Awards and Honors For Iranian Artists & Filmmakers

Monday, July 29, 2013

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Eight Iranian children honored in Belarus painting contest

Eight Iranian children have garnered Honorable Mention at the 2013 edition of Belarus International Painting Competition of Motherland.

The creations of Iranian young artists were selected from among 15459 works submitted by 31 countries from around the world.

Danial Nourbakhsh (5 years), Sepideh Yeganeh (6 years), Mahya Akbarnia (7 years), Elahe Nasri (9 years), Ayda Pourhassan (10 years), Zahra Hammamizadeh (10 years), Fatemeh Khosravi (12 years) and Zahra Abdolzadeh (13 years) are the Iranian winners of this year’s contest.

The winners are members of Iran’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA).

The competition displayed some 314 selected works during an exhibition held in the capital city of Minsk on April 18, 2013.

IIDCYA took part in the competition with the 579 entries created by its members at different ages.

IIDCYA covers a wide range of cultural and artistic activities in the country such as releasing books, audio tapes, films and toys for Iranian kids.

Founded in 1961, the institute has branches all across the country and is known as the best source of cultural and instructional products by educational centers and families.

The IIDCYA also organizes festivals, discussion panels, competitions and various conferences addressing children, and adults who want to improve their understanding of their children.

*Artist Invited to Madam Tussaud Museum

Iranian sculptor Hamid Kangarani is to collaborate with the Madam Tussaud Wax Museum upon an invitation from the museum officials.

Painter and sculptor Kangarani is a specialist in making polymer clay sculptures for almost 15 years.

Born in 1979 in Tehran, the self-trained artist started his work since he was a child, IRNA reported.

He is the first Iranian sculptor to be invited by Madam Tussaud Museum for a long time cooperation on various projects.

Kangarani has, so far, made sculptures of famous Iranian politicians and artists, including the Father of the Islamic Revolution the late Imam Khomeini, and prominent actor Ezzatollah Entezami.

In 1998, he became familiar with the style of sculptor Madam Tussuad and decided to make statues using the same technique, and after making a substantial effort, he ultimately succeeded in this.

Madam Tussaud Museum is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud.

The museum is a major tourist attraction in London, displaying waxworks of historical and royal figures, film stars, sports stars and infamous murderers.

*Durban film festival honors Farhadi’s ‘The Past’

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s new smash hit drama The Past has garnered top award at the 2013 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) in South Africa.

Farhadi's Cannes competition entry received the Best Screenplay Award of the 34th edition of the festival held in the city of Durban.

The recent award is Farhadi’s second prize at DIFF while his Oscar winning movie A Separation won Best Film in last year’s edition.

Farhadi’s immigrant romantic drama The Past (Le Passé) depicts the story of an Iranian man who deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. When he comes back to Paris upon his wife's request for a divorce encounters with a complicated situation of the family there.

Premiered in the 2013 Cannes film festival, The Past is Farhadi’s sixth directorial experience and first one in a foreign country that was shot in the French capital, Paris.

Farhadi’s Paris-set tale film scooped two prizes at the 66th Cannes film festival including the Best Actress award that went to Argentine-French actress Berenice Bejo, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (prix du Jury acuménique).

The movie has received warm critical acclaim by both French movie goers during its public screening in the country’s movie theaters and those ones who followed the film in its premier at Cannes film festival.

The French-language film was screened at the 2013 Sidney International Film Festival in June, and presented at the Paris Cinema Film Festival that took place from June 28 to July 9.

The movie has been also selected to contend for award at Toronto International Film Festival that will be held in September, 2013.

Founded in 1979, Durban International Film Festival has showcased some 72 feature films, 48 documentaries and 45 short films at this year’s edition.

The 34th Durban International Film Festival took place from July 18 to 28, 2013.

*Spanish festival honors Iranian director Dariush Ghazbani

Iranian filmmaker Dariush Ghazbani has won a best director award at the 8th Mas Sorrer International Short Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

On July 28, he received the prize for “Hannaneh”, his latest work on the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, the Persian service of MNA reported.

A production of the Sacred Defense Cinema Association, “Hannaneh” tells the story of Abbas and Zainab, an Iranian couple, which find a pregnant woman and her daughter on their way fleeing from Khorramshahr after Iraqi forces attacked the southern Iranian city.

Ghazbani is a young filmmaker from the southern city of Bushehr that has made several short films.

“The Tree” directed by Hamed Siami was another Iranian entry to the festival.

*Kambiz Derambakhsh wins Grand Prize at Turkish cartoon contest

Veteran Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh won the Grand Prize at the 33rd International Nasreddin Hodja Cartoon Contest in Turkey.

The winners were announced during the closing ceremony of the contest at Istanbul’s Armanda Hotel on July 15.

Four other Iranian cartoonists were also honored with special prizes.

Datis Golmakani won the Special Prize of Ferit Öngören and Majid Amini received the Special Prize of Turkey’s Association of Cartoonists.

In addition, the Special Prize of FOX TV went to Reza Mokhtar-Jozani and the Special Prize of Çankaya Municipality was presented to Elnaz Bahonar.

A total of 922 cartoonists from 60 countries participated in the competition, which is organized annually by the Association of Cartoonists.

Grzegorz Szumowski from Poland, Rainer Ehrt from Germany, Michael Kountouris from Greece and Florian Doru Crihana from Romania were on the panel of the contest.

Metin Peker, Erdogan Basol, Kadir Dogruer, Muhittin Köroglu, Metin Üstündag and Sevket Yalaz were the Turkish members of the jury.

*Iranian films nab top awards at Golden Apricot film festival

Two Iranian screen productions have scooped top prizes at the 10th Golden Apricot International Film Festival in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

Majid Barzegar’s Parviz and Salem Salavati’s Last Winter along with the other winners were honored during a closing ceremony held at the National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet on July 14.

Barzegar’s feature length movie Parviz contended for award at the competition section of the festival held in the capital city of Yerevan.

Centered on family relationships, the film depicts the story of a man at his fifties, Parviz, who has spent life in his father’s home and has never had a job. His quiet routine suddenly comes apart when his father decides to remarry and tells him to move out.

Salem Salavati’s 77-minute documentary The Last Winter is an allegory in which the depicted family represents those ones who are unable to change their resigned way of life.

Salavati’s film is an expanded version of his previous short Snowy Dreams with the same picturesque winter scenery, calm, realistic life style and culture of Iranian Kurdistan.

Serbian filmmaker Srdan Golubovic’s Circles picked up the Golden Apricot Award of this year’s edition of the festival.

This year’s Yerevan film festival hosted 200 films, from which 90 movies were screened in the four competition sections of Feature, Documentary, Armenian Panorama and the Apricot Stone (short films).

Established in 2004, Golden Apricot Yerevan Film Festival is annually held and dedicated to the theme of Crossroads of Cultures and Civilizations.

The 2013 Golden Apricot Yerevan Film Festival kicked off on July 7 and came to an end on July 14.

*Iranian translator to attend Goethe Medals ceremony

The Iranian author and translator Mahmud Hosseinizad plans to travel to Germany in August to receive a Goethe Medal he won in May for his contributions to German literature in Iran.

He is one of the three non-Germans the Goethe Institute has selected to honor with Goethe Medals during a ceremony on August 28.

“Munich’s House of Literature (Literaturhaus) has invited me to attend the ceremony,” Hosseinizad told the Persian service of ISNA.

He is scheduled to hold story reading sessions in Frankfurt and Berlin, and discussions on Persian literature.

The institute’s website described Hosseinizad as “one of the most important translators of contemporary German literature into Persian.”

Since 2000, Hosseinizad translated several books by German authors such as Judith Hermann, lngo Schulze, Uwe Timm, Peter Stamm and Julia Franck into Persian.

The Indian publisher Naveen Kishore and the Greek writer Petros Markaris are the two other winners of medal this year.

The Goethe Institute is a non-profit German cultural association operating worldwide to promote the study of the German language abroad, and encourage international cultural exchange and relations.

*Iran police drama nominated for award at Spain film festival

Iranian filmmaker and actor Faramarz Qaribian’s latest directorial project has been nominated for awards at the 2013 Madrid International Film Festival.

Qaribian’s police drama titled The Sinners was named nominee for two Best Director Award and Best Screenplay Award of the festival.

Written by the director’s son Sam Qaribian, the movie is contending for awards with 5 other nominees at the Non-Spanish Language Films section.

The Sinners is Sam Gharibian’s first experience in screenplay writing, Mehr News Agency has reported.

The film has taken part in several international film festivals such as the Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) in the United States.

Madrid International Film Festival presents the films from the smallest independent film maker to the most popular ones and foreign language films in all film types.

This year’s edition of the festival kicked off on July 1 and will come to an end today, July 6, 2013.

*“Golchehreh” sails home with Golden Dhow for best film at Zanzibar festival

The Iranian drama “Golchehreh”, which is about Taliban’s hostile attitude toward cinema, won the Golden Dhow for best film at the 16th Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

Directed by Vahid Musaian, the film is based on a true story about the Taliban in Afghanistan and how they tried to destroy their national film archive and close the movie theaters.

The former secretary of Iran’s Fajr International Film Festival Mohhamdreza Abbasian received the award on behalf of Musaian, who was not able to attend the event.

Afshin Hashemi, Hedayat Hashemi, Hossein Moheb Ahari, and Ladan Mostofi are among the main members of the film’s cast.

The Silver Dhow Award of the festival went to “Ni Sisi” Kenyan director Nick Reding and “Nairobi Half Life” by Tosh Gitonga was picked as the Best East African film.

A lineup of Iranian films was selected to compete in the festival, which was held in the Tanzanian city from June 29 to July 7.

“More Than Two Hours” directed by Ali Asghari, “Burning Nests” by Shahram Maslakhi, “Shirin Was a Canary” by Davud Towhid, “Someone Wanna Talk to You” by Manuchehr Hadi and “Dragonfly’s Pond” by Mohammadreza Arab were in the lineup.

ZIFF is East Africa’s largest film, music and arts festival, bringing new talents together from all over the world.

*Iranian photojournalist awarded at NPPA 2013 contest 

Iranian photographer Majid Saeedi has been awarded the 2nd prize of “Sports Picture Story” section of the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) 2013, for his collection of photos entitled “Body building in Afghanistan”.

“An increasing number of young Afghans now like to do bodybuilding and Hollywood movie stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger become their role model as they do bodybuilding. Most Afghans say they are tired of guns and fighting but like the physical and mental strength of bodybuilding. However, the problem is being able to take enough calories and intake of proper amount of protein. Most Afghans can't afford the food with high protein and try to replace the nutrients with inexpensive food such as hard broiled eggs.” according to the NPPA website.

Saeedi`s  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.

The National Press Photographers Association is dedicated to the advancement of visual journalism – its creation, practice, training, editing and distribution – in all news media and works to promote its role as a vital public service.

The National Press Photographers Association was founded in 1946.  In the first issue of National Press Photographer (published in Boston, MA, in April, 1946), an editorial on the front page proclaimed, “With this issue is born a voice, one that has been mute much too long.

The NPPA of today encompasses the three facets of visual journalism – still images, video, and multimedia – and reflects the comprehensive, modern transformation of the industry and the association's more than 6,500 constituents.

*“Prix de la Photographie Paris” awards Iranian photographer 

Iranian photographer Hamideh Zolfaghari was awarded Third Prize in the PX3 2013 Competition in Paris, France.

Iranian photographer Hamideh Zolfaghari was awarded the Third Prize in category Press (other) for the entry entitled, "Mother & Child". The jury selected PX3 2013’s winners from thousands of photography entries from over 85 countries.
The first exhibition of the selected works will be on view on July 10, 2013 at “Espace Dupon”, Paris.

The "Prix de la Photographie Paris" (Px3) strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talents, and introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. Winning photographs from this competition are exhibited in a high-profile gallery in Paris and published in the high-quality, full-color Px3 Annual Book.

“Hamideh Zolfaghari was born in Tehran, Iran . After her training in San Jose State University, California in creative photography, she worked in San Francisco for four years. She then left for Iran to freelance. In 1989, she showed her first body of work at annual Exhibition in the Museum of Modern Arts in Tehran, where she was the recipient of first prize in photography. Since then, she has won numerous other prizes for her excellence in photojournalism. She has also been active in many premiere art show galleries in Paris, Switzerland , and London , and California . Her book   “Tehran” provided a medium for her to share some of these experiences.” (

*Tina Pakravan’s film won at Japanese film festival

Iranian woman director Tina Pakravan’s short screen production It Was My City scooped the top award at the Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia (SSFF & ASIA) in Japan.

The movie nabbed the Best Short Film award at the International section of the festival held in the capital city of Tokyo.

Filmed in a single shot, It Was My City depicts the life of ordinary people within the background of war.

Pakravan’s cinematic creation also received the Best Short Film award at the 4th Iranian Film Festival in Canada.

Glimmer directed by Omid Abdollahi and Emergency Exit by Mehdi Jafari were other representatives of Iran’s cinema at this year’s Tokyo film festival.

Established in 1999, the SSFF & ASIA is held to support short films, in all genres, produced in Asian countries.

In 2004 the festival was officially accredited by the Academy Awards, making the festival Grand Prix winner eligible for nomination in the short film category of the academy.

The 2013 Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia kicked off on June 7 and will come to an end on June16.

*Iranian documentary nabs top award at Leiden film festival

Iranian filmmaker Kayvan Karimi’s short documentary The Broken Border has won at the fifth Leiden International Short Film Experience (LIsFE).

The documentary scooped the special prize of the Competition section of this year’s festival held in city of Leiden in the Netherlands.

Karimi’s movie that was Iran’s only representative at the event garnered the award due to its theme and poetic aspects.

This year’s edition of the festival hosted some 142 films from 51 countries around the world.

The Broken Border which features fuel smuggling from Iran to Iraq has been screened in different Iranian and foreign festivals in Bulgaria, Greece, Uruguay, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain, New Zealand and Italy.

The film has received Special Jury Award both at Italian Tolfa Film Festival and Magma Film Festival in New Zealand. It also won the Best Student Film Award at Filofest festival in Slovenia.

Leiden International Short Film Experience (LIsFE) is dedicated to the most original and creative form of short films.

The fifth Leiden International Short Film Experience was held from June 1 to 8, 2013.

*Iranian director receives Grand Medal of Vermeil

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi was honored with the Grand Medal of Vermeil from the City of Paris on Thursday for his Palme d’Or contender “The Past”.

The medal was presented to Farhadi by the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, during a press conference held in the capital’s City Hall for this year’s Paris Cinema Film Festival that runs from June 28 to July 9, announced the organizers.

“Your works remind us of Victor Hugo,” Delanoe said while presenting the medal to Farhadi, adding that Farhadi is a filmmaker who makes one familiar with the rich culture of Iran, according to what Nouvel Observateur has reported on its website.

Farhadi also thanked the mayor for providing the facilities to shoot the movie in Paris and its suburbs.

The French-language film is Farhadi’s first project filmed outside of his homeland.

French star Berenice Bejo won a best actress award for her role in Farhadi’s drama “The Past” (“Le Passe”) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Bejo portrays Marie Brisson, a French woman who has ongoing domestic problems with her Iranian husband, Ahmad.

Farhadi’s “A Separation”, which won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony, and his Silver Bear Winning “About Elly” are also due to be screened at the festival. 

Farhadi is also expected to attend the film screenings.

Moreover, Roman Polanski’s “Venus in Fur”, starring his wife Emmanuelle Seigner opposite Mathieu Amalric as an actress and director embroiled in a racy, psychological battle will open this year’ Paris Cinema Film Festival.

There will be previews of Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner “Blue Is the Warmest Color”, with co-stars Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux attending, as well as Ari Folman’s Directors’ Fortnight opener “The Congress”.

The International Competition includes Singaporean Anthony Chen’s “IloIlo”, which won the Camera d’Or for best first feature film at Cannes, and Justine Triet’s child custody-divorce drama “The Battle of Solferino”, which screened in the ACID selection.

This year’s country of honor is Belgium. The program pays homage to actress Natacha Regnier, and focuses on directors Joachim Lafosse and Felix van Groeningen.

In addition, there will be retrospectives devoted to the work of South African artist William Kentridge, featuring screenings of his 9 Drawings for Projection animated short film series capturing South Africa in the years immediately after Apartheid.

*Iranian short films win awards at Ismailia festival 

Two Iranian short films have won major prizes at the 16th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts in Egypt.

“Glimmer” received the Jury Prize in the Short Fiction Competition, and “Mashti Esmaeil” was awarded the Best Film Prize in the Short Documentaries Competition during the closing ceremony of the festival on Sunday in Cairo, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported.

Directed by Omid Abdollah, “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 eyeglasses yet.

“Mashti Esmaeil” directed by Mehdi Zamanpur Kiasari is about an old blind man named Mashti Esmaeil who works in the paddies. Mashti Esmaeil does not lose his hope despite all difficulties he faces throughout his life.

“Why Not Kill a Fly” by Iranian director Farhad Alizadeh was also screened in the competition section.

“Toto” by Zbigniew Czapla from Poland won the Best Film Prize in the Animation Competition, and the Best Film Prize in the Documentaries Competition was presented to “A World Not Ours” by Mahdi Fleifel, a co-production from Lebanon, UK, Denmark and UAE.

The 16th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts ran from June 4 to 9 under the presidency of Kamal Abdel Aziz, Director of the National Cinema Center.