Iranian Girl Honored at Japanese Drawing Competition

Monday, February 16, 2015

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Iranian girl honored at Japanese drawing competition

Ten-year-old Iranian girl Fatemeh Mahallati has won one of 45 first prizes in the international section of the 14th International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest in Japan.

Her work depicts a number of people working on a farm.

“In my painting, I drew animals, flowers and people who are working on a farm and they are happy as they are living in nature,” Fatemeh told the Persian service of ISNA.

"What I drew in my painting were the things I have previously seen in my visits to farms and green areas,” she added.

“The environment and nature are important and we should protect the things concerning nature,” she stated.

Fatemeh has been a member of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) in Raine, a town near the southern Iranian city of Kerman, since 2009.

In a message sent to Fatemeh last week, the director of Iran’s Department of Environment, Masoumeh Ebtekar, congratulated her for achievement at the competition.

The contest was organized the Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA), the International Certification Network (IQNet) and the Tokyo branch of UNICEF.

The 6-year-old Japanese child, Kusaka Nana, won the Environmental Best Prize, which is the top honor of the contest.

The best prize of the international section was presented to the 12-year-old Ukrainian boy, Oleksiy Rakoma, and the UNICEF special prize went to the 7-year-old Bangladeshi boy, Raihan Fairooz Tarannum.

*Iranian photojournalist wins award at Japanese contest

Iranian photojournalist Abdollah Heidari has received the special jury prize at the 11th Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards 2015.

He was honored for his collection entitled “Children with No Identity”, which contains photos of children without a birth certificate and identity, as the result of the unauthorized marriages of Afghan men with Iranian women.

Millions of Afghan people have immigrated to Iran due to war and poverty during the past 35 years.

More than 4000 works were submitted from 47 countries and the award-winning photographs will be exhibited all over Japan, the organizers announced on the website.

Heidari works for the Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency.

Days Japan is a monthly magazine, which centers on photojournalism and publishes the documentary photos that best support the campaign to protect human life and the natural environment.

*Canadian award for Iranian-Afghan drama

Iranian-Afghan drama ‘A Few Cubic Meters of Love’ has been awarded at the 2015 ReelWorld Film Festival in Canada.

It won the best foreign language film and the best directing awards, according to Fars News Agency.

Directed by Jamshid Mahmoudi, the romantic drama chronicles the tragic story of Afghan asylum seekers who live with their families in old containers or modest shacks in shanty towns near Tehran.

Cast includes: Saed Soheili, Hassiba Ebrahimi, Nader Fallah, Alireza Ostadi, Masoud Mirtaheri.

Produced by Aseman-Parvaz Film Company, the 90-minute feature film premiered at the 2013 Fajr International Film Festival and won two Crystal Simorgh awards.

It was selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.

‘A Few Cubic Meters of Love’ has been presented at several international festivals so far.

It represented Iranian cinema at the 18th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia as well as the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival in the United States.

*Iranian girl honored at Polish art biennial

Nine-year-old Iranian girl Zahra Safari has won a top prize at the 19th International Biennial of Children’s and Young People’s Graphic Art held in Torun, Poland.

Zahra is a member of the Kermanshah branch of Iran’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), the IIDCYA reported on Monday.

Her work depicts a number of people, birds, cars and flowers beneath a towering mountain range. The design hints at the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Five other Iranian children, namely Bahar Raznahan, Jeyhun Diechi, Golsa Panahi and Amir-Hossein Piri, also received honorable mentions at the biennial.

The event was organized by the Children’s Creative Art Centre and Gallery, a cultural institution in Torun that has been active for 50 years.

Children from 43 countries submitted over 10,000 works to the biennial and 1153 were selected to be showcased at the event.

*Iranian astronomy photographer earns int’l recognition

Taha Ghouchkanlu, a 27-year-old astronomy photographer, is the first Iranian whose telescopic images have been published in international magazines and received many awards.

Ghouchkanlu won the photo nightscape award in 2014. He conducted international workshops of the World in Night Project, which was held in Zanjan. He has also cooperated with the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers.

He said, “I became interested in astronomy since 2001. I purchased my first telescope from a toy shop. I stared at the stars at night.”

When he was 14 years old, one of his teachers introduced him to Zaferanieh Observatory in north Tehran. He became familiar with masters such as Babak Amin Tafreshi, Pouria Nazemi and Pejman Norouzi who helped him to appreciate the science of astronomy.

He used to go on scientific tours by himself or with friends out of the city where there was less light pollution.

One of his friends, Behrang Amin Tafreshi, established Night Sky Company, an astronomy institute.  

“I and other fans of astronomy purchased observatory equipments in 2004. We tinkered with cameras to take photos,” he said.

Ghouchkanlu started to shoot photos with an analog camera in 2004. He upgraded his telescope two years later.

In the following years, he would work and take photos with numerous tools with the support of his friend Behrang.  He gave his photos and reports to him, and gained valuable experiences.

Ghouchkanlu’s efforts led to the revival of astronomy photography in Iran. 

One of his photos was published in Sky & Telescope, an international reliable magazine, in 2011. It was the first telescopic image from Iran published in the international print media. His biggest pleasure is to travel and take photos. Currently, Ghouchkanlu works as a professional photographer and runs a studio.

*Tehran Choir wins second prize at Dubai festival

The Tehran Choir has won the second prize at the ChoirFest Middle East in Dubai, the Persian service of IRNA reported.

The group performed “’S Wonderful”, a popular song by American composer George Gershwin, “O Believed” by Iranian musician Ahmad Pejman and “Agnus Dei” (“Lamb of God”) by American composer Samuel Barber at the festival.

Established by conductor Mehdi Qasemi in 1999, the Tehran Choir is one of the most notable and active choirs in Iran.

The Tehran Choir has performed dozens of concerts. It also has collaborated in recording sessions with famous contemporary Iranian composers such as Ahmad Pejman.

The Tehran Choir completed the recording of its debut album earlier this winter. The album, which consists of original choral compositions of 9 contemporary Iranian composers, is scheduled to be released in summer 2015.

Kabul Choir from Afghanistan, the Dubai Duty Free Nightingales, Ensemble Vivace from Lebanon, Sand of Music from Abu Dhabi, and The Notables from Dubai were also honored at the festival, which was held from March 10 to 14.

Many groups from the Middle East participated in the festival and numerous educational workshops were organized at the event.

*Iran’s Parastuii wins best actor award at Indian festival

Parviz Parastuii won the best actor award at the Jaipur International Film Festival in India.

He was honored for his roles in “Today” and “We Have a Guest”.

In a statement published by the Persian service of ISNA, Parastuii dedicated his award to five veteran Iranian actors: Ezzatollah Entezami, Mohammad-Ali Keshavarz, Jamshid Mashayekhi, Ali Nasirian and Davud Rashidi.

Directed by Reza Mirkarimi, “Today” narrates the story of a Tehran taxi driver who becomes the protector of a pregnant woman after he rushes her to a hospital.

“We Have a Guest” directed by Mohammad-mehdi Asgarpur tells the story of a couple, three of whose children were martyred during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

Sohana Saba from Bangladesh also received the best actress award for “Brihonnola”.

The best film award was presented to Indian director Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s “Asha Jaoar Maihe”, and the best director award went to Tehran-based Afghan filmmaker Jamshid Mahmudi for “A Few Cubic Meters of Love”, which was shot in Iran.

*Iranian artists granted order of Stella d’Italia

Iranian stage director Behrouz Gharibpour and architect Mohammad-Mansur Falamaki have each received the order of Stella d’Italia (Star of Italy) for their lifetime achievements.

Italian Ambassador Mauro Conciatori presented the medals during a ceremony held at the Embassy of Italy in Tehran.

“My cultural activities and stage performances in Italy were said to be the reasons for the honor,” Gharibpour said.

He added that his puppet shows “Rustam and Sohrab”, “Macbeth”, and “Ashura” have been staged in Rome and Turin and were warmly received by the people of those Italian cities.

Behrouz Gharibpour (born 1950) is a renowned Iranian theatre director and pioneer of traditional Persian puppet theatre.

He studied theatre at Tehran University and at Dramatic Arts Academy in Rome (Silvio D'Amico). He founded Tehran and Esfahan puppet theatre centres. He has experienced in writing and directorship in fields such as theatre, puppet theatre, cinema, documentary movies, and T.V.

Gharibpour is known for his solid research works on the Iranian puppetry as was commonly practiced during Qajar era.

*Iranian films win awards at Berlin festival

Iranian movies “A Minor Leap Down” and “Taxi” were honored by the jury of the Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique (FIPRESCI) at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Directed by Hamed Rajabi, “A Minor Leap Down” won FIPRESCI’s prize in the Panorama section and “Taxi” received FIPRESCI’s prize in the Completion section.

“Taxi”, starring and directed by Jafar Panahi, is a documentary-like drama set entirely in a taxi where Panahi as the cabdriver talks to some of his passengers.

“A Minor Leap Down” is an Iranian-French production, which tells the story of a pregnant woman who finds out her fetus has died. She decides not to tell anyone. Negar Javaherian and Rambod Javan star in the film, which is produced by Majid Barzegar.

The FIPRESCI, also known as the International Film Critics Association, honors films competing in various sections of the festival.

Founded in 1951, the Berlin International Film Festival is one of world’s most prestigious events in the motion picture industry.

*Iranian artist wins award at World Press Photo

Arash Khamushi, a photojournalist with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), won third prize in the “Spot News Stories” section at the World Press Photo competition.

He received the award for his collection “Act of Forgiveness”, the organizers of the 58th annual World Press Photo competition announced.

Khamushi’s collection depicts a murderer, who was pardoned by the victim’s family at the foot of the gallows in the northern Iranian city of Qaemshar on April 15, 2014.

French photographer Jérôme Sessini won the first and second prizes for his collections “Crime without Punishment” and “Final Fight for Maidan”.

Iranian photographer Fatemeh Behbudi also received an honorable mention in the category of “Contemporary Issues Stories”.

She was honored for her collection “Mothers of Patience”, which depicts mothers of some of the Iranian soldiers martyred during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

“Jon and Alex” by Danish photojournalist Mads Nissen was named the World Press Photo of the Year 2014.

The winners were selected from among over 5,600 submissions from 131 countries.

*Swedish children to enjoy “A Heart Bigger than the World”

Swedish translation of “A Heart Bigger than the World” by Iranian children’s book author Erfan Nazar-Ahari has recently been published in Sweden.

Nazar-Ahari attended a ceremony at the Imam Ali Islamic Center in Stockholm on Saturday to promote the book, which was translated by Hushang Kowsari.

She is scheduled to hold review sessions in the cities of Jonkoping, Karlskrona and Malmo.

The book was released with a CD, which contains Reza Kharaqani’s animation based on the book. Mohammad Nosrati is the composer of the music in the animated movie.

The book was one of 22 entries to the Peace Story project of the Nami Island International Book Festival in South Korea in 2010.

Ali Buzari is the illustrator of the book, which was published by the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Persian, English, French and Italian.

The book tells story of a little girl who has been wishing to come to the world for the past 1000 years, but God has denied her requests. She finally is allowed to come to the world, but she leaves her heart in paradise, which compels her to spend all of her life searching for her heart.

*Iranian films won three Vesoul awards

Iranian film "Melbourn" and the documentary "Iranian Ninja" directed by Nima Javidi and Marjan Riyahi won three important awards of the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema held in eastern France.

The sole Iranian film "Melbourn" competed with eight other movies in the main section of the 21st Vesoul International Festival of Asian Cinema and received the Special Jury Award along with Chinese film "A Summer".

The Iranian film also received cash prize of 1,500 euros of National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations of the 21st edition of the French festival.

The film won accolades at several international events including the 52nd Gijón International Film Festival in Spain, Cairo Festival, Stockholm Festival and the 29th Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina.

Melbourne's casts are Peyman Moaadi, Negar Javaherian, Mani Haqiqi, Shirin Yazdan Bakhsh, Elham Korda, Roshanak Gerami and Alireza Ostadi. 

“Melbourne” is the story of a young couple, Amir and Sara, who plan to leave their homeland in search of a new life in the Australian coastal city of Melbourne. However, a tragic event puts their plan at risk.

The documentary "Iranian Ninja" chronicles the struggles of Khatereh Jalilzadeh in Tehran who teaches young girls how to twirl nunchaku and launch dropkicks. The documentary depicts Iranian ninja women's tournament for the first time.

Ninety films competed in various section of the Vesoul festival, one of the oldest and most popular events in Europe which is held February 10-17 in eastern France.

Source: Tehran Times, ISNA, Iran Daily, Mehr News, IRNA