Iranian Artists & Filmmakers Win Awards

Monday, September 23, 2013

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*UNESCO agrees to celebrate 3 Iranian occasions in 2014 and 2015

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has agreed to Iran’s request to register three of the country’sspecial occasions on its celebration list of anniversaries for 2014 and 2015.

The 800th birth anniversary of Persian Sufi Najmuddin Kubra, the 800th birth anniversary of Persian poet and writer Fakhr ad-Din Ibrahim Iraqi, and the 600th birth anniversary of Iranian theoretician and musician Abdul-QadirMaraghi, MohammadrezaSaeidabadiwill be commemorated by UNESCO during ceremonies in these two years, the director of the International Affairs Department of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization, MasudJalalian, announced.

In late August, Iranian National Commission for UNESCO DirectorMohammadrezaSaeidabadi announced UNESCO’sinitial agreement to add the Iranian occasions to its celebration list of anniversaries for 2014 and 2015.

The 1000th anniversary of the compilation of Iranian physician and philosopher Avicenna’s Kirab al-Qanunfi at-Tibb (The Canon of Medicine), which is among the most famous books in the history of medicine, has been registered on UNESCO’s 2013 celebration list of anniversaries.

In addition, the 1000th anniversary of the achievements of Iranian writer and philosopher Abu SaeidAb al-Kheir, and the 1,100th anniversary of the compilation of the prominent work of Iranian explorer and geographer Ahmad ibnRustah, Kitab al-Alaq al-Nafisa are on the list.

*Iranian actress Leila Hatami to serve in Turkish jury panel

World-famous Iranian actress Leila Hatami is slated to attend the 2013 edition of Golden Orange International Film Festival in Turkey.

Hatami has been selected to serve at the jury panel of 50th edition of Turkish film festival that will be held in Antalia.

Born in 1972 in Tehran, she made her professional entry into cinema with Dariush Mehrjui's film Leila (1998) as the title character.

Hatami who has worked with some of the most celebrated Iranian directors has been paid tribute in a number of festivals and received several international awards.

She also starred as the leading actress in Asghar Farhadi’s Academy Award winning movie A Separation.

Two Iranian movies are also to represent the country’s cinema at the Turkish film festival.

Iranian feature-length movie The Last Step directed by the actor and filmmaker Ali Mosaffa will be screened at the event.

Inspired by James Joyce's short story The Dead, the film recounts the story of a successful actress and the challenges she faces at work after the death of her husband.

Celebrated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been also invited to this year’s Golden Orange International Film Festival as the honorable guest.

The festival will also screen Farhadi’s French-language drama The Past (Le Passé). The director is set to participate in the film review that will be held on the side line of the gala.

Farhadi’s smash-hit drama The Past is also to take part in the Adelaide International Film Festival in Australia in October, 2013.

The film garnered 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 acuménique).

Iranian cinema committee has recently selected Farhadi’s The Past as the country’s representative at the Best Foreign Language Film section of the 2014 Academy Awards.

The 2013 Golden Orange film festival is scheduled to take place from October 4 to 11.

*Iranian films win awards at Chinese festival

Two Iranian films won top awards at the 22nd Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival, which was held from September 25 to 29 in Wuhan, China.

The Iranian film “Days of Life” by ParvizSheikhtadi won the Best Foreign Film Award at the festival and the Best Foreign Screenwriter Award went to MarjanAshrafizadeh for the film “Wet Letters”.

“Days of Life” is about a physician couple working on the war front at a field hospital that is surrounded by the Iraqis.

Directed and written by MarjanAshrafizadeh, “Wet Letters” is about a young girl named Razieh who takes care of her elderly mother for years.

Considered to be China’s top film awards event, the Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival has the longest history and greatest influence in the country.

There are 219 films nominated for the Golden Rooster Awards this year competing for 18 prizes in the four-day event.

*Iranian, German actresses share award at Eurasia festival

Elaheh Hesari from Iran and Jordis Triebel from Germany shared the best actress award at the 9th Eurasia International Film Festival, which was held from September 17 to 22 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The award was jointly presented to Hessari for her part in Alireza Amini’s “Do Not Worry Sara” and Triebel for her role in Lars Kraume’s “My Sisters”.

Elaheh Hesari, Behrang Alavi, Siavash Jafari, Parvin Maleki, Khosro Shahraz and Danial Moqaddam star in the film.

The grand prix of the festival went to “In Bloom”, a joint production of Germany, France and Georgia, directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross.

The film is set in the early 1990s in Tbilisi, the capital of the newly independent Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

*Mahtab Keramati crowned best actress at Georgian festival

Mahtab Keramati has won the best actress award at the 8th Batumi International Art-House Film Festival (BIAFF) for her role in “The Fourth Child”, Iranian director Vahid Musaian’s movie on the famine and war in Somalia. 

The film was screened in the international competition section of the festival, which was held from September 15 to 22 in Georgia.

“The Fourth Child” is about an Iranian nurse who leaves her country to help people in the famine and war-torn country. However, she begins a career in photography to raise awareness about the human disaster.

Mehdi Hashemi and Hamed Behdad are the other main members of the cast.

The film, which has been produced by the Farabi Cinema Foundation, is currently on screen at the Iranian theaters.

BIAFF aims to enhance cultural exchange, understanding and collaboration through the screening of new art house and non-commercial films from Georgia and abroad.

*Serbian antiwar exhibit to honor Iranian cartoonist

The Iranian cartoonist Masud Shojaei Tabatabaei has won the Grand Prix at 17th Salon of Antiwar Cartoon in Kragujevac, Serbia.

The Grand Prix is a €1500 cash prize he will receive for his cartoon “The Peace Messenger” during the opening ceremony of the exhibition at the National Museum of Serbia in Kragujevac on October 20.

Omer Cam from Turkey won the Gold plaque of the event and the Silver plaque went to Pawel Kuczynsky from Poland.

The jury members were Antonio Antunes from Portugal, Miodrag Stojilovic, Toso Borkovic, Jugoslav Vlahovic, and Spiro Radulovic from Serbia.

The exhibition has been organized in memory of the heinous crime that happened in Kragujevac in 1941, when the Nazis occupying forces executed several hundreds of innocent civilians in just one day.

*Iranian sculptor finishes first at Polish Spatial Forms Competition

Iranian sculptor Majid Haqiqi won the first prize of the International Spatial Forms Competition in Gdansk, Poland.

He received the prize for his work on the theme of freedom, he told the Persian service of MNA.

Gdansk municipal officials have set up the sculpture in a major park of the city.

The sculpture has been made of fiberglass and metal, Haqiqi said, adding, “The form features several chairs and a ladder symbolically carrying freedom to the clouds in the sky.”

“I submitted the design to one of the engineers approved by organizers of the competition and the sculpture was made there under my supervision,” he added.

“I had previously offered the maquette of the same sculpture to Tehran Municipality’s Beautification Organization, and it was due to be installed in Tehran.
However I was later informed that my work was selected and won the main prize of the competition,” he added.

Haqiqi is a graduate of sculpture from the University of Tehran and his works have previously been showcased at several international events in Iran and other countries.

*“Sound of My Foot” wins best screenplay award at Chinese festival

The 12th China International Children’s Film Festival has honored the Iranian film “The Sound of My Foot” with an Award for Best Screenwriting.

Writers Mehrdad Khoshbakht and Babak Kaydan received the award at the closing ceremony of the event, which was held in the city of Siping on September 14.

Khoshbakht is also the director of the film, which narrates the story of a 12-year-old runner who loses one of his legs in a mine explosion.

The festival also screened “Dream of Cinema”, jointly directed by Iranian filmmakers Hamid and Ali Shah-Hatami.

“Cool Kids Don’t Cry” by Dennis Bots from Belgium won the Award for Best Children’s Feature. The Award for Best Animated Feature went to “Wolf Children” by Mamoru Hosuda from Japan.

Films and animations from Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and several other countries were competing in the festival, which began on September 10.

*“Fabulous Adventure” wins award at Armenian puppet theater festival

Fabulous Adventure of the Big Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood” from Iran has been crowned the best play in the New Look section of the Toumanian Fairy Tale Day, an international puppet theater festival, which was held in Armenia from September 7 to 14.

The Safety Pin Theater Group, led by director Salma Mohseni and Sina Yelaqbegi, performed the play, the Persian service of ILNA reported.

Troupes from Dagestan, Russia, France, Ukraine and Georgia gave performances during the event this year.

The festival was organized by the Armenian Center of the International Union of Puppeteers to commemorate the prominent Armenian writer Hovhannes Toumanian.

It was held in the central square of the village of Dsegh, which is Toumanian’s birthplace.

The festival aims to promote versatile aesthetic education and harmonious development of the younger generation.

*Restoration plan for Tabriz Bazaar wins world award for architecture

A restoration plan for the Tabriz Bazaar in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz has won one of the five Aga Khan Awards for Architecture, organizers have announced.

The Islamic Cemetery in the Austrian town of Altach, the Rabat-Salé Urban Infrastructure Project in Rabat, Morocco, the Revitalization of Birzeit Historic Centre in Palestine, and the Salam Cardiac Surgery Centre in Khartoum, Sudan were other winners, which were honored at the Castle of São Jorge in Lisbon.

The award was established by international business magnate Aga Khan IV in 1977 to honor architectural concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of Islamic societies in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community development and improvement, restoration, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment.

The award presentation ceremony is organized every three years each time in a different country by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network.

The $1 million prize is divided among the architects. Given every three years, the Award focuses on the revitalization of historic sites, social centers, and infrastructure.

The Tabriz Bazaar, one of the main trade centers on the Silk Road, was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in August 2010.

The history of the bazaar embodies a perfect traditional system of medieval Iranian Islamic trade.

The Tabriz Bazaar flourished during the 13th century and retained its commercial and administrative status until 1548 when Safavid king Shah Tahmasp I moved his capital to Qazvin.

The bazaar comprises 23 caravanserais, 22 corridors, 20 malls, 28 mosques, 8 madrasahs, 5 bathhouses, 2 icehouses, and a zurkhaneh – a traditional Iranian sports club.

The bazaar has been covered with vaults built with bricks.

*UNESCO Story Collection Project 2013 selects Iranian story

The UNESCO Story Collection Project has selected the Iranian writer Borzou Saryazdi’s creation The Song of the City for its 2013 program.

Translated into English by Iraj Esmailpour Qouchani The Song of the City narrates the story of children who try to practice musical scores by colors, and plan to play a musical piece according to the colors of their city.

Organized by UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), the project is also to present the works by two other authors Arul Vadivelan Ponnusamy’s The Green Hope from Malaysia and Mariyam Nihaz’s Ab Hara’s Dream from Maldives.

This year’s EIU Story Collection Project seeks the stories with the themes of cultural diversity, conflict resolution, Peace, world heritage awareness, human rights and literacy.

Established in 2000, APCEIU has found storytelling to be one of the
most effective methods in educating children.

The center uses stories to educate children about the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of their own and other people.

APCEIU is also to strengthen regional and sub-regional capacities in planning and implementing a broad range of practices in EIU.

*Iranian films grab awards at Kazan festival

Iranian films won three top awards at the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival, which was held from September 4 to 12 in Tatarstan.

BahramAzimi’s “Masuleh”, a 3D animation that recounts a love story which takes place in a village in the northern Iranian province of Gilan named Masuleh, was picked as the best animation of the festival.

The Best Actress Award of the gala went to MasumehQasemipur for her role in “The Wet Letters”.MarjanAshrafizadeh and Ali Asgharireceived the Best Script Award of the festival.

Directed by MarjanAshrafizadeh, the film is about a young girl named Razieh who takes care of her elderly mother for years.

The motto of this edition of the festival is “dialogue of cultures through the culture of dialogue”.

Films reflecting human, spiritual and moral values as well as cultural traditions, supporting the ideas of peacemaking, tolerance are selected for the festival.

*Iran ‘Fish and Cat’ wins top award in Venice film festival

IIranian director’s Shahram Mokri’s cinematic production Fish and Cat has picked up award at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival.

Mokri’s film won the Special Orizzonti Award for Innovative Content at the 70th edition of the Italian festival.

Fish and Cat competed at the new trend in filmmaking section of the festival dubbed ‘Horizons strand (Orizzonti)’. The film was screened with other 17 selected movies at the programmed section.

“The movie garnered rave reviews for its particular style by the filmmakers and critics attended the festival,” Mehr News Agency quoted the director as saying.

Produced by Kanoon Iran Novin, the movie is categorized as a social-action film that follows Iranian patterns.

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.

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.

His short film Burned, Cooked, Raw was also awarded the Best Short Film prize at the 2011 Tashkent International Film Forum.

Ashkan, The Charmed Ring and Other Stories, Dragonfly Storm and Andosi are among Mokri's well-known films.

This year’s Venice International Film Festival celebrated its 70th anniversary during a ceremony titled “Venezia 70 - Future Reloaded.”

Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami along with several other international filmmakers made short films for the celebration gala.

The internationally renowned Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci presided over this year’s jury panel.

The 70th Venice International Film Festival took place from August 28 to September 7.

*Sarajevo society to honor Persian author Mahmud Dowlatabadi

Veteran Iranian author Mahmud Dowlatabadi is scheduled to be honored during a ceremony today at the Sixth Biennial Convention of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS) in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The ceremony has been arranged by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, a professor at the University of Maryland and a member of the organizing committee of the congress, ASPS has reported on its website.

Artistic Director Ariana Barkeshli from Dutchess Community College is due to give a piano performance at the ceremony as well.

Born in 1940, short-story writer and novelist Dowlatabadi was the most prominent Iranian novelist of the 1980s. Self-educated and forced to work from childhood, he spent part of his younger adult years as a stage actor in Tehran.

“The Colonel”, “Kalidar”, “Desert Strata”, “The Trip”, “The Legend of Baba Sobhan”, “The Cowherd”, “Aqil”, “Man” and “Missing Soluch” are among Dowlatabadi’s credits.

Over 250 scholars from different countries are participating in the ongoing congress (September 2-6, 2013) in which topics such as “Iranian National Traditions”, “Safavids: History and Diplomacy”, “Themes in Persian Myth and History”, “Ancient Contacts Between Iran and The Balkans”, and “Social and Political Currents of Modern Iranian History” are being discussed.

In addition, several programs have been arranged on the side section including a classical Persian and Bosnian folk music concert and an exhibition of Persian manuscripts selected from libraries across Sarajevo.

*Iranian director Reza Gamini honored in Locarno film festival

Locarno International Film Festival has honored an Iranian director as it was celebrating its 66th edition. Reza Gamini, an Iranian director, was warmly welcomed and lauded by jury members of the event for his 'Endorphin' in the short films section.

Endorphin narrates the story of a young man, Arash, who loses his wife and a young girl in a car accident and ends connection with the world outside. He never leaves his house following the terrible shock, and one day he decides to go out to buy a gift for her daughter's birthday, but he could not help stopping his unintentional laughter that started at the morning of the same day.

The 17-minute film has also been shown in Tehran Short Film Festival and is invited to the US IndieFlix International Film Festival.

The Film Festival Locarno is an international film festival held annually in August in the city of Locarno, Switzerland since 1946. After Cannes and Venice and together with Karlovy Vary, Locarno is the Film Festival with the longest history and it is accredited by FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association). The main feature of the festival is the open-air screening space in the Piazza Grande, with room for over 8,000 spectators, and with one of the largest open air screens in the world (26x14 meters).

*Iranian artist Mehdi Saeedi wins at US contest

Iranian graphic designer Mehdi Saeedi has garnered top award at the annual poster competition of Graphis, the American International Journal of Visual Communication Magazine.

Saeedi was honored with a golden award for his poster participated in the Professional Services Category of the contest.

The artist designed and created the poster for a Mexican educational institution known as Centro de Diseno.

Saeedi has participated in numerous domestic and international exhibitions, biennials and triennials around the world and has won several important prizes such as Special Award at the 7th International Biennial of the Poster in Mexico, 2002, and Top Award at the 15th International Invitational Poster in Colorado, USA, 2007.

Some 100 works were named the winners of this year’s Graphis competition and took golden and platinum awards. The winning creations are to be published in a book.

The participated works were required to focus on the themes of child labor, pain, slavery, exploitation, hunger and grief.

Launched in 1944, Graphis each year invites leading professionals across the photography, illustration, and graphic design communities to be considered for inclusion in their annual books in each of these visual art fields.

*Iran’s Mahmoud Hosseinizad lauded by Goethe Institute

Iranian translator Seyyed Mahmoud Hosseinizad has been honored with Goethe Medal during an award ceremony held in German city of Berlin.

Minister of State Cornelia Pieper, Thuringian Minister of Education, Science and Culture Christoph Matschie and the Mayor of the German city of Weimar, Stefan Wolf, attended the award ceremony held on August 28.

The award went to Hosseinizad for his contributions to contemporary German literature and his services as a cultural mediator in literature, theatre and film in Iran.

Hosseinizad along with two other non-Germans received the medal from the president of the Goethe-Institute Klaus-Dieter Lehmann.

Hosseinizad has translated several books from German into Persian. They mainly include the Persian versions of the works by German authors like lngo Schulze, Uwe Timm, Peter Stamm, Julia Franck and Judith Hermann.

As a conveyer of contemporary German-language films and plays, Hosseinizad’s many translations have received prizes and have been published in multiple editions.

The Medal, featuring the Federal Republic of Germany, is dedicated to people who have had significant roles in extending German language and international cultural relations.

Goethe Institute, as a non-profit German cultural association, seeks to promote the study of the German language abroad, and encourage international cultural exchange and relations.

*Iranian photographer wins at Canon ProfiFoto Awards

Iranian photographer Farhad Babaei has been named one of the five winners of the second session of the 2013 Canon ProfiFoto Awards in Germany.

Babaei scooped the award along with four other winners who were all from Germany.

The winners were selected from among 153 young photographers participated in the competition.

The Canon ProfiFoto Awards are dedicated to those photography projects, which still have to be extended or finished.

Babaei presented an unimplemented photography project focused on a social theme in Iran.

Born in 1984, Babaei as a freelance photographer began documentary and news photography in 2007. He is one of the most primary members of the Iranian Photographers National Society.

The five winners will be awarded with Canon equipment worth 10,000 Euros. After completion of their projects, ProfiFoto presents the winning entries in the form of a portfolio in the magazine and an online gallery.

The competition welcomes all artists who have finished or are about to finish their training in photography or photo design as well as the professional photographers.

Sponsored by Canon Inc. and the online German photography magazine ProfiFoto, the competition is held twice a year with an independent specialist jury.

*Farhadi’s Paris-set drama nabs award at Norway film festival

Celebrated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s smash-hit drama The Past (Le Passé) has scooped award at the 41st Norwegian International Film Festival (Niff).

Oscar-winning Iranian director Farhadi’s film received Andreas Award (World Church Award) at this year’s Norwegian competition.

Farhadi's Cannes competition entry, The Past that was screened at the International Competition section of the festival was recognized as the Best Spiritual Film of the event.

The French-language film competed with 23 other movies participated from 13 countries at the festival that was in the Norwegian city of Haugesund from August 19 to 22, 2013.

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

The movie has recently received the Best Screenplay Award of the 34th edition of the festival held in the city of Durban.

The film also garnered 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 acuménique).

The movie has been selected to contend for award at Toronto International Film Festival that will be held in September, 2013.

The Past is also in the lineup of the 40th edition of Telluride Film Festival in the United States that kicked off on August 29, 2013.

Asghar Farhadi’s family drama A Separation took the 2012 Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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

*Rakhshan Bani-Etemad to preside over Busan filmfest jury

Leading Iranian female filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad has been appointed president of the jury panel at the 2013 Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).

Best-known for addressing social problems in her films, Bani-Etemad will take charge of the judging panel of the New Currents section at the 18th edition of the festival.

The artistic director of Critic’s Week at Cannes Film Festival Charles Tesson, the chief film critic of the Variety Scott Foundas, Japanese director Aoyama Shinji and the South Korean filmmaker Chung Ji-Young are jury members of the section which is dedicated to the productions from new Asian filmmakers.

Bani-Etemad also led the jury of Muhr Asia-Africa Documentaries section at the 5th Dubai International Film Festival in 2008.

She has directed numerous feature-length and short films as well as documentaries, which have garnered many international and national awards.

“The characters in my films are real, [from among] the people whom I might meet every day,” she had earlier stated.

Widely considered as Iran's premier female director, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, has won numerous international awards and received an Honorary Degree for her contribution to World Cinema and the Iranian culture and society from London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

She also received the Prix Henri Langlois Award of the Rencontres Internationales du Cinema Heritage in France for contributing to the international cinema and sharing her passion for films with the young generation.

She started her career in 1986 with Off-Limits and made an international breakthrough with The Blue-Veiled, which won her the Bronze Leopard of the 48th Locarno Film Festival.

Narges(1992), Canary Yellow (1988), The May Lady (1998) and We Are Half of Iran's Population (2009) are among her remarkably popular cinematic productions.

This year’s Busan International Film Festival is programmed to take place from October 3 to 12.

*UNESCO to celebrate Iran’s three eminent personalities

Anniversaries of historic events and eminent personalities of UNESCO has primarily selected three Iranian masters for its celebration list of 2014 and 2015.

The center is scheduled to review the 800th birth anniversary of Persian Sufi Najmuddin Kubra, the 800th birth anniversary of Persian poet and writer Fakhr al-din Ibrahim Iraqi Hamadani, and the 600th birth anniversary of Iranian theoretician and musician Abdul Qadir Maraghi.

The program’s final list will be released during a meeting organized to be held in November, 2013.

The three celebrities were selected from among five offered features by Iran, the director of Iran’s National Commission for UNESCO Mohammad Reza Saeedabadi announced.

Iran’s Avicenna’s Medical Encyclopaedia The Canon of Medicine was highlighted in the program’s previous edition. The 1,000th anniversary of the compilation of the book was marked to symbolize the celebration of the birth of the scientific methodology.

While the book had an extremely important influence on the scientific community for centuries, its celebration would increase public awareness of science in line with UNESCO’s mandate, according to the center’s website.

Last edition of UNESCO celebration of anniversaries also celebrated 1,000th anniversary of the achievements of the Iranian writer and philosopher Abu Saeed Ab al-Kheir (known as Sheikh Abousaeed) and 1,100th anniversary of a geographical compendium compilation, al-Alaq al-Nafisa, written by the 10th century Persian explorer and geographer Ibn Rusta.

UNESCO celebration of anniversaries is held by its Member States and Associate Members, in order to give worldwide significance to the selected cultural events and celebrities.