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Iranian Artists & Filmmakers Win Awards

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Iranian Film Wins Italy NETPAC Award

Iranian writer and director Panahbarkhoda Rezai's latest production has been awarded at the 2011 edition of Italy Asiatic Film Festival in Rome.

Rezai's 70-minute movie Daughter...Father...Daughter has received the "Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema NETPAC Award" from the jury of the festival, ISNA reported.

The film poetically traces the solitary existence of three sisters living in the traditional central western region of Iran, where the occasional travelling salesman serves as a distraction from the general monotony.

Panahbarkhoda Rezai, born in 1977, has made some 30 short films and documentaries, and participated in numerous international events including Ireland's 52nd Corona Cork Film Festival.

Rezai earlier made a documentary named Song of the Light about the life and works of the prominent painter, Hossein Nouri, who painted a portrait of the Virgin Mary in front of Denmark's embassy in Tehran during the protests against the publication of insulting cartoons about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in Danish papers.

A light in the Fog (2007), Lion of Desert (2009), Man of God (2008), Season of Union (2008), As Bright As Light (2007) are some of his works.

The 2011 Italian festival was held from October 12 to 22 in the capital city of Rome.

*UK Festival Awards Farhadi Film

Internationally-acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi's latest production has won the Best Foreign Film Award of the 2011 British Independent Film Festival.

Farhadi's award-sweeper Nader and Simin: A Separation was one of the five candidates for the Best Foreign Film Award of the festival, ISNA reported.

The family drama was recently awarded at the 59th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival and hit Danish movie theaters from October 27, 2011.

The two-hour film had the most successful screening in France, where it was welcomed by more than 800, 000 film lovers and was called 'the summer's surprise' by the Le Monde newspaper.

The DVD edition of the film will also be offered from November 8, 2011, for €19.95 in different French cities.

The audience favorite at this year's Berlin Film Festival also hit the screens in Belgium, the Netherlands and Thailand over the past 4 months, and was also screened in the Unites States from September 30.

Nader and Simin: A Separation has won numerous international awards including the Golden Bear Award of the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival and the event's Silver Bears for the entire male and female cast ensemble.

The Golden Arena prize of Croatia's 2011 Pula Film Festival, and the Best Feature Film and the Best Screenplay awards of the 32nd Durban International Film Festival are also among the international honors of Farhadi's latest production.

Sacher Film, which belongs to Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti, also acquired the rights to distribute the film in Italy and screen it in cinemas starting June 2011.

Farhadi's drama will also premier in Italy and Norway from December 25, 2011, and Brazilian theaters will screen the film from January 6, 2012.

Nader and Simin, A Separation has been nominated as Iran's representative in the 2012 Best Foreign Language Film section of the 84th Academy Awards.

According to the Berlin International Film Festival website, the German festival's organizers wish success for Farhadi's film at this year's Academy Awards, as a rich and remarkable cinematic representation that deserves the award.

The 2011 edition of British Independent Film Festival will hold its award ceremony on December 4 in London.

*Uzbek Festival Awards Iran Short Film

Iranian writer and director's film Burned, Cooked, Raw has been awarded at the 2011 Tashkent International Film Forum.

Shahram Mokri's short film won the Golden Cheetah for the Best Short Film attending the first Tashkent International Film Forum in Uzbekistan, Mehr News Agency reported.

Produced by Mohammad Sufi, the short film tells the story of a 40-year-old man who repeatedly thinks about his lost opportunities.

The film was also awarded the Best Short Film prize at the 9th edition of Kazakhstan's Shaken Stars Film Festival held in the city of Almaty in May, 2011.

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.

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

Many countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, USA, Great Britain, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and South Korea have presented their productions in forms of feature-length and short films, documentaries and animations at the Tashkent forum.

The 1st Tashkent International Film Forum was held from October19 to 25, 2011 in the capital of Uzbekistan.

*Iranian Film Tops Italian Film Festival

Iranian filmmaker Homayoun Asadian's Gold and Copper has won the top award of the 2011 edition of Italy's Religion Today International Film Festival.

Asadian's movie received both the “In the Spirit of Faith Award” and a special prize from the SIGNIS jury (World Catholic Association for Communication) at the 14th Religion Today International Film Festival in Italy, ISNA reported.

Gold and Copper narrates the life of Seyyed Reza, a young clergyman who travels to Tehran to complete his education. His wife being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis changes Seyyed Reza's life, forcing him to leave his theological studies and take care of his wife and two children.

The jury described the film as the story of man who attains great spiritual heights through his love, hope and faith. In their view, Gold and Copper manifested how everyday problems would pave the way for spirituality.

Tahereh Hassanzadeh's Halimeh is the other Iranian movie that won the Women and Religions Award at the festival.

Babak Nabizadeh's Empty hands, Full Heart, Dariush Gharibzadeh's Sokar and Zohreh Zamani's The Barefoot Leader also participated in the “Poverty: Problem or Opportunity?” section of the event.

Alireza Amini's Petition for Allah, Fima Emami's Moonlight on the Platform, Vahid Hajiloui's Where Is Fatemeh's House? and Mehdi Yarmohammadi's Seven Regards were also screened at the “Rites and Beliefs” section of the festival.

The 2011 Religion Today Film Festival was held from October 14 to 26 in Trento, Rome, Milan, Bolzano and Nomadelfia with previews in other Italian towns and cities such as Teggiano , Bassano and Merano.

Organized by the Association Bianconero, Italy's Religion Today Film Festival aims to promote a mutual understanding between individuals, peoples, faiths and cultures. Educational workshops on the religious cinema were also held on the sidelines of the event.

*Turkish Festival Awards Iran Cartoonist

Iranian cartoonist Moslem Naeemi has won the Special Award of the 31st edition of the International Nasreddin Hodja Cartoon Competition in Turkey.

As a member of Iran's Caricature House and Visual Art Association of the Iranian central city of Arak, Naeemi has received numerous national and international awards, ISNA reported.

He was ranked second in the 4th edition of the international UMO festival in India and won the bronze medal of the Japan's 28th Yomiuri Shimbun festival.

He also received the Honorary Diploma of St. Petersburg Caricature Competition and the Special Award for the Muslim Youth International Festival.

The annual International Nasreddin Hodja festival is held from July 5 to 10 in the Turkish city of Aksehir

Iranian veteran cartoonist, designer and graphic designer Kambiz Derambakhsh led the jury of this year's competition section.

*ECO Honors Iran, Pakistan Artists

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) has honored Iranian and Pakistani artists in a ceremony held during the 2011 ECO Calligraphy Exhibition in Pakistan.

Calligraphy masters Yadollah Kaboli-Khansari from Iran and Rashid Bat from Pakistan were awarded medals for their attempts in promoting the art of calligraphy at the 5th ECO Calligraphy Exhibition in Pakistan.

Suggested by the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Supreme Council, Kaboli Khansari and Bat were honored by the ECO Cultural Institute (ECI), ISNA reported.

Punjab State Minister in Culture Mohiuddin Wani, ECO Cultural Institute (ECI) Director Hojjatollah Ayyoubi, Iran's Consul General in Lahore Mohammad-Hossain Bani-Asadi attended the ceremony along with a number of Iranian and Pakistani officials.

The ECO Cultural Institute (ECI) aims to foster understanding among ECO member states and preserve their rich cultural heritage through common projects in the fields of media, literature, arts, philosophy, sport and education.

Iran hosted the previous Eco calligraphy exhibition, titled The Land of the Sun in June, 2011, showcasing works by sixty calligraphers from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Turkey.

The 5th ECO Calligraphy Exhibition presented about 120 artworks by Iranian and Pakistani calligraphers.

*Magic of Persia Names 2011 Winner

Young Iranian artist Shirin Sabahi has been awarded the 2011 Contemporary Art Prize (CAP) of the Iranian art center Magic of Persia in London's Royal College of Art.

The Iranian art center in London's Royal College of Art Magic of Persia (MOP) named Shirin Sabahi as this year's winner during the closing ceremony of the exhibition held on October 15, 2011.

Sabahi received the prize from head of the jury Ali Khadra. Her works are slated to be presented in London's Saatchi gallery during an individual exhibition, ISNA reported.

Nyiaz Azadikhah, Shahrzad Changalvaee, Mehdi Farhadian, Arash Fayez, Babak Golkar, Shirin Sabahi, Hesam Rahmanian and Dariush Nehdaran were introduced as the final nominees of the 2011 free public exhibition of Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize (MOP CAP).

About 25 of the most promising Iranian contemporary artists presented their works for the event that was held at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, during London's Frieze Week from October 10 to 15, 2011.

The exhibition displayed paintings, photographs, sculptures and new media artworks by the finalists of the Magic of Persia Contemporary art Prize.

The winner was selected by a revered judging panel whose members included leading Iranian and International figures.

Following the announcement of the MOP CAP 2011 Winner, the exhibited works will be auctioned at Christie's in London.

The Contemporary Art Prize was established in 2008 by Magic of Persia as part of their efforts to develop practitioners of Persian arts outside Iran.

MOP CAP is a global search to identify the most talented emerging Iranian artists and provide an international platform to introduce their works.

*Abu Dhabi Festival Awards Farhadi Drama

Internationally renowned Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi's Nader and Simin: A Seperation has been awarded at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (ADFF). 

Farhadi's award sweeper film won the Special Jury Award, Grand Prize and Black Pearl Award of the Main Contest section of the festival. 

Nader and Simin: A Seperation was presented during two screening programs on October 20 and 21, 2011, ISNA reported. 

The 2-hour drama was also awarded at the 59th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival held from September 16 to 24, 2011. 

Farhadi's latest production had the most successful screening in France, where it was welcomed by more than 800, 000 film lovers and was called 'the summer's surprise' by the Le Monde newspaper. 

The audience favorite at this year's Berlin Film Festival also hit the screens in Belgium, the Netherlands and Thailand over the past 4 months, and was also screened in two American festivals. 

Nader and Simin: A Separation has won numerous international awards including the Golden Bear Award of the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival and the event's Silver Bears for the entire male and female cast ensemble. 

The Golden Arena prize of Croatia's 2011 Pula Film Festival, and the Best Feature Film and the Best Screenplay awards of the 32nd Durban International Film Festival are also among the international honors of Farhadi's film. 

The drama will also premier in Italy and Norway from December 25, 2011, and Brazilian theaters will screen the film from January 6, 2012. 

It has also been nominated as Iran's representative in the 2012 Best Foreign Language Film section of the 84th Academy Awards. 

Seifollah Samadian's short films Secrets and Tehran in Action, and Bandage by Omid Abdollahi were the other Iranian productions participating at the 2011 ADFF. 

Iranian prominent actress Fatemeh Motamed Aria also attended the festival as a jury member of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC). 

Around 200 productions from 43 countries were screened at the 5th Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, including films by acclaimed directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Martin Scorsese, Nanni Moretti and George Clooney. 

The 2011 Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, which kicked off on October 13 by Philippe Falardeau's critically acclaimed Monsieur Lazhar, came to an end on October 22. 

*Iranian Program Wins URTI Radio Grand Prix 

The Iranian radio program “Street Children” took the 23rd International URTI Radio Grand Prix, the Persian service of IRNA announced. 

The press deputy at the Iranian cultural attaché’s office in Paris, Sirus Karimi attended the International Radio and Television Union (URTI) General Assembly, which was held on October 21 in Paris, as the representative of Iran to accept the award. 

The program was produced and broadcast by the Zanjan Radio Center of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

The chosen theme for the 23rd edition was “poverty” and the Iranian program was selected from programs submitted by 81 countries.

Each year URTI organizes the International URTI Radio Grand Prix and the International URTI Grand Prix for Author’s Documentary. These prizes of international renown allow promoting the vitality of contemporary audiovisual production. 

Each of the two juries is made up of fifteen to twenty professionals from the whole world who take opposing views to single out the most remarkable works based on quality and originality.

Today after more than 60 years of existence and with its program exchanges never as important, URTI shows a prestigious assessment and a renewed enthusiasm. With 64 countries participating in the event, it also confirmed its place among the first ranks of the international radio and television grand prix in terms of the number of participating countries. 

*Vancouver Filmfest Awards Farhadi Film

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi's Nader and Simin, A Separation has won the People's Choice Award of the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

Farhadi's internationally acclaimed film garnered the top audience prize beating out 375 other films, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Nader and Simin: A Separation recounts the story of a middle-class Iranian couple who are getting a divorce, while considering the future of their only child.

The film has won numerous international awards including the Golden Bear Award of the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival and the event's Silver Bears for the entire male and female cast ensemble.

The movie, which recently participated in the 2011 Zabaltegi-Pearls Section of the Spanish festival, won the TVE-Another Look Award of the event.

The Golden Arena prize of Croatia's 2011 Pula Film Festival, and the Best Feature Film and the Best Screenplay awards of the 32nd Durban International Film Festival are also among the international honors of Farhadi's latest movie.

Sacher Film, which belongs to Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti, also acquired the rights to distribute the film in Italy and screen it in cinemas starting June 2011.

Farhadi's two-hour drama had the most successful screening in France, where it was welcomed by more than 800, 000 film lovers and was called 'the summer's surprise' by the Le Monde newspaper.

Nader and Simin: A Separation will premier in Italy and Norway from December 25, 2011, and Brazilian theaters will screen the film from January 6, 2012.

It has also been nominated as Iran's representative in the 2012 Best Foreign Language Film section of the 84th Academy Awards.

Mohammad-Ali Talebi's Wind and Fog, as the other Iran representative, was also screened at the 2011 edition of Vancouver International Film Festival.

Founded in 1982, this year's Vancouver International Film Festival was held from September 29 to October 14, 2011.

*Iranian Photographer Wins FAO Award

Iranian photographer Javad Razmi is one of three winners of FAO’s Forest Competition.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Regional Office of the Near East held a photography competition with the theme of “Forest in Photos”, to engage people to promote dialogue about forests in its international year.

Razmi has participated with two photos of a forest in Iran and his work is described as photos which “focused on aesthetics; his main themes have been nature, colors and people”.

The United Nations Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests (IYF), to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

Many participants sent their photo entries to compete for the best shot of a forest as caught by their camera lens.

Nikhil Bohra (India) and Yahya Karamat (Pakistan) were other winners of the contest.

*US Filmfest Awards Iranian Film

Iranian Filmmaker Negar Azarbaijani's Facing Mirrors has been awarded at the 8th edition of Syracuse International Film Festival in the United States.

Azarbaijani's first feature-length movie won the Best Feature-length Film award for its producer Fereshteh Taerpour and the Best Actress Award for Shayesteh Irani, ISNA reported.

Produced and written by Fereshteh Taerpour, the movie weaves together episodes of two women with different social and cultural backgrounds as their paths cross.

Azarbaijani's cinematic production competed with about 28 movies from the countries such as Russia, German, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, China, UK, United States and Ireland.

The film was also well received by both Iranian and Canadian audiences at the 2011 edition of Montreal's World Film Festival that led to the authorities' decision to schedule an extra screening at the event held in August.

Facing Mirrors also won great acclaim at the 2011 National Geographic All Roads Film Project in Washington D.C. held in September.

The Syracuse International Film Festival gives out awards in 15 categories plus Special Jury Awards.

The 2011 edition of the festival was held from October 13 to 16, 2011 in New York City.

*Lebanese Filmfest Awards Iranian Films

Two short and feature-length productions by Iranian directors have been awarded at the 2011 edition of Beirut International Film Festival (BIFF) in Lebanon.

Ebrahim Saeedi's Mandoo and Babak Amini's received the jury special prize of the Main Section of the 11th edition of the Lebanese festival, Mehr News Agency reported.

Young director Babak Amini's Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere also won the event's Bronze “Aleph” Award for the Best Short Film.

Mandoo, which means tired in Kurdish, opens in the 2004 Iraq when the news of Saddam Hussein's death sends shock waves through the Middle East and the story circles around a Kurdish refugee man who wants to go back home, but some of his family members think otherwise.

Saeedi's 90-minute film has participated in several national and international festivals and has also been awarded at the 2011 Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan, Armenia.

Silence Screams (1997), Requiem Mass (1999), Eclipse (2001), Reunion (2002), Fire Beneath the Ashes (2003) are among Saeedi's short films.

Amini's Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere recounts the story of Maryam, a pregnant woman, who is asked by her husband to abort the baby but she decides to keep it.

Born in 1978, Babak Amini worked for 10 years as an assistant to director Bahman Qobadi for films such as A Time for Drunken Horses, Turtles Can Fly and Half Moon.

The Volvo Grand Award of the Circuito Off Venice International Short Film Festival and the Best International Film Award of the Palm Springs Festival are among the prizes garnered by Amini's film Angels Die in the Soil .

This year's Beirut International Film Festival was held from October 5 to 13, screening about 67 films from 29 countries.

*Iranian Film Tops Busan Film Festival

Iranian filmmaker Morteza Farshbaf's Mourning has won the top award of the 2011 edition of Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

Farshbaf and Filipino director Loy Arcenas shared the award of the New Currents section of the 16thBusan festival, Xinhua reported. Arcenas won the prize for his Nino.

The two winners received his share of the $30,000 award during the festival's closing ceremony on October 14, 2011.

The festival organizers referred to Farshbaf's film as a "confident attempt to create a new film language that is disturbing at times and heartwarming," adding that the movie establishes "a new standard of cinematic poetry."

Mourning is about a deaf couple who are trying to find a way to inform their nephew of his parents' death in a car accident.

Reza Mirkarimi's latest production A Cube of Sugar and Niki Karimi's third feature-length production Final Whistle also took part in A Window on Asian Cinema section of this year's Busan film festival.

The Busan International Film Festival screened 307 films from 70 countries in Asian Cinema, World Cinema and New Currents sections.

The 16th edition of Busan International Film Festival was held from October from 6 to 14, 2011.

*Serbian Exhibition Awards Iranian Photographers

Two Iranian photographers were awarded medals and a third received an honorable mention during the closing ceremony of the 2nd edition of the Man and Work photo exhibition in Bor, Serbia.

The photo “My Share of Life”, taken by renowned photographer Reza Vahmi, won the Gold Salon medal in the Theme B section of the festival.

The Gold Salon Medal in the Theme C section went to Mohammadreza Momeni for his photo “The Future is Mine”. Another Iranian photographer, Seyyed Esmaeil Musavi, received honorable mention for his photo “Discontent” in this section.

“Man and Work” (color or monochrome), “Color” – Free, “Black and White” – Free, and “Photo Journalism” (color or monochrome) were the four themes of the festival.

Organized by the Photo Club of Bor and Cultural Center of Bor, the exhibit received a total of 8106 photos submitted by 607 photographers from 62 countries.

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