, with which it shares a common goal -– to foster cultural diversity and promote mutual understanding, dialogue and peace.

APSA also has the endorsement of the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), which regulates the world’s most important film festivals and events.

*Iranian, Guatemalan children share top prize at Spanish painting contest

The six-year-old Iranian girl Nazanin Eftekhari and the Guatemalan girl Maria David Sandoval Santos have shared the first prize in the art category of Spain’s 2013 Peace and Cooperation School Award competition.

They won the prize among the children who sent artworks for the up to 6-year-old section of the contest, which is held by the Spanish Foundation for Peace and Cooperation.

In addition, Iranian children Azar Sanaii, Helen Sadeqi, Nadia Hashempur, Negar Moradeskandari and Aida Fathi received honorable mentions in this section.

The Iranian girl, Zahra Mirhashemi, also received an honorable mention in the Drawing with Written Message Section of the contest.

This year, the Spanish Foundation for Peace and Cooperation organized the Peace and Cooperation School Award Ceremony at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City on February 7.

The competition was held on the theme of “Art as a Universal Language - Creativity for Peace”.

The Peace and Cooperation School Award is an international school competition organized annually by the Spanish Foundation for Peace and Cooperation, a Madrid-based non-governmental organization that works to promote a movement of non-violence and creativity and to build a world of solidarity.

It was founded in 1982 by Sr. Joaquin Astuña, a Spanish barrister, educator, publicist, polyglot and social activist who has worked in various capacities with many United Nations bodies.

*Iran artist Amir Pourmand shines at World Press Photo 2013

Iranian photography artist Amir Pourmand has been garnered at the 57th international competition of World Press Photo in the Netherlands.

Pourmand scooped the third award in the General News Singles section of the 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 are scheduled to be honored in a touring exhibition that will be held in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam from April 18 to June 22.

*US film festival honors Iran film ‘Hush! Girls Don’t Scream’

Iranian social drama Hush! Girls Don’t Scream has garnered award at the 2014 edition of Irvine International Film Festival (IIFF) in the United States.

Directed by the eminent Iranian woman filmmaker Pouran Derakhshandeh, the film won the Audience Special Award of the festival.

Derakhshandeh’s creation was presented at the Competition section of the Best Feature Narrative category of the event.

Hush! Girls Don’t Scream is the first Iranian cinematic production selected to compete at the Irvine International Film Festival.

The festival also hosted the film review session and discussion gala after screening Derakhshandeh’s creation.

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.

Sponsored by Iran’s Farabi Cinematic Foundation, the film won Best Film Award at the 2012 Fajr International Film Festival.

Derakhshandeh’s latest drama received a great attention from the movie goers in Canada and the United States.

The film also garnered the Best Feature length Award of the fourth edition of London Iranian film festival.

The leading Iranian director Derakhshandeh’s drama was also hailed at the 44th Goa international Film Festival in India.

Oscar Academy has recently 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 Irvine Film Festival celebrates the power of individual expression and diverse points of views.

The 2014 edition of the festival kicked off on January 10 at Laguna Hills Mall Cinema in California and came to an end on January 16.

*Majid Saeedi wins Lucas Dolega Award 2014

Acclaimed Iranian photographer Majid Saeedi has scooped the first prize at the 2014 edition of Lucas Dolega Award held in the French capital, Paris.

Won the award from among 148 final contestants, Saeedi was honored during a ceremony held at Hotel de Ville in Paris where the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe also attended.

Saeedi is an award winning and internationally recognized Iranian photographer who has photographed Middle East with a focus on the humanitarian aspect for the past two decades.

Saeedi also takes a special interest in telling the untold stories of social issues and social injustice through his photos.

Saeedi has won numerous prominent photography awards from around the world. For the past eight years, Saeedi has received the title of best photographer of Iran.

His work has been published in international press such as Times, Spiegel, Life, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Time Magazine and various Middle Eastern publications and online agencies.

Saeedi has won a lot of prizes amongst the recent ones are the prestigious UNICEF award 2010, Henri Nannen Award 2010, the China International Press Photo Contest (CHIPP) 2010, Photographer of the Year 2012 R.F. Kennedy, International Photographer of the Year (Lucie ) in New York 2011, World press photo (WPP) 2013, National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) 2013.

Saeedi is the first non-European photographer who has received Lucas Dolega Award which was titled after a French/German photojournalist with the same name.

Dolega started work as a photographer for European Pressphoto Agency in April 2006. He was reportedly killed by Tunisian police while photographing a protest in Tunis.

The participants of Dolega Award are required to center on any event relevant to the defense of freedoms and democracy, a conflict (civil or military wars, riots, attacks or public demonstrations), a revolution, a natural or sanitary disaster, and/or their consequences on civil populations.

*Berenice Bejo wins at 2014 Palm Springs Filmfest

Argentine-French actress Berenice Bejo has received top prize at the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) for her turn in Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's drama The Past.

Bejo took the Best Actress Award at this year’s Palm Springs film festival, while the festival’s Best Actor Award went to Mads Mikkelsen for his role in Denmark’s film The Hunt.

The French-Language drama,The Past (Le Passé)   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.

Farhadi’s immigrant romantic drama is his sixth directorial experience and first one in a foreign country that was shot in the French capital, Paris.

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).

Farhadi was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by Time magazine in 2012.

His 2011 family drama A Separation also 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.

Established in 1989, Palm Springs International Film Festival is held annually in January.

The 25th edition of the festival kicked off on January 3 and will come to an end on January13, 2014.

*Taraneh Alidousti to serve at Vesoul Filmfest jury panel

The Iranian actress Taraneh Alidousti has been selected to serve at the jury panel of the 20th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France.

Alidousti will join the panel’s other members including film critic Philip Cheah from Singapore, the Chinese filmmaker Wang Chao and director Brillante Mendoza from the Philippines.

Born in 1984, Alidousti began her acting career at the age of 17 with the leading role in Rasoul Sadrameli’s  film in 2002, I Am Taraneh, Fifteen Years Old.

She has received several awards at the Iranian as well as international festivals such as the Bronze Leopard for Best Actress from Locarno International Film Festival in 2002.

The festival is programmed to showcase some Iranian cinematic productions in a special section.

Beautiful City by Asghar Farhadi, Mainline by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, No One Knows About Persian Cats directed by Bahman Qobadi and Like Someone in Love  by Abbas Kiarostami are among the section’s lineup.

The event will also host a documentary titled From Iran a Separation directed by Azadeh Mousavi and Kourosh Ataie. The film is a joint production of Iran and France.  

Payman Moadi’s debut drama Snow on Pines is also to represent Iranian cinema at the feature-length movies section of the festival.

The 2014 Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema is scheduled to take place in the French city of Vesoul from February 11 to 18.