“Hush… Girls Don’t Scream” Wins Diamond Award at IIFA

Friday, October 3, 2014

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*“Hush… Girls Don’t Scream” wins Diamond Award at IIFA

Iranian social drama Hush! Girls Don’t Scream has garnered award at the 2014 International Independent Film Awards (IIFA) in Los Angeles.

Directed by Iran’s leading female director Pouran Derakhshandeh, the film won the Diamond Award of the festival’s Narrative Feature section.

Diamond winning film is guaranteed a spot in the IIFA screening schedule in Los Angeles.

The film recently took Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards of the 2014 San Francisco Iranian Film Festival.

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.

The movie competed at the 2014 edition of Irvine International Film Festival (IIFF) in the United States.

Derakhshandeh’s 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 International Independent Film Awards is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating many talented independent filmmakers and artist from around the world who share their visions in a powerful, creative and entertaining way.

*Iran ‘Butterfly’ Nominated for ‘World Best Game’ Title

The Iranian computer game titled Butterfly has been nominated for the ‘World Best Game’ at Game Connection in France.

Butterfly (Parvaneh) which has been recently honored with the title of Game of the Year in 4th Computer Games Festival in Tehran has also entered award nominees list of US Game Connection 2014.

Game Connection is the renowned game industry fair in the world that is held in several countries.

The Iranian game was also nominated for titles in Belgrade’s Casual Connect of the year.

Butterfly has won many awards so far, notable among them are seven Golden Gazelles of the Game of the Year, Best Adventure Action, Best Audio Effects, Best Design, Best Music, Best 3D Art, and Best Cinematic Achievement.

The game depicts Iranian indigenous content and promoting Islamic lifestyle.

The science fiction games were developed by a group of young Iranian experts in an effort to promote computer science in the country.

Iran had earlier released its first three-dimensional video game titled the Age of Heroes in 2009, which was designed based on the stories narrated in the Persian epic poet Ferdowsi's magnum opus, The Shahnameh.

Ancient Persian tales and characters have inspired some of the Iranian games. Traditional music and using modern ways of motion capture, which make movement and scenes of the game more natural, are among the features of these national games.

Iranian game companies had earlier presented their productions in several international expos such as the renowned European game industry fair, Gamescom, where they won great acclaim by visitors and experts.

*Abbas Kiarostami honored in Turkish film festival

The internationally renowned Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami has been honored at the 2014 International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey.

Kiarostami was awarded with Life Achievement Prize in Art at the Turkish festival.

Iran’s leading filmmaker attended the year’s festival to hold advanced filmmaking workshops.

Born in 1940, Kiarostami has received very positive reviews and acclaim from international critics for his diverse works of art such as painting, photography, Poetry and filmmaking.

He has also garnered many prestigious awards, including the 1997 Cannes Golden Palm award and the 2008 Glory to the Filmmaker award of the Venice Film Festival.

The veteran filmmaker was also hailed by Japanese government for its valuable works and activities in promoting Japanese culture in the world and developing cultural relations between two countries of Iran and Japan.

Kiarostami presided over the Cinéfondation and Short Films jury panel at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

“One of the most admired contemporary auteurs of cinema, Abbas Kiarostami is an inspiration for emerging as well as established filmmakers. His approach to filmmaking, which often defies conventional techniques, is much discussed and often emulated," the head of Film Programming at Doha Film Institute Ludmila Cvikova had earlier commented.

Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us, And Life goes On,Through the Olive Trees, Like Someone in Love  and Where is the Friend’s Home are some of his better known films.

The 51st Golden Orange Film Festival took place from October 10 to 18, 2014.

Oscar winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi was invited to the 50th Golden Orange film festival as the honorable guest.

The Golden Orange international film festival is annually held in the Turkish city of Antalya.

*Sharjah Film Festival honors Iran ‘Painting Pool’

Iranian film The Painting Pool directed by Maziar Miri has won at the Second Sharjah International Children's Film Festival in the UAE.

Miri’s acclaimed movie picked up the Best Feature Award of the festival.

The Painting Pool narrates a story about a mentally retarded couple and their problems in the society of Iran.

The film had been earlier screened in Qatar’s Ajyal Children’s Film Festival.

The movie was awarded with the UNESCO prize at the seventh Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).

The film was honored for “outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film.”

Miri’s latest creation also took Best Film Award by Audiences and Best Set Design Award at the 31th Fajr Film Festival in Iran.

The film has been screened at the several international events such as the 18th Busan International Film Festival.

The movie was also screened at the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) in China.

The second Sharjah International Children's Film Festival was held on October 19 in Al Jawaher Reception.

*‘Hush’ scoops main awards at San Francisco Iranian Film Festival

Iranian filmmaker Pouran Derakhshandeh’s social drama Hush! Girls Don’t Scream has swept several main awards at the Seventh Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco.

The film took Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards of the year’s event.

The leading Iranian director Derakhshandeh was also paid tribute during a ceremony held at the event.

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

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

The movie competed at the 2014 edition of Irvine International Film Festival (IIFF) in the United States.

Derakhshandeh’s 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.

Oscar Academy had earlier requested a copy of screen script of the movie during a letter signed by the center’s Script Librarian Gregory Walsh.

The 2014 San Francisco Iranian Film Festival also honored the Iranian actor Faramarz Qaribian with the Best Actor award for his role in Sinners.

Eleven countries have participated in this year’s festival including Iran, United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Iraq.

The Seventh Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco was held from September 27 through 28.

*‘What's the Time in Your World’ wins at Busan Filmfest

Iranian filmmaker Safi Yazdanian’s debut feature film What's the Time in Your World? has been named winner at the 19th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

The movie was awarded the prize of Critics International Federation (Federation Internationale de la Press Cinematographique) FIPRESCI.

What's the Time in Your World? is also scheduled to compete at the 2014 Mumbai Film Festival and the 38th Sao Paulo International Film Festival (Mostra Internacional de São Paulo) in late October.

Iranian drama Thirteen (13) directed by Houman Seyedi along with a Korean cinematic production jointly garnered the New Currents Award of the year’s Busan festival.

Some 11 film titles from Iran took part at the 19th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

The ‘A Window to Asian Cinema’ section of the festival, presented 58 titles from 28 countries, of which 7 titles were from Iran.  A Few Cubic Meters of Love by Jamshid Mahmoudi, Tales by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Sun Station by Saman Salour were among the selected movies.

We Have a Guest by Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour, Track 143 by Narges Abyar, Daughter…Mother…Daughter by Panah-bar-Khoda Rezaei, and Sensitive Floor by Kamal Tabrizi also represented Iranian cinema at the festival.

Short films Two Halves of True by Neda Asef and The Old Tree by Farnoush Abedi were screened at the Asian Short Film section.

About 313 films from 79 countries were displayed at this year’s edition of the festival. 

The 2014 Busan International Film Festival took place from October 2 to 11.

*Busan film festival 2014 honors Iranian drama

Iranian drama 13 along with a Korean cinematic production has garnered the top award of the 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in South Korea.

13 directed by Houman Seyedi and End of Winter by Korean filmmaker Kim Daehwan received the New Currents award of the year’s festival.

The films were hailed for expressing "what it means to be a human being". Both winning productions took $30,000 prize for first or second-time Asian filmmakers.

The Iranian production 13 chronicles the story of how a young boy copes after being driven from the family home.

The film depicted "inventive camerawork" and "dynamism", said New Currents jury head and Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi.

"End of Winter, as a unanimous choice, impressed us with its stylistic consistency, its skilful exploration of family relations, its elegant mastery of cinematic space, and its great ensemble cast," said Farhadi.

Farhadi presided over the festival’s jury panel comprised of French philosopher Jacques Ranciere, Professor of film studies at the Scotland’s University of St. Andrews Dina Iordanova, Indian actress Suhasini Maniratnam, and Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho.

This year's New Currents award was chosen from 12 entries representing 12 countries, with both Bangladesh and Lebanon represented for the first time.

"New Currents is the main section of the festival which is for the first or the second feature films by up-and-coming Asian directors."

Few Cubic Meters of Love by Jamshid Mahmoudi, Tales by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, We Have a Guest by Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour and Track 143 by Narges Abyar and Sun Station by Saman Salour were other Iranian films participated in the event.

The 2014 Busan International Film Festival took place from October 2 to 11.

*France publishes book by Iran’s Ali Shojaei

Iranian book If Snowmen Don’t Melt written for children by the eminent author Seyyed Ali Shojaei has been published in France.

llustrated by Elaheh Taherian, If Snowmen Don’t Melt was published in French language by RUE DU MONDE publishing company.

The book tells the story of a big snowman built by village children. However, the snowman, rather than being grateful to the villagers for creating him, he instead demands guards and ice cubes since he doesn’t want to melt, and this creates problems for the people.

Shojaei’s latest narrative creation was published in a collection titled The Best Stories of Continents.

If Snowmen Don’t Melt had been earlier published in German language in Switzerland.

The German Academy for Children’s Literature has picked the book as the Pictorial Book of the Month for May 2013 and awarded the book Buch des Monats prize.

*Iranian movies shine at Beirut film festival

Several Iranian screen productions have picked up awards in various categories of the 2014 Beirut International Film Festival.

Iranian filmmaker Salem Salavati’s Kurdish-language drama The Last Winter took home both the best feature and best director award.

The 77-minute film is an allegory in which the depicted family represents those ones who are unable to change their resigned way of life.

The Last Winter is an expanded version of Salavati’s previous short Snowy Dreams with the same picturesque winter scenery, calm, realistic life style and culture of Iran’s Kurdistan.

The film was screened at the 2013 Golden Apricot Yerevan Film Festival as well as at the Focus on Kurdish Film Section in the 2013 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Czech Republic.

The movie garnered the Best Director Award at the 2014 Kazan International Muslim Film Festival.

The year’s Beirut festival’s Best short film went to Iran’s Ali Asgari’s More Than Two Hours, while Karim Rahbani’s With Thy Spirit took the jury prize for shorts.

Iranian actor Homayoun Ershadi along with other jurors including the  Protagonist Pictures CEO Mike Goodrich, former Sundance Institute director Alesia Weston, and The Attack screenwriter Joelle Touma served at the festival’s jury panel headed by the French actress and director Julie Gayet.

The 14th edition of Beirut International Film Festival took place from October 1 through 9, 2014.

*Iran film nabs award at Venice Filmfest

Leading Iranian female filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad has garnered award at the 71st International Venice Film Festival in Italy.

Bani-Etemad received the Best Screenplay award for her film Tales during the awards ceremony on the closing day of the festival on September 6, 2014 at Venice Lido.

The film contended for the Golden Lion Award with some 20 other productions at the Main section of the festival.

Tales is composed of seven short episodes, in which Bani-Etemad reveals the fate of some of the main characters in her previous films like The Blue-Veiled, Under the Skin of the City and Mainline.

The film along with 18 other participants of the Main section experienced their international premiere at this year’s edition of the event.

Best-known for addressing social problems in her films, Bani-Etemad 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.

Swedish director Roy Andersson's comedy A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence won the Golden Lion award for the best film at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

The movie was hailed by critics for its moving exploration of what it means to be human.

Andersson told the audience he had been inspired by Italian director Vittorio De Sica's 1948 film Bicycle Thieves.

Another Iranian film maker Nima Javidi’s debut feature-length film Melbourne received critical acclaim at the festival. The film opened Critics’ Week section of the event.

French film composer Alexandre Desplat was the head of the international jury at this year's Venice Film Festival.

The 71st annual Venice Film Festival took place in Venice, Italy from August 27 to September 6, 2014.

*Iranian photographer Davud Ameri wins top award at Chinese exhibit

An image of Iranian martyrs’ graves by photographer Davud Ameri has won the PSA Gold Medal at the 6th C.P.N.O. International Exhibition of Photography recently held in Macau, China.

A war veteran himself, Ameri won the PSA (Photographic Society of America) medal in the Mono Digital Image Division, organizers have announced on the website.

The image shows the graves of the martyrs of the (1980-1988) Iran-Iraq war, which is called Sacred Defense in Iran, and the cemetery is located in the northern Iranian city of Gorgan, Golestan Province.

Several other Iranian photographers have also received medals and honorable mentions in two different sections of the exhibit.

The FIAP Honorable Mention Ribbon of the Mono Digital section went to Mojtaba Zeinalzadegan for his photo “Morning Carol”.

In the International Online Digital Photo Competition section, Reza Vahmi received Image Sans Frontiere (ISF) Medal and an Honorable Mention for his photo “Man”.

“Alone” by Ahmad Khatiri won the United Photographers International (UPI) Medal and an Honorable Mention in this section.

The medal-winning and selected photos will go on display in an exhibition, which will be held from October 11 to 19.

Photo: This photo by Iranian photographer Davud Ameri won the PSA Gold Medal at the 6th C.P.N.O. International Exhibition of Photography, which was held in Macau, China.

*Iranian Filmmaker awarded at Greek Intl. Short Filmfest

Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jalal Saed-Panah’s short film Black & White has been awarded at the 20th Greek Short Film Festival in Drama.

Black & White, a production of Iran and Iraq, beat other 61 movies that had participated from Europe, Asia and America, and scooped the second prize and the Special Jury prize of the 2014 edition of the festival.

When delivering a speech after receiving the award, Jalal Saed-Panah pled for an end to wars and a return of peace and security to people around the world.

The Festival established in 1978 is considered as one of the most important events specializing in short films. It took place in Greece from 15 to 20 September 2014 and showcased 102 films from countries including France, the US, Germany, Italy, England, Japan, Turkey and Spain among others.

The festival’s Grand Prix went to “Luminita”, a Portugal/Romania production directed by Andre Marques.

Black & White had also won the top prize in the 1st Annual Festival of Modern Art and Spiritual and Moral Films "FRESCO" which took place in June 2014, in Yerevan, Armenia.

Saed-Panah’s other short film The Sound of Rain was previously awarded at the 3rd French film festival of One Country One Film in 2012.  The Sound of Rain also took the Golden Gazelle award for the Best Short Film as of the 4th Suleymaniye Kurdish Film Festival and the Golden Egg award of the 6th Duhok International Film Festival in Iraq.

*Chicago fest jury to host Iranian director Parviz Shahbazi

Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Parviz Shahbazi has been selected to serve at the jury panel of 50th Chicago International Film Festival in the United States.

Shahbazi and other jury members are slated to judge some 16 screen creations that will take part in the competition section of the festival.

Shahbazi’s latest production Trapped has traveled the global circuit and gained acclaim.

The 2013 edition of Chicago film festival presented the film. Trapped was also displayed at the 32nd Vancouver international film festival held last year.

Shahbazi’s moral thriller, Trapped, narrates the story of bristling relationship between two young women.

The story follows a strong and seemingly naive girl who is beginning her first year at university. The film chronicles her friendship with an outgoing girl that leads her to be trapped in dilemmas of conscience with far reaching consequences.

The film also represented Iranian cinema at the Competition section of the Deauville Asian Film Festival in France.

Trapped was named as one of Iran’s 12 preliminary nominees for the 2014 Oscar's Foreign Language Film submission.

The movie also received the Best Director Award at the 31st Iran’s most important film presentation and competition, Fajr International Film Festival.

The 2014 edition of Chicago International Film Festival is programmed to take place from October 9 through 23.

*Iranian-Afghan film to represent Afghanistan in Oscars 2015

Afghanistan has nominated Iranian filmmaker Jamshid Mahmoudi’s debut feature creation A Few Cubic Meters of Love to compete at the 2015 Academy Awards.

The Iranian movie, shot in Afghanistan, is to represent Afghanistan for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

“My film is to be presented as an Afghan production at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015,” the film director Mahmoudi announced.

While A Few Cubic Meters of Love, which is a joint production of both Iran and Afghanistan, received the public screening permission across Iran for the second half of the current year, the film team decided to have it screened in Afghanistan before the Oscars’ deadline (end of September) and introduce the film as an Afghan production, the director explained.

According to Academy Awards’ regulations, only those movies which are screened in their countries before October 2 can be submitted to take part in the event.

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.

The film as a romantic drama chronicles tragic story of Afghan asylum seekers, who live with their families in old containers or modest shacks in shanty towns near Tehran.

The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film is annually given to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the US with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

The 87th Annual Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 22, 2015..

*Omar Khayyam’s statue to be set up in New York

A statue of the internationally celebrated Persian poet, astronomer and mathematician, Omar Khayyam Neishaburi is slated to be set up in Manhattan, New York City.

The officials of Manhattan municipality decided to install the statue of the classic Iranian poet as a Persian symbol in the city.

The two-meter tall statue along with two other copies was created by the Iranian sculptor Hossein Fakhimi.

“I have conducted two years of studies before starting the carving of the statues, since it was important for me to know different aspects of Khayyam’s character,” Fakhimi stated.

The two other copies are scheduled to stand in Khayyam’s hometown of Neishabur in Iran and in Florence, Italy.

In paying tribute to the poet Khayyam, the poet’s statue had been earlier unveiled in Complutense University in Madrid, Spain.

Born in Neishabur, May 18, 1048, Khayyam is recognized worldwide as one of the most wildly acclaimed Persian poets and astronomers.

He was popularized in the West through the translation of his magnum opus Rubaiyat.

Khayyam's fame as a poet has caused some to ignore his scientific achievements, which are significant.

His contributions to mathematical include his Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra, which gives a geometric method for solving cubic equations by allowing a hyperbola to intersect a circle.

Khayyam  was also the chief contributor to the Jalali calendar, an ancestor of the current Iranian calendar. It is believed to have been introduced on March 15, 1079 by Seljuk Sultan Jalal al-Din Malik Shah I, based on Khayyam's recommendations.

In Persian speaking countries, Khayyam has had an impact on literature and societies through the translation of his works and popularization by other scholars.

Among English-speaking countries Scholars; Edward FitzGerald (1809-83), who was the most influential, introduced Khayyam to the West through translation of his quatrains.

*‘Maritime Silk Road’ named winner at Warsaw film festival

Iranian history-drama feature film Maritime Silk Road has garnered award at the 2014 International Historical and Military Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland.

Directed by Mohammad Reza Bozorgnia, the film took this year’s festival’s jury award known as Silver Sword Award.

While the winners were honored during awards ceremony, Iran’s cultural attaché in Poland Behzad Mohammadi received the prize on behalf of the film’s team. 

The movie follows the adventures of the first sailor Soleiman Siraf who crossed the Indian Ocean to China through what later became known as the Maritime Silk Road.

The movie has been showcased in a number of international events and took several awards.

Ali Ghaffari’s film Extradition also represented Iran at the competition section of the festival.

The Queen by Mohammad Ali Bashe Ahangar, Soil and Coral by Masoud Atyabi and Berlin-7 by Ramtin Lavafipour were also among the Iranian films entered this year’s Warsaw festival.

Some 48 films contended for awards at the competition section and 15 screen productions displayed in other sections of the event.

The 2014 International Historical and Military Film Festival in Warsaw took place from September 9 to 13.

*‘Melbourne’ receives warm welcome at Venice film festival

Iranian drama Melbourne directed by Nima Javidi has received critical acclaim at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in Italy.

Javidi’s debut feature-length film opened Critics’ Week section of this year’s Venice film festival and had several screening programs, out of competition.

“Some international critics participated in the festival believe that Melbourne conjures up the mood and tone of the British film director Alfred Hitchcock’s works,” said Javidi.

“The renowned film distribution company Microcinema purchased the film’s world distributing right,” he also noted.

The movie has experienced its international premiere at this year’s Italian festival.

Melbourne chronicles the story of a young couple on their way to the eponymous Australian city to continue their education. But just a few hours before their departure, they become involved in a tragic event.

The festival’s officials became acquainted with the movie at the 2014 Cannes’s Film Market, the director said.

The 71st annual Venice Film Festival kicked off in Venice, Italy on August 27 and will run until September 6, 2014.

The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote all the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and tolerance.

*Iran ‘The Pearl’ wins at Bucharest film festival

Iranian screen production The Pearl directed by Sirous Hassanpour has garnered award at the 2014 edition of Bucharest International Film Festival, Romania.

The award went to the film’s cinematography director Saed Nikzat for his particular way and gorgeous imagery used in the film.

Nikzat as a director of photography contributed to more than 20 short and feature films.

Produced by Iran’s Farabi Cinematic Foundation, The Pearl also competed in Damah Film Festival that took place in the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 2 and 3, 2013.

The film chronicles the life of a pearl hunter, Karim, who is living in a little town of southern Iran. Karim who suffers from heart trouble, finds out that he needs an urgent surgery for the disease but he cannot afford it. His two children think that they have to grow up sooner than expected time to help their dad.

The movie won the UNICEF award at the 2012 International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults in Isfahan.

According to the UNICEF report on the film, The Pearl provides a realistic perspective of child labor and reflects situations where children are forced to distance themselves from their childhood.”

The report also says that the film portrays the finer aspects of human relationships and moral values with beautiful cinematic skills.

*Iran wins 2014 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage Awards

The grand prize for the 2014 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage went to Sar Yazd Castle in Yazd, Iran.

14 projects from 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, New Zealand and Thailand, were submitted to 2014 UNESCO Asia-Pacific cultural heritage conservation, and the grand prize went to Sar Yazd Citadel restoration project.

In June 2014, a panel of judges composed of international experts in conservation and restoration evaluated 46 projects from countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Tim Curtis, chairman of judging and the head of the Culture Unit in UNESCO Bangkok office, said “although none of the projects this year managed to receive the award of Excellence, the large number of projects which achieved other awards indicate a substantial rise in Asia-pacific cultural heritage conservation standards.”

Among the projects, Sar Yazd Citadel restoration project from Iran managed to receive the grand prize. The grand prize was awarded to Iran due to the role of private institutions in preserving this historical location which has consequently influenced the socio-economic status of the locals in regard to creating job opportunities.

Sar Yazd is situated 30km south of Yazd province. Some speculate that the castle belongs to the Sassanid era.

Conserved and restored sites with more than 50 years of age which have been finished within last 10 years and have been open to visitors for at least a year have been considered eligible for this contest.

The 2014 and 2015 contests are held with the financial support from Beijing Sino-Ocean Charity Foundation.

Call for participation in the 2015 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation contest will be announced in October 2014 via the contest’s website.

*Asghar Farhadi named Busan film festival jury president

Academy Award winning Iranian filmmaker has been selected to preside over the jury for the New Currents section at the 19th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

Farhadi will head the festival’s jury panel that is comprised of French philosopher Jacques Ranciere, Professor of film studies at the Scotland’s University of St. Andrews Dina Iordanova, Indian actress Suhasini Maniratnam, and Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho.

"New Currents is the main section of the festival which is for the first or the second feature films by up-and-coming Asian directors."

The Iranian director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour’s drama We Have a Guest is also scheduled to compete at the festival which will take place from October 2 to 11.

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

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

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

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

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

Dancing in the Dust (2003), The Beautiful 2004), Fireworks Wednesday (2006) and About Elly (2009) are his other directorial works.

*Iran actor Peyman Moaadi stars in US film

The lead male role in Oscar-winning A Separation, Peyman Moaadi has made male lead again, this time in a US-produced movie, titled Camp X-Ray.

The flick sees Moaadi playing an eight-year-long Guantanamo Bay prisoner, who forges an uncanny friendship with the female lead, played by Kristen Stewart.

Pvt. Amy Cole, Stewart’s character in the film, which had originally been written for a male, has opted for the military over her suffocating small town life, only to find out she has to serve at Gitmo instead of Iraq.

The friendship leads to the private’s questioning the nature of the notorious prison.

The movie has been credited for moving performances by both of the stars.

Peter Sattler’s directorial debut, Camp X-Ray premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is due for US screening on October 17.

New York-based American film distribution company IFC Films has released the first trailer for the movie.

Moaadi started his acting career in director Asghar Farhadi's About Elly (2009). Two years later, he received the Silver Bear award for Best Actor from the Berlin International Film Festival for his leading role in Farhadi’s A Separation. The latter flick saw him doing justice to the character of a father in a family faced with a difficult decision - to move to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent.

*Iran architect builds rotating home in Tehran

An award-winning Iranian architect has designed and built a seven-story building with three revolving bedrooms in the capital, Tehran.

The house designed by contemporary Iranian architect Alireza Taghaboni is located in upscale north Tehran and includes rotating levels.

The three revolving bedrooms of the house allow its residents to always enjoy the sun and the best views over the city.

In order to change the view from the windows and enjoy the mid-afternoon sun, all you need to do is to push a button. Alternatively, the windows can tuck into the structure to provide a closed, more private environment.

    “Our design scenario was based on seasons. In winter, when balconies are not usually used, and the outside view is not very important, the structure gets closed, and all attention is shifted towards the void inside the house. In summer, the cubes are extended outwards, and balconies are activated. Now all attention is towards the outside,” Taghaboni said.

Privacy has always been a top priority for the Iranians and this was taken seriously in the design of the rotating home. Instead of providing large widows, a void or empty space has been used in the middle of the building to allow sunlight into the house.

The void also resembles ancient Iranian architecture.

“Our main reference for this project is ancient Iranian buildings, but with a complete revision based on a reading of our own, which obviously uses a modern design language,” Taghaboni said.

Around three million euros (USD 4 million) was spent on designing and building the house. Taghaboni says only one seventh of the money was used for building the rotating boxes.

The revolving home has been nominated for an international prize at an event called the World Architecture Festival which is to be held in Singapore in October, 2014.

*Two Iranian cartoonists nab award at Syria cartoon contest

Two Iranian cartoon artists Ali Reza Pakdel and Mahmoud Azadnia have scooped awards at the 10th International Cartoon Contest in Syria.

Pakdel received the third award of the main section of the competition while the first prize of the section went to Oleksy Kustovsky from Ukraine and the second prize presented to the Ukranian artist Vladimir Kazanevsky.

Mahmoud Azadnia was named one of the five artists who won the competition’s special prizes, the competition’s organizers announced on August 28.

Both Iranian cartoonists have been awarded in number of International competitions such as Asian Youth Animation and Comics Contest in China and Aydin Dogan Cartoon Competition in Turkey.

This year contest focused on the theme of Terrorism, (The Syrian armless eye resists blades of terror!)

Massoud Shojai Tabatabai from IRAN, Amir Taqi from Iraq, David Baldinger from the United States and Mohammad Kanaisi from Tunisia were among the jury members.