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Iranians’ New Cultural Achievements

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

“Final Whistle” Named Best film at Mannheim-Heidelberg Festival

“Final Whistle”, an Iranian drama on social and private life interactions, was crowned best film at the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg in Germany on Monday.

Directed by Niki Karimi, the movie went on screen at the international section of the festival.

The jury called the film a bold movie, which “makes it clear that no one can be happy and free when a life is lost”.

“Final Whistle” is about a documentarian couple, Sahar and Saman, who have their calm life disrupted. Sahar is informed that the mother of one of their cast members faces a death sentence due to a murder charge. She then begins to try to convince the relatives of the decedent to overturn the sentence.

“Final Whistle” won three awards at the 18th FICA -- Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in February 2012.

The film won the Emile Guimet Award, which was granted by the Friends of the National Museum of Asian Arts of Paris.

The National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris also presented Karimi a jury award.

In addition, the film received the Youth Award at the Commune of Vesoul.

*“Rooster Trademark Paper” Wins Special Prize at Chicago Filmfest

“The Rooster Trademark Paper” by the Iranian director Maryam Milani won a special prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

The film won the Liv Ullmann Peace Prize at the festival, which was held from October 12 to 25.

The prize is given to the film that positively addresses difficult topics for children, such as racism, prejudice and abuse, and conservation of the planet.

“The Rooster Trademark Paper” is about the efforts that three children from underprivileged families make to achieve their dreams.

The 2012 Best of Fest Award of the festival went to Remi Bezanson from France for the film “Zarafa”.

*Iranian Doc Wins Prize at French Festival 

The Iranian film “The Last Days of Winter” won top prize at the Escales Documentaires, an international documentary festival, which was held from November 5 to 13 in La Rochelle, France.

Directed by Mehrdad Oskuii, the doc won the Prix de la compétition jeunesse at the festival.

The Prix de la compétition jeunesse (Youth Competition Prix) is awarded to the films that address young audiences.

“The Last Days of Winter” is about seven Iranian boys talking candidly about their lives in a youth detention center.

The documentary was picked as the best doc award at the International Oriental Film Festival (FIFOG) in May 2012.

“The Last Days of Winter” also won the BlackBerry Award at the 24th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) last year.

*Iranian Graphic Designer Wins Special Jury Prize at Slovakian Triennial 

The Iranian graphic designer Mehdi Mehdian won the special jury prize at the Trnava Poster Triennial (TPT) in Slovakia.

The winners were announced during the opening ceremony of the triennial on Saturday, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Sunday.

Mehdian won the prize for the poster he designed for “Twin”, a play which was staged by Iranian director Mansur Gorji in Tehran in 2009.

The TPT received 1240 posters from 389 designers from 33 countries and the triennial jury selected 445 posters for the event, which runs until February 3. 

*Italian festival awards “The Last Step” 

The award-winning Iranian movie “The Last Step” directed by Ali Mosaffa won the Love and Psyche Prize at the MedFilm Festival in Rome.

The film received the award for “the high artistic content of the film and its special respect for humanity, culture, music, family and especially for the woman,” organizers announced on Sunday.

The prize is presented by the Piuculture Jury that is made up of 5 foreign citizens living in Rome.

The jury aims to put the Italian public in touch with foreign people and cultures, which are often perceived in a distorted or hazy manner.

“The Last Step” focuses on Leila’s recently deceased husband who becomes the somewhat unreliable narrator of a playful and delicately ironic story about a complicated but loving marital relationship.

The festival, which was held from October 19 to 28, aims to promote the Intercultural Dialogue through high quality cinema and audio visual media, and instruments.

The movie star Leila Hatami won the Best Actress Award at 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July 2012.

*Polish Film Festival Awards Iranian Documentary Production

Iranian producer and director Mohammad-Reza Abbasian’s film on the 1992 Bosnian war has been awarded at the International Historical and Military Films Festival in Poland.

The Iranian war documentary School screened at the Main Competition Section grabbed the Silver Saber Award at this year’s Polish film festival on Monday, October 22.

The Iranian military attaché in Warsaw received the award on behalf of Abbasian who was not able to attend the award ceremony.

The film revolves around a small school in Sarajevo depicting many happy students in 2011. But, some parts of the story have flashbacks to the horrible incidents that occurred in the Bosnian war during the years from 1992 to 1995.

Organized by the Polish Film Institute (PISF) and the Polish Ministry of National Defense, the International Historical and Military Films Festival is annually held in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

This year’s festival took place from October 17 to 20, while the award ceremony was held on October 22.

*Chinese International Film Festival Awards Iranian Short Film

Award winning Iranian filmmaker Jalal Saed-Panah’s short film The Sound of Rain has been awarded at the 4th Hangzhou Asian Film Festival (HAFF).

Saed-Panah’s short production received the Golden Award of the festival held in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Produced by Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center, the movie also received great acclaim from the festival’s audience.

The Sound of Rain recounts the story of a bird cage maker artist who lives alone atop one of the city roofs and is continuously disturbed by a boy who is obsessed with him and his birds.

The movie also received the main awards of the 2012 edition of the International Digital Film Festival (IDFF) in India.

The 27-minute movie was honored with the Best Film Award in both Berlin 2012, Black International Cinema and the 3rd French film festival of One Country One Film.

The film also took the Golden Gazelle award for the Best Short Film, the Best Screenplay and the Best Director prizes of the 4th Suleymaniye Kurdish Film Festival.

The 4th Hangzhou Asian Film Festival was held from October 12 to 20, 2012.

*Iranian Film Productions Win Awards at Iraqi Festival

A number of Iranian film productions have won awards at the Al-Ghadir International Festival in Iraq.

“Way to Heaven”, a feature directed by Mehdi Sabbaqzadeh, won the special jury award during the closing ceremony of the festival in Najaf on Saturday, the Sahar Universal Network announced in a press release on Monday

Produced by the Sahar Universal Network, the film is about the life of Mus’ab ibn Umair, a companion of Prophet Muhammad (S).

“The Story of Samarra”, an animated film about terrorism, which was directed by Hossein Soltani and Vahid Chalak, won the best children’s film award.

In addition, “180 Degree”, an Al Kausar TV show, won the best children’s special program award.

The Iranian actor Reza Ruygari was also honored for his role in “Way to Heaven” and “Mokhtarnameh”, an Iranian TV series on a Shia uprising during the seventh century.

Productions from 37 countries were screened at the festival, which was held from November 5 to 9.

*Iranian Graphic Designer Honored at Polish Festival

Iranian graphic designer Mehdi Saeedi has grabbed an honorable mention at the 2012 International Socio-Political Poster Biennale, Auschwitz, in Poland.

Saeedi received the honor for his poster titled Child Labor at this year’s Polish biennial focused on the theme of “Creative for Human Rights.”

According to the poster’s description, the artist through his creation depicts child’s “labor, pain, slavery, exploitation, hunger, and grief.”

Saeedi has participated in numerous domestic and international exhibitions, biennials and triennials around the world and has won several important prizes both locally and internationally.

Some 129 artists from 17 countries including Germany, Belgium, Iran, China, Greece, Slovakia, the US, and Turkey took part at this year’s Polish competition held in the city of Oswiecim.

Jouri Toreev from Belarus, Fallindesign Studio from Russia, Aria Czuban, Paulina Kosma and Roslan Szaybo from Poland are also among the winners.

The exhibition of the winning artworks at the Fourth International Biennale of Social-Political Poster is slated to be held from September 27 to 29, 2012.

Established in 1986, the biennale will publish the selected posters in a catalogue.

*“Modest Reception” Wins Free Spirit Award at Warsaw Filmfest 

The Iranian filmmaker Mani Haqiqi’s “Modest Reception” won the Free Spirit Award at the Warsaw Film Festival during the closing ceremony of the event on October 21.

This award is presented to a film with unique structure, strong ideas and excellent performances.

“Modest Reception” will be screened in Iran in autumn and is being distributed by Hedayat Film, an Iranian distributer.

The film is about a well-situated couple, Leila and Kaveh, who drive through the mountains distributing plastic bags full of money to every poor and unfortunate person they meet.

The film won the NETPAC Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012 and the stars of the film won the best actor and actress awards at 12th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival in New Delhi in 2012.

Saeid Changizian, Esmaeil Khalaj, Saber Abar, Naqi Seifjamali, Nader Fallah, Mohammadreza Najafi and Qorban Najafi are other members of the cast.

“Tango Libre” by Frédéric Fonteyne, which is a coproduction of France, Belgium and Luxembourg, won the Warsaw Grand Prix. 

*Religion Today Film Festival Awards Iranian Documentary

Iranian filmmaker Mehdi Zamanpour-Kiasari’s documentary has been named the winner at the 2012 edition of Religion Today Film Festival in Italy.

Kiasari’s Mashti Esmail beat the other participated films at the documentary section and won the special jury prize at this year’s competition.

The film recounts the story of an old blind man named Mashti Esmail who does not lose hope despite all difficulties he faces throughout his life.

Kiasari’s documentary also won the best film award at the 8th Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival in April 2012.

Ali, and the Lion of God by Mohammad-Jafar Baqerinia and Aqa Seyyed’s Girls by Fatemeh Heidari were other documentaries that represented Iran at the 15th edition of the Italian festival.

Nine Iranian screen productions have been presented in various categories of this year’s Religion Today Film Festival.

This year’s Religion Today Film Festival was programmed to screen feature-length and short fiction films, animations, documentaries and television reportages produced during the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

According to the festival’s website, “Conflicts, Religions and (Non-)violence” is the theme of this year’s event, which kicked off in Trento and several other Italian cities on October 12 and will come to end on October 24, 2012.

*Bulgarian Filmfest Awards Three Iranian Children Films

Three Iranian children screen productions have been lauded at the 2012 Art Amphora Balkan Festival of Films and Television Programs for Children and Youth in Bulgaria.

Pouran Derakhshandeh’s Endless Dream, Mehrdad Khoshbakht’s The Sound of My Foot, and Ibrahim Forouzesh’s A Time to Love were named as the Iranian winners in different categories of the festival.

The Best Music Award went to Kambiz Roshanravan for his work in Endless Dream, while Mostafa Ahmadian received the Best Cinematography Award for Khoshbakht’s The Sound of My Foot and Forouzesh’s A Time to Love grabbed the Best Film Award of the festival.

Nine Iranian movies for children and youth represented the country at this year’s Bulgarian event. The Flight of Birds by Ali Shah-Hatami, Child and Angel by Mohammad Ibrahim Moayyeri, My Little Song by Massoud Keramati are some of the other Iranian films screened at the festival.

Art Amphora Balkan Festival of Films and Television Programs for Children and Youth is annually held in four categories of features as well as documentary and animated films and TV drama.

*Iran’s ‘Shekarestan’ Wins at Chinese Animation Contest

Internationally-lauded Iranian animation Shekarestan, directed by Babak Nazari has grabbed the first award at the 2012 edition of Asian Youth Animation and Comics Contest (AYACC) in China.

According to Mehr News Agency, the animation received the Best Character Designing Award at this year’s AYACC held in Chinese city of Guiyang.

Shekarestan’s success owes to the attempts of each member of the team, said the animation producer Seyyed-Massoud Safavi.

Shekarestan tells a series of stories inspired by Persian proverbs, anecdotes and stories. The animation, as the representative of the Iranian culture and art, has shown itself well in domestic and International festivals.

Nazari, who has directed 90 episodes of Shekarestan, has won numerous national and international awards including the best animation award of the 27th Tehran International Short Film Festival.

The animation has also been screened at the 7th Bangalore Children's Film Festival and the 2011 Changzhou International Animation and Digital Arts Festival (CICDAF) in China.

Iran’s Mahmoud Azadnia also won the first prize of the AYACC’s Cartoon Section and Alireza Pakdel received the first prize of the Caricature Section.

Zlatkovsky Mikhail (Russia), Rolf Heimann (Australia), Pengfei Xu (China), Qiongde Cao (China), Dachuan Xia (China), Antonius Toni Masdiono (Indonesia), Terry Mosher (Canada) and Chen Liqing (China) judged this year’s cartoons and illustrations.

Various forums and lectures were also presented on topics such as production of animation and comics and the trend of development in these fields.

The AYACC 2012 was held on the theme of ‘Green Cartoon, Creative Future’ from August 17 to 19, presenting animations, comics and illustrations from over 70 countries.

*Iranian Actress Leila Hatami to Serve in Italian Jury Panel

World-famous Iranian actress Leila Hatami is slated to attend the 2012 edition of Rome International Film Festival as a jury member of the event.

Award winning actress, Hatami, has been selected to serve at the Italian festival’s jury panel that will be presided by the American director, Jeff Nichols, the festival's artistic director Marco Mueller announced.

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.

Award winning Iranian actress Leila Hatami was lauded at the 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for her role in the film The Last Step directed by her husband Ali Mosaffa.

The Best Actress Award of this year’s renowned European festival went to Leila Hatami whom many will recognize from last year's Oscar winning Foreign Film A Separation.

Leading actress of the Academy Award winning movie A Separation, Hatami, also attended the Mud Premiere during the 2012 Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals.

She was also honored by the French embassy in Tehran with the prestigious medal of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her cinematic activities and achievements.

The Seventh Rome International Film Festival is to be held from November 9 to 17, 2012.

*Newest Guinness Record Set by an Iranian Hand-Woven Carpet

Guinness World Records has recognized giant Iranian carpet as the largest hand-woven carpet in the world, announced Managing Director of Iran Carpet Company Mohammad Reza Abed.

The carpet, which is in size of 133 meters long and almost 48 meters wide, is laid in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, Abed noted.

Designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi, the hand-woven carpet was woven by 1,200 Iranian artists in the city of Neyshaboor in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi.

The giant carpet, which has been decorated with traditional Persian designs and natural colors with more than 2.1 billion knots, receives about 1,500 to 2,000 visitors every day.

Produced by Iran Carpet Company (ICC), the carpet has a unique design, featuring five big medallions depicting various traditional flower motifs.

The large hand-made masterpiece is also made of 72 percent of wool and the rest of cotton, Abed explained.

Weaving of this 5,634- square meter carpet with 48 tons weight took 18 months of working two shifts a day.

Carpet-weaving is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia.

Iran is also the world's largest producer and exporter of handmade carpets, producing three quarters of the world's total output.

Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.

*“A Respectable Family” Honored with Black Pearl at Abu Dhabi Festival 

 “A Respectable Family” by Iranian filmmaker Masud Bakshi won the Black Pearl Award at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival.

The film won the award in the New Horizons competition section of the festival “because of the new approach using fiction with the current reality.”

The film is about Arash, an Iranian academic who lives in the West. He returns to Iran to teach in Shiraz, a city far from Tehran, where his mother lives.

After being drawn into a series of domestic and financial problems, he is reminded of the hardships of his childhood at the beginning of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

The film, which was Bakhshi’s debut feature, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.

“A Respectable Family” was edited by French editor Jacques Comets. Babak Hamidian, Mehrdad Sediqian, Ahu Kheradmand and Behnaz Jafari are the main members of the cast.

*Italian Filmfest Jury Hosts Iranian Film Critic

The Iranian film critic Farzam Amin-Salehi has been selected to serve at the jury panel of the 2012 Religion Today International Film Festival in Italy.

Amin-Salehi is also going to give a lecture on the relation between cinema and religion after World War II during the festival.

Italian filmmaker Roberta Cortella, Tunisian film critic Lassaad Jamoussi, Norwegian scholar Kjartan Salvesen Leer and American filmmaker Gillis Mendel have been named as the other members of the Jury.

Nine Iranian screen productions have been selected to be presented in various categories of this year’s Religion Today Film Festival.

Dariush Mehrjui’s Beloved Sky, Mani Haqiqi’s Modest Reception and The Poor by Mohammad-Reza Arab are to compete in Full-length Feature Film Section of the festival.

The Short Film Section is to screen Mystery of Look by Hamid Sa’adat, Shadows Peace Time by Osman Mohammadi and animation of Gharqa by Zeinab Qorbani-Faryad.

Iranian documentaries including Mashti Ismai by Mehdi Zamanpour-Kiasari, Ali and the Lion of God by Mohammad-Jafar Baqerinia and Aqa Seyyed’s Girl by Fatemeh Heidari are also to vie at the Italian event.

This year’s Religion Today Film Festival is programmed to screen feature-length and short fiction films, animations, documentaries and television reportages produced during the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

According to the festival’s website, “Conflicts, Religions and (Non) violence” is the theme of this year’s event, which kicked off in Trento and several other Italian cities on October 12 and will come to end on October 24, 2012.

*Female Iranian Director Milani to Judge at Turkish Festival

Renowned female Iranian filmmaker and screenwriter Tahmineh Milani is slated to judge at the third Malatya International Film Festival (MIFF) in Turkey.

Milani has been selected to serve as jury member at the international section of the Turkish festival.

Indian writer and film critic Aruna Vasudev, Germany-based Polish director of the Hamburg Film Festival, Albert Wiederspiel, and Palestinian writer and director, Suha Arraf are other members of the jury.

The festival has also programmed to review some of the Iranian award-winning director Milani’s screen productions.

Born in 1960 in Tabriz, Milani usually adopts melodramatic style in her productions and focuses on gender issues, where the feminine characters become the subject of intense oppression and discrimination.

Milani has swept numerous awards in international film festivals, including the awards for best director, best film and best screenplay at the 51st Asia-Pacific Film Festival for her Unwanted Woman in 2006.

She has also received Geneva Cinema Tout Ecran for The Fifth Reaction in 2003 and the Best Artistic Contribution prize of the 25th Cairo International Film Festival for The Hidden Half in 2001.

Milani's latest production One of Us Two was screened at the 34th edition of Mill Valley International film festival (MVFF) in the US in October, 2012.

MIFF is scheduled to take place in the Turkish capital city, Ankara, from November 9 to 15, 2012.

*Iranian Film Center Awarded at Kelibia Film Festival

Renowned Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) has won the special jury prize of the International Amateur Film Festival of Kelibia (FIFAK) in Tunisia.

The center was lauded for presenting six screen productions as the Iranian representatives at the festival.

The DEFC is the main center for the production, distribution and promotion of fiction, documentary, animation and experimental films in the Middle East. The center produces about 25 long feature and 300 short films per year.

The center participated in the event with Umbilical Cord by Mohammad-Reza Sadeqi and Majid Gholamrezaei, Oyan by Ismail Monsef, 12th Friend by Fereydoun Najafi, Nap by Nima Javidi, Halimeh by Taher Hassanzadeh and The Sound of Rain by Jalal Saedpanah.

The Director of the DEFC, Shafi Aqamohammadian, also served as a jury member in the festival.

Tunisian culture minister Mehdi Mabrouk has invited Iranian cineastes to participate in the 24th Carthage Film Festival, which will take place in Tunis in November.

The Tunisian Federation of Amateur Filmmakers organized the festival in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage Preservation and the Municipality of the City of Kelibia.

The 2012 edition of the International Amateur Film Festival of Kelibia was held from August 25 to September 1.

*Chinese Contest Awards Two Iranian Cartoonists

Two Iranian cartoonists have been awarded at the 2012 edition of Asian Youth Animation and Comics Contest (AYACC) held in Guiyang, China.

Mahmoud Azadnia won the first prize of the event’s Cartoon Section and Alireza Pakdel received the first prize of the Caricature Section, Mehr News Agency reported.

Zlatkovsky Mikhail (Russia), Rolf Heimann (Australia), Pengfei Xu (China), Qiongde Cao (China), Dachuan Xia (China), Antonius Toni Masdiono (Indonesia), Terry Mosher (Canada) and Chen liqing (China) judged this year’s cartoons and illustrations.

The AYACC 2012 was held on the theme of ‘Green Cartoon, Creative Future’ from August 17 to 19, presenting animations, comics and illustrations from over 70 countries.

Various hi-level forums and lectures were held on topics such as production of animation and comics and the trend of development in these fields.

Organized by Guiyang Industry & Information Technology Committee, People’s Government of Baiyun District, People’s Covernment of Gaoxin Distrct, People’s Covernment of Xiaohe Distrct, and Guiyang Bureau of Culture, AYACC 2012 aimed to create a complex platform for animation and cartoon, expand the scale of international copyright trade, hold international cartoon camp, and focus on youth.

*Press TV Documentary Wins at Chinese Festival 

A documentary by Iran’s English language news network, Press TV, has grabbed the top award at the 2012 World Mountain Documentary Festival of Qinghai in China.

The 52-minute film Once Upon a Time taken part in the Society section of the festival won the Grand prix of this section.

Produced by Carmen Marques, the film shows the catastrophe situation of five Iraqi kids and mirrors their misery caused as a consequence of the American invasion of Iraq.

Press TV is the first Iranian international news network, broadcasting in English run by the state-owned media corporation Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on a round-the-clock basis.

High Hopes is the other Iranian representative at the Chinese festival, produced by IRIB that was nominated for the Best Photography section of the event.

Established in 2008, the festival aims to discover and honor leading filmmakers around the world who make documentaries about mountains and uplands.

The biennial competition is held in categories such as Anthropology, Society and Nature around the Cultural, historical, sociological and environmental stories in regions located at altitudes above 500 meters.

The 2012 World Mountain Documentary Festival of Qinghai China was held from July 27 to 29 in Qinghai, China.

‘The Bear’ Nominated for Two Categories of APSA

 Iranian filmmaker Khosrow Masoumi’s acclaimed movie The Bear has been nominated in two categories at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).

The movie is slated to vie for the Best Director and Best Film awards at the 2012 edition of the festival.

The Bear, as a tragic drama, depicts a war veteran who is struggling with the reality of life after returning from the Iraq-Iran war in the 80s.

The movie was named the Best Feature Film at the Golden Goblet Awards of the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) and was the sole Iranian representative at the competition section selected from among 10 other productions.

Masoumi’s family drama was recently screened at the 2012 edition of South International Film Festival in Norway.

The winners of the 2012 APSA are programmed to be announced at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia, on November 23.

The Iranian Oscar-winning movie Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation was named the Best Feature Film at the last year’s edition of APSA.

*Samadian’s Short Film Wins Tashkent Intl. Film Festival

Prominent Iranian filmmaker Seifollah Samadian’s short cinematic production has been awarded at the second Golden Guepard International Film Festival in Uzbekistan.

Samadian’s Five Short Stories beat other participants at the short film and story section of the festival held in Tashkent.

While Samadian was not able to attend the award ceremony held at the Turkiston Palace on Friday, Iran’s cultural attaché Hamid Mostafavi received the award.

As a five-episode production, Five Short Stories depicts how living alongside human beings threatens animals’ life. Four episodes were shot in Iran and one in Georgia in 2012.

Daughter, Father, Daughter by Panah Bar Khoda Rezaie selected for the full-length feature section and The Story of Fruitful Life of Red Pencil by Alireza Chitaei that participated in the animation section were other Iranian representatives at the festival.

This year’s festival were presented under the slogan “Civilizations of the 21st Century: Dialogue of Cultures” in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

The First Tashkent International Film forum was held in October, 2011 with screening over 40 works from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Iranian writer and director Shahram Mokri's Burned, Cooked, Raw was awarded as the best short film at the 2011 Tashkent International Film Forum.

The Second Golden Guepard International Film Festival was held in the competition-based and non-competition programs from September 30 to October 5, 2012.

*China Cartoon Contest Awards Iranian Artists

Three Iranian artists have received top awards in different categories of the 2012 International Beggar Cartoon Contest held in China.

Nasrin Sheikhi won the Best Caricature Prize of the event, while Salam Mohammadi and Yousef Alimohammadi won special prizes, Mehr News Agency reported.

Belgium’s Sunnerberg Constantin Cost topped the international contest and the second prize went to David Vela of Spain.

Angel Boligan (Mexico), Figueroa Turcios (Spain) and Xia Lichuan (China) were among the jury members of this year’s contest.

The event was organized by the 4th Red Man International Humor Art Biennial of China.

The biennial also held an exhibition of cartoons about the recent earthquakes in Iran's East Azarbaijan Province, showcasing works by Iranian and international cartoonists.

The exhibition displayed works by Ehsan Ganji, Jamal Rahmati and Alireza Pakdel of Iran as well as Chinese artist Hong Xue and Indonesian cartoonist Jitet Koestana.

Two devastating earthquakes rocked Iran's northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, killing more than 300 people and injuring over 2,000 on August 11, 2012.

*Niki Karimi to Judge at Abu Dhabi Intl. Film Festival

Iranian actress and filmmaker Niki Karimi has been selected to serve on the jury panel of the 2012 edition of the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival.

Karimi is to judge for the Narrative Feature Competition Section along with French producer Cédomir Kolar, Egyptian critic Samir Farid, and Moroccan director Ismail Farrokhi in a panel presided over by Indian actress Shabana Azmi.

Karimi, who has appeared in more than 25 films and scooped numerous domestic and international awards, has judged at many international events including the Cannes, Locarno, Damascus, Rennes, Delhi Osian, Reykjavik, Vesoul and Berlin film festivals.

She began her career with veteran Iranian filmmaker Behrouz Afkhami's Bride and Dariush Mehrjui's Sara for which she received the Best Actress Award of San Sebastian and Nantes film festivals in 1992.

She made her first directorial debut in 2004 and her second film A Few Days Later (2006) which premiered at Rome Film Festival.

Karimi's latest film Final Whistle was warmly received at its Iranian premiere in August and has been screened in numerous international festivals so far.

Abbas Kiarostami’s Japanese-language drama Like Someone in Love was screened at the World’s Cinema section of the festival.

Iranian movie A Respectable Family directed by Masoud Bakhshi, is also in the screening program of this year’s Abu Dhabi International Film Festival.

Established in 2007, Abu Dhabi Film Festival is presented each October with the aim of creating a vibrant film culture throughout the region.

Some 155 films from 40 countries across the globe have participated in this year’s edition of the festival.

The 2012 Abu Dhabi Film Festival which kicked off on October 11 will run until October 20.

*Iranian Street Theater Wins in Kazakh Festival

Iranian street theater artist and director Hamed Zarean’s puppet play has been honored at the 2012 edition of Kazakhstan International Theater Festival.

Zarean’s latest work A Dreamy Trip, performed by Aban 27 ensemble, was named as the best street theater at this year’s festival and received honorary diploma along with cash award of USD 5000.

Some 45 theater ensembles from 30 countries participated in the festival in three categories of stage theater, street theater and animation.

The Earth and Wheel directed by Zahra Sabri was another Iranian representative that was presented at the stage theater section of the event.

Iranian professor of Art University Esmail Shafiee also served as a Jury member alongside several other theater masters from Russia and Japan.

Zarean’s several works have taken part in international festivals in Argentina, Bulgaria and Czech Republic so far.

The ensemble’s previous productions Sculpture and Norouz Khan have been awarded in several international festivals.

The 2012 Kazakhstan international theater festival was held from September 23 to October 1 in the Kazakh city of Almaty.

*Iranian Short Documentary Wins Duhok Intl. Film Festival

Iranian short documentary directed by Parviz Rostami has been awarded at the first edition of Duhok International Film Festival in Iraq.

Rostami’s screen production Stone Melody (Melody Bard) won the Best Documentary Award at the newly established festival, ISNA reports.

The 11-minute movie features a formal and aesthetic look to the rock particularly in mountainous regions and its role in human life from birth to death. It also highlights the longstanding relationship between man and nature throughout the centuries.

Iranian filmmaker and scriptwriter Kambuzia Partovi, Czech film critic and lecturer Viera Langerova, Afghan film director and producer Siddiq Barmak and German documentary producer and Journalist Brigitta Manthey served in the festival’s jury panel under the presiding of Shawkat Aminkorki from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi's A separation was also screened at the closing ceremony of the festival.

Duhok International Film Festival was first held in cooperation with Berlin Kurdish Film festival in 2011.

The 2012 film festival that was held in Duhok city of Iraq from September 9 to 16, 2012 was presented in two main sections, Kurdish Cinema and World Cinema.

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