2015 APSA Awards Iranian Actress Motamed-Aria

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*2015 APSA awards Iranian actress Motamed-Aria

The 2015 edition of Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) has awarded Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria during a ceremony held in Brisbane, Australia.

Motamed-Aria received the event’s Special Mention for the Best Performance by an Actress for her appearance in ‘Avalanche,’ directed by Iranian filmmaker Morteza Farshbaf.

The 85-minute film recounts the story of a highly appreciated and respected senior nurse, who is offered a 10-day nightshift for a single patient, an old lady.

Born in 1961, Fatemeh Motamed-Aria is one of the most significant Iranian actresses, who has won numerous national and international awards, including the Best Actress Prize of the 2011 Montréal Film Festival in Canada and the Prix de Henri-Langlois award of the 2012 Vincennes International Festival in France.

‘Once Forever’ (1993), ‘Blue-Veiled’ (1995), ‘Gilaneh’ (2004) and ‘Here Without Me’ (2011) are among the films she has performed in so far.

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) is an international cultural initiative to honor and promote the films, actors, directors, and cultures of the Asia-Pacific region.

Founded in 2007, APSA collaborates with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

The 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards ceremony was held in Brisbane City Hall on November 26.

The 2015 APSA International Jury was presided by South Korean filmmaker Kim Dong-Ho. He was joined by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh), Zhang Xianmin (China), U-Wei Bin HajiSaari (Malaysia), Alexei Popogrebsky (Russia) and Negar Javaherian (Iran).

They presented this year’s Best Feature Film award to ‘Cemetery of Splendor’ by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

*Iranian Photographer on Time Magazine Cover: "Iran 2025"

In its new edition "Time" Magazine has presented to its audience "a view of Iran in 2025: how its next decade will change the world" by publishing a photograph by Newsha Tavakolian, a female Iranian photographer, on its cover exclusively and unprecedentedly.

This week (November 2015), TIME’s Karl Vick looks at how Iran’s society is changing while Iranian photographer Newsha Tavakolian captured the subtle dynamics of her own country.

Newsha Tavakolian is an Iranian freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Iran. She is a nominee member of Magnum Photos. Her work focuses mostly on women’s issues.

"She has worked as a photojournalist and as an artist, and you need to be both to capture the subtle dynamics in her home country right now," said Karl Vick.

She has recently donated part of a 100,000-euro ($112,000) Dutch award to charity, including Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

During a recent trip in the Middle East, Tavakolian took pictures to illustrate the struggles of Kurdish women fighting the jihadist Islamic State group in northern Iraq.

Tavakolian's pictures have been published by Time magazine, the National Geographic and Magnum Photos.

The Prince Claus awards are given to individuals, groups and organisations based mainly in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Amsterdam-based Prince Claus Fund dedicated to culture and development said on its website that it had awarded its Principal 2015 prize to Tavakolian.

"Newsha Tavakolian is a self-taught photographer who combines photojournalism and art to offer new insights into the lived experience of people in Iran and the wider Middle East region," it said.

*Iranian Photographer; Hamideh Zolfaghari Took MIFA by Storm

The big night for Iranian Photographer in MOSCO International Foto Awards 2015. "Hamideh Zolfaghari", the former UNICEF Photographer was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Her photography is focused on both nomadic and modern culture of Iran within the last twenty five years.

Her presented Photos in MIFA are part of her Iranian culture collection while she traveled to south and west of Iran, focusing to picture the joy and sorrows of forgotten Iranian women in villages and nomadic tribes. Her photo "Identity" won the FIRST PRIZE in “Personality” and SECOND PRIZE in “Editorial”. A photo of a faceless woman showing her ID along with her husband to the camera. 

"Wedding"; another photo by Hamideh; won FIRST PRIZE in “People” and “Wedding” Categories; It shows a bride, her face and body covered under a long red scarf on the move on a horseback toward her wedding in groom place, while her companions; men and women her dowry and clapping.

Facing many adversities as a female photographer, she has fought to tell the stories of many that could not express it themselves. By capturing these tales of their lives, she delineates the extreme contrasts in the Iranian modern and tribal culture.

She is a member of Biafarin; Canadian Artist Management and her work has been shown in many art shows and galleries in Paris, Switzerland, London, and California. Her books “Tehran” and "Women in Iranian Tribal Culture" provided a medium for her to share some of these experiences. 

*Iranian music ensemble stands out in Vienna

Iranian music band 'Chahi', conducted by Maziar Chahi, was named the top group at 'Vienna Stars' 2015.

The music ensemble was declared the first laureate at the International Competition and Art Festival 'Vienna Stars' which was held in Vienna from November 1-4.

The band presented a performance based on one of Shahnameh (Book of Kings) stories named 'White Fortress' for which it won the first place in the event's folk music section. The Iranian group also won the event's Best Costume Design award.

The 2015 edition hosted more than 80 performances from 23 countries among which the panel of jury selected the Iranian performance as among the top 10 and Maziar Chahi received a diploma as well.

The members of the band are: Neda Zare', Mina Mehrizi, Mehrad Mamdoohi, Mohammadreza Ghaffari and Nadi Zare'.

The International Competition and Art Festival 'Vienna Stars' is held in Vienna twice a year in late March and early November.

*Iranian animations bag Chinese awards

Two Iranian animations 'Little Boy' and 'Children of Oak' bagged awards at the Asian Youth Animation and Comics Contest (AYACC) in China.

The festival's Special Jury Award went to 'Little Boy' which is directed by Mona Shahi.

The animation recounts the story of a little orphan boy who stays back in the city while the others are leaving under the army's command, Mehr News Agency reported.

In addition, Saadat Rahimzadeh's 'Children of Oak' won the event's award for Best Special Effects.

The work, in the form of a documentary narration, is about deep-rooted traditions in the lives of Kurdish tribes and the role of kids in their lives.

Jurors from China, Japan, India, South Korea, Russia and US evaluated the works and Mohammad Abolhassai, from Iran, was also on the panel of jury at the event.

Iran had submitted 40 film to the festival of which six were chosen for the event's competition section.

The southwestern Chinese city of Guìyáng hosted the AYACC from November 20 – 22.

*Two Iranian films continue winning streak in Slovakia

Iranian films 'Nahid', directed by Aida Panahandeh, and 'Wednesday, May 9', directed by Vahid Jalilvand, received four awards at the 17th International Film Festival Bratislava (also known as IFF Bratislava).

The festival's panel of jury gave the Best Director Award to Panahandeh for a very impressive depiction of a complicated family situation, ISNA reported.

Ex aequo Niki Karimi and Sahar Ahmadpour jointly received Best Actress Award for emotionally rich and completely authentic performances in 'Wednesday, May 9'.

Navid Mohammad-zadeh received the Best Actor Award for a complex but totally credible portrait in 'Nahid'.

Student Jury Award also went to 'Wednesday, May 9' for its style in narrating the stories and depicting the motivations of its characters dealing with personal issues in contemporary Iran which serve as a reminder that grand gestures and small efforts to understand others are the ones the silver screen should strive for.

A production of Iran's Documentary and Experimental Film Center, 'Nahid' chronicles efforts by one Iranian woman to maintain both her freedom and the custody of her child.

'Nahid' was earlier awarded at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival in France.

'Wednesday, May 9' is the story of Mohsen Makhmalbaf's 'Hello Cinema' in which a director summons unemployed people of the city to choose an actor.

IFF Bratislava is an international film festival established in 1999 and held annually in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The 17th Bratislava International Film Festival was held from November 12-17.

*Iran painter awarded Japan Order of the Rising Sun

Japan has awarded Iranian artist Parivash Ganji for her efforts in promoting the Japanese culture.

Ganji received Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun for her extensive research on Sassanid designs which according to the Japanese Embassy in Iran contributed to designs used in Japanese Kimono and Obi.

She was also praised for her successful use of Sumie (Japanese Ink wash painting) and Shoji (traditional Japanese architecture) in her paintings.

Born in 1945, Parivash Ganji is an Iranian painter and fabric designer. She learnt painting and miniature techniques from Iranian masters such as Reza Forouzi and Mahmoud Farshchian.

She pursued her academic studies in London and Paris, and started teaching fabric design at Tehran University of Art and Alzahra University after returning to Iran.

Ganji has held numerous exhibitions in Iran, Japan and Europe.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established by Emperor Meiji of Japan in 1875. It was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, and contributing to the preservation of the environment.

The Order is awarded in the name of the Emperor to both Japanese and non-Japanese nationals.

*Iran's 'Stripy' on preliminary Oscar list

An Iranian animation 'Stripy', directed by Babak and Behnood Nekooei, was among 60 films nominated for Academy Award 2016.

According to Mehr News Agency, 10 flicks will eventually be selected from the list in the final lineup.

The flick earlier participated in 55th Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Brazil film festival. It also received the Honorary Diploma at the 9th Tehran International Animation Festival.

The Iranian animation is made based on the classic music of Johannes Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5.

The four-minute animation narrates the story of a factory worker who is obliged to do routine activities, but suddenly decides to give up his regular job.

*Iranian Photographer Wins French Award

Iranian photographer Majid Saeedi is one of the winners of the International Photoreporter Festival in France along with nine others.

Saeedi’s project ‘Land of Conflict’ displaying images of Afghan people whose lives have been affected by several decades of war, won the €10,000 ($11,350) prize of the festival, ISNA reported.

This year’s edition saw entries from 300 photographers from 46 countries. After evaluating the submissions, the jury selected the top 10 winners from Iran, Italy, Sweden, New Zeeland, Scotland, Spain, Russia, South Africa and France (two photographers).

Aimed at showing the world in its diversity, the contest has no specific theme and photojournalists had the “highest liberty” in the choice of their proposals.

Saeedi, who has photographed the Middle East with a focus on humanitarian aspects for the past two decades, is currently covering Afghanistan for Getty Images. The country has been at war for most of the last four decades and invasion, occupation, insurgency and civil war has impacted it adversely.

“I have lived and worked as a photojournalist in Afghanistan during the last decade but I did not photograph the war.  Instead, I interacted with ordinary people capturing their daily life. We have seen countless images of Afghanistan, particularly pictures of soldiers and aid workers throughout the country, but these do not portray the real Afghanistan. The real Afghanistan may be an image of a humble child looking at my lens without a smile or images of men, women and children who have lost their arms and legs due to land mines,” Saeedi says.

He believes that his photos capture the resilience of people struggling to make meaningful lives amidst the insecurity and endless violence that afflicts their country.

“I want to capture what it takes to live and rebuild their destroyed lives. What it takes to restore a society and address the lingering wounds of war while struggling to create new avenues for peace,” he says.

Born and raised in Tehran, Saeedi, 41, started photography at the age of 16. At 18, he went to the Iran-Iraq war fronts (1980-1988) to take photos of the war.

He has headed the photography department of various news agencies in Iran since 1998. His work has been published in the 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 was the photographer of Time Magazine in Afghanistan in 2001 and has collaborated with Getty Images in the Middle East since 2004.

He has won numerous prominent photography awards from around the world including FotoEvidence Book Award and Lucas Dolega Award in 2014 and UNICEF Photography Prize in 2010. For seven times he was selected as the best photographer of the year in Iran.

*Spanish award for 'I Dance with God'

Iranian documentary 'I Dance with God', directed by Houshang Mirzaei, received the Special Audience Prize at the MiradasDoc International Documentary Film Festival in Spain.

The documentary competed with 65 films in the competition section of the 10th MiradasDoc International Documentary Film Festival, Mehr News Agency reported.

'I Dance with God' had earlier taken part in several international events and won the Best Documentary award at the 9th Jahorina Film Festival in Pale, Bosnia-Herzegovina held in August.

The flick depicts the life of an old blind man, Kak-Ali Badri, from Paveh in Kermanshah Province. Despite his physical disability, he is a tailor. He has also managed to afford enough to buy a beautiful orchard and plant fruit trees in it. The man has a lively spirit full of desire for life.

MiradasDoc International Documentary Film Festival was held from October 31 to November 7.

*Nahid grabs Roger Ebert Award in Chicago

Iranian film 'Nahid' was among the winners of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival which is underway in the US from October 15 to 29, 2015.

The 'Founder's Award' of the international film festival went "to that one film ... that captures the spirit of the [fest] for its unique and innovative approach to the art of the moving image", to acclaimed document maker Michael Moore, Mehr News Agency wrote.

Meanwhile, the 'Roger Ebert Award', presented "to an emerging filmmaker whose film presents a fresh and uncompromising vision" went to Iran's Ida Panahandeh for 'Nahid'.

A production of Iran's Documentary and Experimental Film Center, 'Nahid' is a chronicle of an Iranian woman's efforts to maintain both her freedom and the custody of her child, and stars 'A Separation' actress Sareh Bayat.

Panahandeh's debut had earlier won the 'Bright Future Award' in the Un Certain Regard of 66th Cannes International Film Festival.

*Iranian director wins Creativity Award in Poland

Iranian director Zahra Sabri received the Creativity Award at the 10th International Festival of Puppet Theater and Animated Films for Adults, Poland.

Sabri, who won the award for her creativity in staging the puppet show Count to One, said that her play is inspired by noted Persian poet Khayyam.

Talking about the festival she said: “The festival is held as a competition, unlike many other international puppet theatres and is attended by different troupes from around the world. The Polish festival presents honorable mentions and cash to the best creativity, actor and director.”

Sabri, a member of the Iranian puppetry troupe Yas-e Tamam added that every play had a performance during the event. Groups from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Jordan, Poland, Russia, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Portugal ,Spain, and Slovakia competed in the event, and the creativity award was presented to me.

Count to One also bagged the Warsaw theater students’ award for the play’s 'mother scene'.

The Iranian play is about three soldiers who decide to cease fighting in an unknown land. To express themselves, they begin making clay sculptures.

The International Festival of Puppet Theater and Animated Films for Adults, with the motto of 'A Puppet Is a Human Too', was held from October 12-20.

*Niki Karimi to judge Valladolid Intl. Filmfest

The Iranian actress-cum-director Niki Karimi has been selected as a member of the jury for Valladolid International Film Festival on FilmFestivalLife in Spain.

As the oldest and most consolidated in the whole of Europe, the Valladolid International Film Festival invited Niki Karimi, a famous, internationally acclaimed actress and filmmaker in Iran, to judge the 60th edition of the festival, along with leading directors and actors including Serbian film director Goran Paskaljević, Finnish film director Pirjo Honkasalo and Spanish actor Fernando Lara.

Valladolid Film Festival was born on 20 March 1956 as an additional feature of the Easter celebrations named the “Religious Film Week”, according to an understanding of the seventh art as a vehicle for the transmission of Catholic moral values. It will be held from October 24 to October 31.

Karimi rose to fame by acting in Behruz Afkhami’s hit “Bride” in 1990. She appeared in films by Dariush Mehrjuii, Masud Kimiaei and several other prominent Iranian filmmakers.

Karimi was also one of the jury members for the Izmir International Short Film Festival in 2006 and was selected for the jury of the 48th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey 2011.

She was president of the jury for the 3rd Reykjavik International Film Festival in Iceland in 2006.

She has also judged India's 12th Pune International Film Festival in 2014.

*IRIB wins prestigious awards in ABU Prizes 2015

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting (IRIB) has won two major prizes in the 2015 festival of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

A statement by IRIB’s international department said the two awards were announced on Friday (Ocrober 30) in a ceremony in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

One of the prizes went to “Three Fish,” a movie directed by Hamid Reza Qorbani, and a production of IRIB’s Sima Film unit. The movie shows the story of a woman who is hopefully fighting a serious disease.

The other winner was a documentary entitled “Saving Leopard,” produced in IRIB’s Lorestan provincial department. It shows the efforts of a Lorestan relief team to save the life of an injured leopard.

Moreover, a production of the IRIB’s Tehran Radio called “Ab-o-Tab” was commended by the ABU jury for the influential performance of its host Mohammad Saleh Ala.

According to the ABU, some 250 works, including 154 TV and 92 radio programs, had been sent to the festival’s secretariat, among which 24 TV and 30 radio programs from 23 counties were selected to vie in the final round. Iran was represented by four TV and three radio programs at the final competition.

The winners of this year’s festival received a cash prize of USD 2,000, a trophy and a certificate.

Formed in 1964, the ABU is a non-profit, professional association of more than 275 broadcasting organizations from 68 countries with an estimated audience of about three billion people.

The body holds annual competition for radio and television programs, known as ABU Prizes, with IRIB movies and documentaries winning major awards over the past years.

*Iranian photographer wins three medals in Argentina

Iranian photographer, Saeed Arabzadeh, won three medals in an international photo festival in Argentina.

According to Mehr News Agency, the artist, who is a member of Young Cinema Society in Bushehr and member of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), submitted nine photos to the festival and received two silver medals in the children section and travel section and one bronze medal in the color section.

The festival was held in four sections of Children, Travel, Color and Monochrome.

Argentina is expected to hold an exhibition of the festival's selected photos.

The photos selected in the festival will be eligible for Photographic Society of America and FIAP titles.

*Two Iran filmmakers to sit at Grand OFF 2015 jury

Two Iranian filmmakers will serve at the jury of the 2015 Grand OFF World Independent Film Awards in Poland.

Marjan Riahi and Reza Serkanin will join jurors from countries such as Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Russia, Australia and South Korea.

The panel will select winners in Best Fiction, Best Directing, Best Script, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Production Design and Best Polish Film.

Riahi is among the successful Iranian documentary filmmakers and scriptwriters, whose works have been screened in several international and national festivals.

She has served as a juror in several film festivals in Afghanistan, France, India, Iran and Poland.

Serkanian is an award-winning Iranian director, whose short films and documentaries have been screened and praised at Clermont-Ferrand, Vila do Conde, Bilbao, Saarbrucken and Copenhagen film festivals.

‘Ephemeral Weddings,’ ‘The first Event,’ and ‘Bird in the Wind’ are among Serkanian’s better-known works.

Grand OFF World Independent Film Awards is the most important initiative promoting independent cinema in Poland and one of the most important cultural events related to independent cinema in the world.

The 2015 edition of the event will be held in the Polish capital Warsaw from December 3 to 6.

*'Risk of Acid Rain' wins Aussie accolade

'Risk of Acid Rain', directed by Behtash Sanaeiha, won the Best Film Award (Netpac Award) in the 5th Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA).

A series of best Iranian film productions participated in this edition of the festival and were screened in five cities across Australia: Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne, Mehr News Agency reported.

The cinematic production is a minimal poetic story that depicts the life of Manouchehr, a 60-year-old retiree from the Iranian Tobacco Company, who still insists on going to work while grappling with the loneliness of retirement. When his mother passes away, Manouchehr; who is unmarried with no other relatives sets off on a journey to try to find his one and only old friend in Tehran.

Last year, the festival's Netpac Award winner was 'Fish and Cat', directed by Shahram Mokri.

IFFA is the only nationwide Australian festival dedicated to contemporary Iranian cinema.

*Iran’s Dariush Grand Hotel wins 2015 World Travel Award

Dariush Grand Hotel won the 2015 World Travel Award for Iran’s Leading Hotel in the 22nd World Travel Awards, voted by travel agents worldwide.

Iran had suggested Dariush Grand Hotel, Abassi Hotel, Laleh Hotel, Parsian Tehran Azadi Grand Hotel, and Tehran Homa Hotel as nominees for the 22nd World Travel Awards and Dariush Grand Hotel, a 168-room, $125 million, five star hotel located on the eastern part of Kish Island in the Persian Gulf, managed to win the World Travel Award for Iran’s Leading Hotel 2015.

The World Travel Awards founded in 1993 in an Annual event in which an international jury of hospitality experts and peers decide on awards presented to hotels and other hospitality companies. World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

Dariush Grand Hotel was built as a look like Persepolis, a symbol of the glory and splendor of the ancient Persian civilization and the Persian Empire. The hotel was designed and developed by Iranian entrepreneur Hossein Sabet, who also owns and manages several tourist attractions and hotels in the Canary Islands. The hotel was completed in 2003 and is owned by a number of companies.

Dariush Grand Hotel is a three-time winner of the World Travel Oscar in 2015, 2014 and 2012. 

*'Taboo' wins four awards in San Francisco

Iranian film 'Taboo', directed by Khosrow Masoumi, won four awards at the 8th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco which took place on September 26-27.

The 'Best Film Award', 'Best Screenplay Award', 'Best Actress Award' and 'Best Cinematography Award' went to Javad Nourouz Beigi, Khosrow Masoumi, Elnaz Shakerdoost and Nader Masoumi respectively.

According to Mehr News Agency, the film is set in a village in northern Iran, where a 67-year-old landowner lives with his three wives. He asks one of his workers to persuade her daughter to marry him. The flick also revolves around obstacles to youth marriage.
The director has also produced another film 'The Bear' which is yet to be screened.

The event is the first independent Iranian film festival outside Iran. This year, once again, it presented the best Iranian films made by or about Iranians from around the world by identifying new talents while honoring the works of veteran filmmakers.

In addition to Iran, other countries participating with their latest films this year are the USA, the UK, Mexico, Georgia, France, Syria, Germany, Canada and Italy. 

*Iranian short film awarded at Ukrain’s Dytiatko festival

The movie “Cloudy Children,” by Iranian filmmaker Reza Fahimi, has won two awards at the Dytiatko International Children’s Television Festival in Ukraine.

Fahimi’s short film received the event’s CIFEJ Prize, which is awarded by the Centre International du Film pours l'Enfance et la Jeuneusse to the director of the best film participating in the professional competitive section of the international children’s film festival.

The social drama also won Peyman Abbaszadeh the Ukrainian festival’s Best Cinematography Award.

Set in an Iranian village, “Cloudy Children” recounts the story of two students fighting over the ownership of such things as the nature and the sky.

The film has been screened in several national and international festivals. It has also won Japan’s 2015 Grand Prix of Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia as well as the Best Screenplay Award of the 2014 Tehran Short Film Festival.

The Dytiatko International Children’s Television Festival hosts filmmakers, journalists, producers, cameramen, writers, animators and cartoonists from around the globe. Founded by Kharkiv Regional Council in 2009, the annual event aims to discover and support children’s television companies and creative producers.

The 2015 edition of the festival was held in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, from September 23 to 26.

*Iranian conductor awarded in Romania

Conductor of Tehran Philharmonic Orchestra Arash Gooran competed with 30 orchestra conductors to win an honorary diploma of the panel of jury at the First Black Sea Opera Conducting Competition held in Constanta, Romania.

The competition took place on May 24-31 in Constanta, Romania.

Meanwhile, Gooran is the only Iranian participant in the sixth edition of International Conducting Competition Jeunesses Musicales Bucharest which will be held in Romania on September 22-26.

The general objective of the event is promoting cultural education and professional training in the field of culture — conducting, in particular — as well as introducing Romanian culture to the world.

He will compete with conductors from the US, Germany, Russia and France.

The members of the orchestra include Foujan Gharibnejad, Amirpasha Fatemi, Niloufar Mohebbi, Erfan Sharifzadeh, Yasin Keshavarz, Keyvan Rabi', Parnian Aqayani and Sarvenaz Golkar.

*Iranian animations win kudos in Sweden

Iranian Animation Night in Sweden (Female Animators) was warmly received by the audience, said the program's executive director.

Shiva Moqanloo added that Iran-Sweden Cultural Exchange Association, which is holding the program, includes Iranian and Swedish experts and aims to introduce Iran's cultural and artistic capabilities, Mehr News Agency wrote.

Turning to the festival's focus on female Iranian animators, she said some countries lack a specific image of women involved in the artistic and cultural fields and this has inspired the association to organize the program.

"The art of animation is an international language and an appropriate means of communication with international audience. Meanwhile, motion pictures are rarely without dialogue and do not require subtitles," Moqanloo added.

She noted that the animations in the program are categorized into two groups in which the first includes seven animations produced by Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults while the other features works by private producers and directors.

Since Iranian films were highly welcomed by Iranian and non-Iranian audiences, Swedish officials allocated a bigger hall for Iranian films on the second night of the event.

The program took place on September 9-10 in Sweden's Lund University.

The event aims to introduce animations by Iranian women to Swedish artists and also show the importance of art for Iran's animation society and cultural officials.

*Iran second in 'Asian Cinema 100'

Iran was placed second on the new list of the best Asian films of all time released by the organizers of the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. Japan topped the list with 26 films followed by Iran with 19.

South Korea is ranked third with 15 films while the oldest film on the list was "I Was Born, But…" directed by Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu in 1932.

The 20th anniversary of the festival in South Korea marked a milestone with a poll of noted Asian filmmakers and international critics of Asian cinema, all of whom were asked for their top ten, IRNA wrote.

The organizers said they had created the list of the continent's greatest films to broaden the world's knowledge about its cinematic history.

On the list of Asia's all-time top directors, Ozu came ahead of Hsiao-Hsien Hou from Taiwan, and Abbas Kiarostami, whose highest-ranked film was 'Close Up' (1994).

The top five films on the 'Asian Cinema 100' list are 'Tokyo Story' (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953), 'Rashomon' (Akira Kurosawa, 1950), 'In the Mood for Love' (Wong Kar Wai, 2000), 'The Apu Trilogy' (Satyajit Ray, 1955) and 'A City Of Sadness' (Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 1989).

Asia's most successful film in terms of global box office receipts is the Oscar-winning Ang Lee-directed martial arts epic 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' (2000) from Taiwan which collected an estimated $128 million.

Source: BiafarinPress TV, ISNA, Iran Daily, Mehr News, IRNA