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New Cultural Successes of Iranians

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Mirkarimi’s family drama wins at Ibn Arabi Intl. Filmfest

Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi’s acclaimed dramatic comedy A Cube of Sugar has won at the 4th Ibn Arabi International Film Festival (IBAFF) in Spain.

The movie, which was presented at the competition section, garnered the Best Feature-length award of this year’s festival held in the Spanish city of Murcia.

Mirkarimi's latest production recounts the story of a family who lives in an old Iranian city and their attempts in dealing with different problems and incidents.

The film has been screened in many international festivals and received several awards.

A Cube of Sugar was presented at the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) in Ireland as well as the World Greats Section of the 35th Montreal International film festival in 2011.

The world-renowned Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami also held a series of workshops titled Abbas Kiarostami Film Seminar on the sidelines of the IBAFF.

This year’s Honorary Award of the festival went to the French theatre and scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carrière.

Mirkarimi’s A Cube of Sugar and So Close, So Far are also scheduled to be screened at the Cine Doré Hall in the Spanish capital Madrid on March 12 and 13.

The 2013 Ibn Arabi International Film Festival took place from March 4 through 9.

*Mirkarimi’s dramas warmly welcomed in Madrid

Two Iranian feature-length films directed by the acclaimed director Reza Mirkarimi have been warmly received in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

Mirkarimi’s A Cube of Sugar and So Close, So Far that were screened at Madrid’s Cine Doré Hall garnered great acclaim by audience and critics.

Produced by Iran’s House of Art, the movies were screened on March 12 and 13, 2013.

Mikarimi’s dramatic comedy A Cube of Sugar picked up the Best Feature-length award at the 4th Ibn Arabi International Film Festival in Spain that was held few days ago.

A Cube of Sugar recounts the story of a family who lives in an old Iranian city and their attempts in dealing with different problems and incidents.

So Close, So Far tells the story of a prominent neurosurgeon whose life is suddenly jolted when he learns that his son is terminally ill.

Mirkarimi’s both screen creations have been presented in many international festivals and received several awards.

Under the Moonlight (2001), The Child and the Soldier (2001), So Close, So Far (2005) and As Simple as 2008) are among Mirkarimi's better known works.

*Japan contest honors Iranian photojournalist for Somali civil war collection

The Iranian photographer Hossein Fatemi has been honored for his collection on the Somali civil war at the 9th Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards in Tokyo.

He was presented one of the three prizes awarded for third place for his collection entitled “Somalia - 3 Decades of Civil War”, the contest’s website announced on March 9.

The Japanese photographers Noriko Hayashi and Kohtaro Miyata won the two other awards for third place.

The Serbian photographer Goran Tomasevic won the first prize for his photo collection on Syria.

Fatemi is the representative of Panos Pictures, a photo agency specializing in the global social issues, driven by the vision and commitment of its photographers and staff.

This edition of the Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards was on the theme the dignity of human beings and nature.

Fatemi has won several national and international awards including a silver medal from the Delaware Photographic Society in the United States (2006); and a gold medal in both the Asahi Shimbun International Competition in Japan (2005 and 2006) and the China International Photojournalism Contest (2007 and 2009).

*Australian Film Critics Association hails Iran ‘Separation’

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s Academy Award winning film has been named winner of the Sixth Annual Australian Film Critics Association (AFCA) Awards.

Farhadi’s 2012 acclaimed drama Nader and Simin: A Separation won the Best International film, Foreign Language Awards of the competition.

A Separation won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards in 2012.

The film also received the award for the Best Foreign Language film at the 2012 edition of Golden Globes as well as the Best Foreign Film Award of the 2012 César Awards in Paris.

The movie won four prizes at the 2012 Asian Film Awards as it was named best film, picked up the best director award for Asghar Farhadi, and also took home the best screenwriter and best editor trophies of the contest.

A Separation has been presented at about 93 International festivals and had public screening in 47 countries so far.

Farhadi’s sixth directorial experience The Past is scheduled to hit French screens from May, 2013.

Shot in the French capital city of Paris, Farhadi’s immigrant romantic drama The Past depicts the story of an Iranian girl and a boy of North African origin.

International Memento Films Production co-director Alexander Mallet-Guy produced the film which has been named among the top 100 most anticipated films of 2013.

*Australian Film Critics Association Hails Iran “Separation”

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s Academy Award winning film has been named winner of the Sixth Annual Australian Film Critics Association (AFCA) Awards.

Farhadi’s 2012 acclaimed drama “Nader and Simin: A Separation” won the Best International film, Foreign Language Award of the competition.

“A Separation” won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards in 2012.

The film also received the award for the Best Foreign Language film at the 2012 edition of Golden Globes as well as the Best Foreign Film Award of the 2012 César Awards in Paris.

The movie won four prizes at the 2012 Asian Film Awards as it was named best film, picked up the best director award for Asghar Farhadi, and also took home the best screenwriter and best editor trophies of the contest.

A Separation has been presented at about 93 International festivals and had public screening in 47 countries so far.

Farhadi’s sixth directorial experience “The Past” is scheduled to hit French screens from May, 2013.

Shot in the French capital city of Paris, Farhadi’s immigrant romantic drama “The Past” depicts the story of an Iranian girl and a boy of North African origin.

International Memento Films Production co-director Alexander Mallet-Guy produced the film which has been named among the top 100 most anticipated films of 2013.

*French intl. film festival honors Iran’s ‘Taboor’

Iranian director Vahid Vakilifar’s second feature-length film Taboor has been hailed at the 15th edition of Deauville Asian Film Festival in France.

Vakilifar's screen creation was awarded the Critic’s Prize of Lotus Air France (Prix de la Critique Internationale) at the festival.

Taboor which means the naval of the earth in old mythology is about human beings trapped in the surrounding environment.

The movie is also slated to be screened at the Viewpoints section of the 12th Tribeca International Film Festival in the United States, which will focus on stories told from distinctly male and female perspectives.

The film won Special Jury Prize shared with the Danish film A Hijacking by Tobias Lindholm at the 2012 edition of International Film Festival of Marrakech (FIFM).

Vakilifar's movie also received the First Special Mention of the 2012 Thessaloniki International Film Festival that was held in the Greek port city, Thessaloniki.

The movie was presented at the ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ section of the 2012 Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in South Korea, as well as the Festival du nouveau cinéma which was held in Montreal, Canada, in October 2012.

Born in 1981, Vahid Vakilifar graduated in film directing from Iran's Soureh University and worked as an assistant director on several features before starting his filmmaking career.

He was honored in several international events particularly for his first feature-length production Geshe.

The 15th Deauville Asian Film Festival was held from March 6 to 10, 2013.

*Mohammad Motamedi named 2013 Babel Med Music winner

The Babel Med Music is slated to dedicate the 2013 France Musique World Music Award to the Iranian musician and vocalist Mohammad Motamedi.

As the winner of the section, Motamedi will be granted to record a CD with ‘Radio France Ocora Records’ the following year, said Motamedi’s program manager Amir Ali Besharati.

Born in 1978, Motamedi performed several concerts in Iran and some other countries that were warmly received.

He held Extemporization concert in theatre of Paris, concert in historical Palace of Versailles and concert in Music Conservator Rome-Italy.

Motamedi also participated in International Festival of Sufi Music in Karachi, Pakistan.

Babel Med Music, which celebrates exceptional artists in World Music, is set to honor the best creative artists as well as the best artists in the category ‘talents without borders’ at this year’s program.

The ninth edition of Babel Med Music award ceremony will be held in Marseilles from March 21 to 23, 2013.

*Iran’s “Fat Shaker” wins Hivos Tiger Award at Rotterdam filmfest

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Shirvani’s “Fat Shaker”, about a stern patriarch, has won one of the three Hivos Tiger Awards at the 42nd International Film Festival Rotterdam.

The festival jury described the film as “a fascinating story with superb characters” during the closing ceremony of a section of the festival on Friday, announced the organizers.

The awards are presented to emerging filmmakers.

“Fat Shaker” is about an obese father who tries to con money from women with his young and handsome yet deaf-and-dumb son.

Another winner of the Hivos Tiger Awards is “My Dog Killer”, a joint production of Slovakia/Czech by director Mira Fornay. The film is an unflinching study of a troubled teen in a Slovakian small town.

“Soldier Jane” directed by by Daniel Hoesl from Austria is the other winner of the award. The film is a provocative portrait of two women from different ends of the social spectrum.

The 42nd International Film Festival Rotterdam was held from January 23 to February 3.

*Iran’s Bardia Kiaras to judge at Armenian music festival

Eminent Iranian composer and violinist Bardia Kiaras has been selected to judge at the 5th Veratsnund (Renaissance) International Contest-Festival in Armenia.

Kiaras is to serve in the jury panel of the composing section of the annual contest which is particularly held for musicians and performers in the Armenian city of Gyumri from April 10 to 19, 2013.

The 32-year-old Kiaras has been leading Iran’s National Music Orchestra since 2010.

Kiaras along with the Iranian orchestra has performed several memorable pieces in the country as well as several international festivals.

The Armenian festival is held to establish new friendly ties between musicians and performers of different nationalities.

Ensembles and musicians from France, Italy, Georgia, Russia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Estonia, and several other countries will attend the event.

*Iranian composer picked for Aldeburgh English Song Project

The Iranian composer Amir-Mahyar Tafreshipur is among ten musicians selected for the Aldeburgh English Song Project in England.

His arrangement for “Gatha” is based on the Gathas:  seventeen hymns composed by the Prophet Zarathushtra around 1200 BC, and will be performed during the project, which started in Aldeburgh on February 24 and runs until March 2.  

Young singers and musicians are scheduled to work on and perform “Gatha” and pieces by nine other musicians from around the world during master classes with British tenor Ian Bostridge at the Aldeburgh Festival.

The project has been organized to promote the Aldeburgh Festival, which was founded by the British composer, conductor, and pianist Benjamin Britten (1913–1976).

Mostly arrangements of English texts, Britten’s songs, like their predecessors, defined a uniquely intense response to words.

This project is led by British composer John Woolrich, poet Lavinia Greenlaw and pianist Huw Watkins with input from singers including Richard Edgar Wilson.

The project will continue in 2014 and 2015 with new composers.

*Iranian artist wins Chinese caricature contest

Iranian designer, painter and caricature artist Salam Mohammadi has been awarded at the 4th Red Man International Humor Art Biennial of China.

The Chinese contest honored Mohammadi by the Excellent Prize for his caricature on the American actress Marilyn Monroe.

While the biennial focuses on a famous character in its each edition, the participants of the 4th contest were required to present their works centered on the Hollywood actress.

Born in 1982 in Sanandaj, he has mounted over 11 Solo and 39 group exhibitions in Iran and other countries.

Mohammadi has received several awards in international competitions such as International Cartoon Festival Manmohan Singh, India.

He also won the gold medal of the 3rd Red Man International Humor Art Biennial of China in 2010, focused on the legendary comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.

*Two Iranian films win at Jaipur International Film Festival

Two Iranian screen productions have garnered top awards at the 2013 Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) in India.

A Look Towards The Sky directed by Hadi Mohaqqeq and Suddenly, Zinat by Navid Nikkhah Azad won Special Jury Mention of the festival.

Participated in Panorama section, the movies were praised by the jury members as major attractions of the festival.

Three other Iranian films including Reza Dormishian’s dramaHatred, Shahram Maslakhi’s Burning Nest and The Goat by Hamid Sadeqpour also represented the country’s cinema.

Some 217 short, animate and featured films from 90 countries were showcased at the year’s festival.

The fifth Jaipur International Film Festival was held in India's historical pink city of Jaipur from January 27 to January 31, 2013.

*Screen Actors Guild Award lauds Iran ‘Stunt 13’ group

Iranian stunt group known as ‘Stunt 13’ has been lauded at the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG) for outstanding action performances.

Tehran-based ‘Stunt 13’ team including two stuntmen and a stuntwoman along with some 100 other stunts was hailed for performing some of the more hard stunts in the action flick Skyfall.

The group beats out some explosion and fight scene heavy rivals in the movies of The Dark Knight Rises, The Bourne Legacy and The Amazing Spider-Man as well as one battle scene intensive musical Les Misérables.

Skyfall’s award winning stunt group garnered the prize at the annual ceremony of the event held on January 27, 2013.

The project’s stunt co-ordinator Gary Powell expressed his special thanks to the Iranian team for their extremely amazing performances.

Last year the ‘Stunt 13’ ensemble was invited to join the Bond movie for performing some scenes in Turkey, the group member Amir Reza Badri told ISNA.

‘Stunt 13’ team, including Arsha Aqdasi, Mahsa Ahmadi and Amir Reza Badri, has appeared in several TV advertisements and prominent Iranian movies such as Free Fall, Icy Heart, Crime and The Maritime Silk Road .

*Two Iranian artists honored in World Press Photo Contest

Two Iranian photographists Ebrahim Norouzi and Majid Saeedi have been hailed in different sections of the 56th World Press Photo Contest.

Ebrahim Norouzi’s photo titled Somayeh from his collection, Victims of Forced Love, took the first prize of the “Observed Portraits” category of the contest.

He also garnered the second award of the “Staged Portraits” section for another photo from the same collection.

His photographs have appeared nationally and internationally in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Time, The Washington Post, and have been distributed by Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International, and the European Press Photo Agency.

Majid Saeedi as Iran’s other representative won second prize in the “Contemporary Issues Stories” category with his series known as Life In War.

The winning picture features Zahra, 20, from the Afghan city of Herat, who set fire to herself four years ago due to the tribal traditions that are frequently dictated to Afghan women.

The international jury selected a picture by a photographer working for the Swedish daily, Paul Hansen, as the World Press Photo of the Year 2012, according to the Contest’s announcement released on February 15.

Winners of World Press Photo 2013 Awards were selected from over 100,000 images participated in about 9 categories ranging from sports to portraits.

This year’s awards were dedicated to 54 photographers of 32 nationalities from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and some other countries.

*French filmfest impressed after catching a glimpse of “Glimmer”

The Iranian short film “Glimmer” received the honorable mention of the international jury at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival.

Directed by Omid Abdollahi, “Glimmer” tells the story of an old optician who is going to close his optometry shop due to his weak eyesight. But there is still a client who has not come to pick up her spectacles yet.

Another Iranian film “After the Class” by Fereshteh Parnianzad also competed in the international section of the festival.

The Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, which was held from February 1 to 9, is the world’s leading film festival dedicated to short films.

It is held annually in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and is the second largest film festival in France after Cannes in terms of audience and professional attendance, boasting over 100,000 attendees annually since 1995.

*“Modest Reception” wins award at Vesoul filmfest

The acclaimed Iranian drama “Modest Reception” won an award at the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France.

“Modest Reception” received the Coup de Cœur INALCO Award at the festival, organizers announced on Tuesday.

The award is presented by the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations.

In addition, the film’s star Taraneh Alidusti received a special mention for the power of her expression.

“Modest Reception 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.

Starring Mani Haqiqi and Taraneh Alidusti, “Modest Reception” has received accolades from several international festivals.

The acclaimed Iranian actress Baran Kowsari is among the jury members of the festival.

“Modest Reception” is currently on screen in Iranian theaters and was screened in several theaters in Switzerland last September.

The film was distributed in the country by the Trigon-Film Foundation.

“With you, without you” by Prasanna Vithanage from Sri Lanka and “Jiseul” by Meul O. from South Korea shared the grand prix of the Vesoul festival.

*Iran ‘Last Step’ hailed at Pune Filmfest in India

Iranian actor and filmmaker Ali Mosaffa’s movie The Last Step has been honored at the 11th Pune International Film Festival in India.

The film garnered the jury’s Special Mention for the screenplay while the Best International Film Award went to the German drama Barbara by Christian Petzold.

Ali Mosaffa’s The Last Step was screened at the World Cinema Competition section of the festival.

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

Featuring world-renowned Iranian actress Leila Hatami, The Last Step is Mosaffa's second feature-length film that has been screened in several international events.

The film competed at the 2012 edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and was screened at the Crystal Globe award of the Czech festival, held from June 29 to July 7, 2012.

The Last Step was also presented at the 12th edition of Osian's Cinefan Film Festival in India, 2012 edition of MedFilm international Festival in Italy as well as in Barbakan International Film Festival, Slovakia.

The film also picked up the Special Jury Prize shared with Alain Gomis’s movie Today from Senegal at the 2012 Kerala International Film Festival (IFFK) in India.

Mani Haqiqi’s acclaimed feature-length movie Modest Reception was other Iranian representative presented at the World Cinema Section of the 2013 Pune film festival.

The11th Pune International Film Festival from January 10 to 17, 2013.

*Iranian Artist Awarded in Bangladesh

Iranian artist Sadeq Tirafkan’s creative collage titled ‘Human Tapestry’ has won several awards at the15th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh.

Tirafkan swept the competition’s golden medal, biennial statuette, honorary diploma and the cash award, Press TV reported.
He makes use of diverse media in his creation such as photography, video installation, and collage.

Human Tapestry represents an example of extremely detailed collages which are brought together from many pictures of different individuals into typical patterns for the traditional Persian carpets.

Born in 1965, Sadeq Tirafkan graduated from Tehran University in Photography in 1989 and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide.

His works are in the collections of several museums including the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, British Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Kambiz Sabri and Morteza Asadi’s creative arts were other Iranian representatives at this year’s Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh.
Some 475 works of art by 218 artists from 35 countries across the globe were participated at the competition.

The selected works of the 2012 Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh are on display at the international contemporary art exhibition held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, spanning from December 1 to December 31.

*Aussie festival to honor ‘Facing Mirrors’ in Iran

The director of Iranian Film Festival Australia is slated to travel Iran to dedicate the festival’s award to the acclaimed Iranian movie Facing Mirrors.

Anne Démy-Geroe one of the directors of the Australian festival will come to Iran to give the Pomegranate Audience Award during a ceremony.

The movie’s producer and screenwriter Fereshteh Taerpour, Negar Azarbaijani (director), the actress Shayesteh Irani and some other cineastes contributed to make the film are to attend the award ceremony.

Facing Mirrors won the prize at the 2nd edition of Iranian Film Festival Australia held in five cities of Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney on October, 2012.

Negar Azarbaijani's well-praised movie weaves together the lives of two women with different social and cultural backgrounds.

Facing Mirrors has been lauded at many international festivals as the film garnered numerous awards.

The movie won the Best Feature-length movie Award at the 2012 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival as well as the Best Narrative Feature Award at the 2012 International Three Dollar Bill Cinema in Seattle.

Azarbaijani's first directorial debut was also awarded at the 8th edition of Syracuse International Film Festival held in the United States.

The film was also well received by both Iranian and Canadian audiences at the 2011 edition of Montreal's World Film Festival and therefore the authorities decided to schedule an extra screening at the event.

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