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New Cultural Successes of Iranians

Friday, August 26, 2011

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*India awards Iranian cartoonist

Young Iranian cartoonist and graphic designer Mohammad-Ali Khalaji has been awarded at the Eco Cartoon International Exhibition in India.

The 34-year-old artist received the first prize of the festival for his emphasizing the need of protecting green environment through his work, Mehr News Agency reports.

The artist has won many prizes in national and international cartoon competitions.

Mexico, Poland, Turkey, Iran, china, Syria and Bulgaria were among the 10 countries whose artists were honored during the event.

The Eco Cartoon International Exhibition was presented on the theme of 'Think Green, Grow Green and Go with Green', emphasizing the individual responsibility towards environmental issues.

*Argentinean Accolade for Iranian Cartoonist

Iranian cartoonist Mohammad-Ali Khalaji won the first award at the Salon Diogenes Taborda festival that was recently held in Argentina.

Khalaji won first prize in the black and white section. He also received honorable mention in the color cartoon section, the Persian service of MNA reported.

Mostafa Hossein-Nia and Puya Sareh also received honorable mentions.

The closing ceremony is due to be held on September 24.

*Iran Actress to Judge at Bulgaria Festival

Iranian actress Hengameh Qaziani will serve as a jury member at the 2011 edition of Love is Folly International Film Festival in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian director Ivan Pavlov leads the board of jury for this year's festival which will be held until September 1st in Varna.

Thirteen films from Europe, Asia and the US are competing for the 2011 Golden Aphrodita Award of the annual festival.

The 19th Love is Folly International Film Festival kicked off on August 26, 2011, hosting 57 films from 18 countries, 13 of which were screened as part of the event's official program.

The festival opened with Claude Lelouche's Ces amours-la and will close with Spanish filmmaker Fernando Leon de Aranoa's Princesas.

This year's festival also included a panorama of Kazakh film production and the panorama One Funny and Sad Clown commemorating one of the best films of Yuri Nikulin.

Qaziani won the 2008 Best Actress prize of the Bulgarian festival for her performance in Reza Mirkarimi's So Simple.

*“About Elly” Wins Golden Aphrodita Award at Bulgarian Festival

The Golden Aphrodita Award of the Bulgarian film festival was added to the international award collection of Asghar Farhadi’s “About Elly”.

“About Elly” was an entry to Love Is Folly, an international film festival that ran from August 26 to 31 in Varna, Bulgaria.

The jury members unanimously picked “About Elly” for the prize, Iranian actress Hengameh Qaziani who was among the jury members of the festival told the Persian service of ISNA.

“About Elly” tells the story of middle class Iranians whose trip to the Caspian Sea turns into a tragedy as they try to uphold their social customs.

“I first asked other jury members to announce their opinions after the film screening and they all agreed with ‘About Elly’,” she added.

“Only one or two critics had an objection to the decision, but I strongly defended the movie at the critics’ session and accepted the award in Farhadi’s absence at the closing ceremony,” she said.

She continued, “I was the only Iranian member among the jury. The jury members were selected from among those who had already won an award from the festival and I took the best actress award for the film ‘So Simple”’.

“Bulgarians are very interested in Iran’s cinema and their cultures are somewhat similar to ours. As the only representative from Iran, I received a warm welcome at the festival,” she mentioned.

*Brazilian Exhibit Honors Iranian Cartoonist

Iranian cartoonist Mohammad-Amin Aqaii took the Grand Prize at the 38th International Humor Exhibition of Piracicaba, which was held in Brazil.

Aqaii had previously received the award from the 32nd edition of the contest several years ago.

Head of the Iran’s Cartoon House Masud Shojaii Tabatabaii was among the jury members of the contest.

The young cartoonist has also received several other Iranian and international awards in previous years.

*Montreal Festival Awards Iranian Film

Iranian filmmaker Bahram Tavakkoli's feature-length movie Here without Me has been awarded at the 2011 edition of Montreal's World Film Festival in Canada.

The film's lead actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria also won the Best Actress Prize of the grand Canadian festival, ISNA reported.

A contemporary Iranian adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Glass Menagerie, Here without Me recounts the story of a single mother working hard to find a match for her shy and lame-legged daughter, while her son dreams mostly of the cinema and running away from family obligations.

This year's World Film Festival which ran from August 18 to 28, 2011, screened feature-length Films, shorts and documentaries by a number of young Iranian directors such as Mohammad-Reza Farzad, Reza Mirkarimi, Ronak Taher and Shahin Parhami.

The Belgian coming-of-age comedy Hasta La Vista (Come as You Are) directed by Geoffrey Enthoven won this year's top jury and audience awards.

The Montreal jury led by Spanish director Vicente Aranda also granted its special Grand Prix award to Japanese director Masato Harada's Chronicle of My Mother.

The World Film Festival presented some 230 feature-length and medium-length Films along with 153 shorts from more than 70 countries.

The event also screened 383 international and 51 North American premieres.

*Iran Film Warmly Received in Montreal

Iranian Filmmaker Negar Azarbaijani's Facing Mirrors has been warmly received at the 2011 edition of Montreal's World Film Festival in Canada.

Produced and written by Fereshteh Taerpour, the Film won great acclaim after its first screening at the Focus on World Cinema section of the Festival on August 24, ISNA reported.

As the movie was warmly received by both Iranian and Canadian audience, Festival authorities decided to schedule an extra screening on August 28.

This year's World Film Festival which will run until August 28, 2011, screened feature-length Films, shorts and documentaries by a number of young Iranian directors such as Mohammad-Reza Farzad, Reza Mirkarimi, Ronak Taher and Shahin Parhami.

Bahram Tavakkoli's The Here without Me also took part in the event's International Competition section.

A contemporary Iranian adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Glass Menagerie, the Film recounts the story of a single mother working hard to find a match for her shy and lame-legged daughter, while her son dreams mostly of the cinema and running away from family obligations.

The World Film Festival presented some 230 feature-length and medium-length Films along with 153 shorts from more than 70 countries.

The event also screened 383 international and 51 North American premieres.

*Italian Filmfest Awards Motamedi Film

Iranian filmmaker Ahmad-Reza Motamedi's Alzheimer's has been awarded at the 57th edition of Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, Italy.

Produced by Farabi Cinema Foundation, Motamedi's film won the special jury prize of the event after making its international premiere in the festival's Beyond the Mediterranean section.

The film competed with Denmark's Truth about Men, UK and Ireland's Lotus Eaters, South Africa's Black Butterflies, the United States' Red State, and Brazil's Land of Desire.

Ahmad-Reza Motamedi who could not attend the award ceremony, received the prize during a ceremony held at the Farabi Cinema Foundation on Wednesday.

Motamedi is a graduate of Western philosophy who began his career as a researcher and screenwriter.

The Fall (1994), The Ugly and the Beautiful (1998), The Insane Flew Away (2003), and Rule of the Game (2007) are Motamedi's other productions.

His Insane Flew Away was awarded at the 21st Fajr International Film Festival in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

The 2011 Taormina Film Festival was held from June 11 to 18 in southern Italy.

*Iranian Actress Leila Hatami Selected for French Festival Jury

Iranian actress Leila Hatami is among the jury members of the 37th Deauville American Film Festival, which will be held from September 3 to 12 in France.

Alongside Sabrina Ouazani, Elisa Sednaoui, and Benjamin Siksou, Hatami will judge the Revelation section of the festival, which will be headed by Samuel Benchetrit.

They will pick a film to receive this year’s Cartier Trophy from the festival.

The Deauville American Film Festival is an annual film festival dedicated to American cinema.

*Tunisia Awards Iranian Qur'an Reciters

Two Iranian Qur'an reciters have been awarded at Tunisia's first post-revolution International Qur'an Reading Competition held in the capital city of Tunis.

Amin Pouya won the first prize of the reciting section of the event, while Hassan Zarnousheh-Farahani was granted the third award of the memorization section.

Pouya also won the first prize of the International Moscow Qur'an Reading Competition in 2010, IRNA reported.

The Iranian participants competed with reciters from 22 countries from August 12 to 16, 2011.

Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs Laroussi Mizouri hailed the competition as the first international religious event and an important stage in the political life of Tunisia after the January Islamic uprising in the country.

*Iran's Shirchi to Judge at Sharjah Biennial

Veteran Iranian calligrapher Esrafil Shirchi will serve on the board of jury of the 2012 edition of the Sharjah Art Biennial in the United Arab Emirates.

“I have been invited to judge the calligraphy painting,” Shirchi told ISNA adding “other judges will be from Egypt, the UAE and Turkey.”

The renowned artist emphasized the significance of calligraphy and calligraphy painting saying “since the Seljuk era Persian calligraphy works have always been part of western museums.”

“People in the West consider Persian Nasta'liq and cursive Nasta'liq attractive and beautiful, and see the essence of Persian civilization in them,” he added.

Shirchi is currently an instructor at Iran's Association of Calligraphers and has published over 10 collections of his works.

He has held numerous exhibitions in different countries including France, Belgium and Luxembourg. His 2008 calligraphy exhibition featuring Iranian musician Fazel Jamshidi's live musical performance attracted thousands of art enthusiasts in the US.

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