Category Archives: Cinema

Iranian film won “Un Certain Regard” top prize at Cannes

A Man of Integrity (Lerd), a film that focuses on a goldfish farmer battling corporate oppression in Northern Iran, has won the top prize in the “Un Certain Regard” competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, the film stars Reza Akhlaghirad, Soudabeh Beizaee and Misagh Zare Zeinab. A Man of Integrity marks Rasoulof’s third attempt at the Un Certain Regard section, having previously had two of his other movies nominated including 2011’s Au revoir and 2013’s Manuscripts Don’t Burn, winning Best Director for the former.

Rasoulof’s win comes three months after another Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for his film The Salesman.

“Un Certain Regard” is a section of the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection. It runs parallel to the competition for the Palme d’Or. Introduced in 1978 by Gilles Jacob, this section presents works that have an original aim and aesthetic. The name literally means “a certain glance” but is understood by French speakers to mean “from another point of view.” In 2017 this section presented in competition 18 films hailing from 22 different countries.

Under the presidency of Uma Thurman (actress – United States), the Jury was comprised of Mohamed Diab (director – Egypt), Reda Kateb (actor – France), Joachim Lafosse (director – Belgium) and Karel Och (artistic director of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – Czech Republic).

Iranian short film “AniMal” (Heyvan), co-directed by Bahram and Bahman Ark, won the second prize of the 20th Cinéfondation Selection.  The Jury was headed by Cristian Mungiu (director – Romania) and included Clotilde Hesme (actress – France), Athina Rachel Tsangari (director, writer, producer – Greece), Barry Jenkins (director, script writer – United States) and Eric Khoo (director, writer, producer – Singapore).

La Cinéfondation, by the Cannes Film Festival, was created to inspire and support the next generation of international filmmakers. This year’s selection consisted of 16 student films, chosen out of 2.600 entries coming from 626 film schools around the world.

UN CERTAIN REGARD PRIZES
“Un Certain Regard” Prize: Lerd (A Man of Integrity) by Mohammad Rasoulof
Prize for Best Actress:  Jasmine Trinca for Fortunata by Sergio Castellitto
Prize for the Best Poetic Narrative: Barbara by Mathieu Amalric
Prize for the Best Direction: Taylor sheridan for Wind River
Jury Prize: Las Hijas de Abril (April’s Daughters) by Michel Franco

20th CINÉFONDATION PRIZES
First Prize: Paul est là (Paul is here) directed by Valentina Maurel / INSAS, Belgium
Second Prize: Heyvan (AniMal) directed by Bahram & Bahman Ark / Iranian National School of Cinema, Iran
Third Prize: Deux égarés sont morts (Two youths died) directed by Tommaso Usberti / La Fémis, France

Sources: Wikipedia, Festival de Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Festival de Cannes (Cinéfondation), silverscreen.in, instagram.com #lerd, purepeople.com

Iranian movie ‘Inversion’ wins Best Film Award at MedFilm Festival in Italy

inversion-film-by-behnam-behzadi-varoonegi-poster‘Inversion’, directed and written by Behnam Behzadi, won the Best Film Award at the 21st edition of MedFilm Festival, held in Rome.

Nine films were competing for the “Amore & Psyche” Prize in the official section, ten documentaries for the “Open Eyes” Prize and twenty short films for the “Methexis” Prize. A total of eleven Iranian films, five feature and six short films, were screend in the section “New Iranian Cinema: Beyond Words”.

Inversion is Behnam Behzadi’s fourth directed feature film. It has previously participated in ‘Un Certain Regard’ section at Cannes and received a positive review. The title is a reference to thermal inversion, a meteorological condition causing air pollution. The drama centers around a woman, Niloufar (acted by Sahar Dolatshahi), who decides to take charge and find ways to better express herself in the smog-teeming metropolis of Tehran.

MedFilm Festival is the oldest international film festival in Rome and the first festival in Italy dedicated to the promotion of Mediterranean and European cinema. MedFilm Festival was established in 1995 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Cinema and the Barcelona Declaration. Based on the conviction that Diversity is a Value, it encourages relations, cooperation and the development of the film industry between neighbouring countries.

behzradi-behnam-iranian-film-directorABOUT BEHNAM BEHZADI
Behzadi was born in 1972 in Boroujen, Iran. He obtained a master’s degree in filmmaking in Tehran and directed over 20 feature films, short works, tv movies and documentaries. He has also written scripts, worked in editing and collaborated with various scriptwriters including Bahman Ghobadi with whom he was co-script writer for the film ‘Nive mang/Half Moon’.

His first short film ‘Retaliation gained an international success, winning the second prize of FIPA 2000 in France. In 2008 his first feature film ‘Before the Burial’ was awarded in several international festivals. In 2013 ‘Bending the rules’ won the special jury prize at the Tokyo Film Festival, the audience award at Nantes and the Special Prize at Mannheim. Behzadi teaches cinema at Tehran University of Art.

Sources: Mehr News Agency, MedFilm Festival | About, MedFilm Festival | Brochure (“Beyond Words”: p. 9-10 ), MedFilm Festival | Inversion, Persian Film Festival in Australia | B. Behzadi

Iranian movies at Munich Filmfest

A lineup of Iranian movies will go on screen from June 23rd to July 2nd in various sections of the 34th Filmfest München.

Asghar Farhadi’s acclaimed drama “The Salesman” will be shown in the CineMasters Competition. The social drama won awards for best screenplay and best actor at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in May.

Two other highlights will go on screen in the International Independents section: “Avalanche” by Morteza Farshbaf and “Yahya Didn’t Keep Quiet” by Kaveh Ebrahimpur.

The festival is also presenting a retrospective of Bahman Ghobadi’s work with films like “A time for drunken horses” (2000), “Turtles can fly” (2004), “No one knows about Persian cats” (2009), and “Rhino season” (2012).

Bahman Ghobadi is an Iranian film director of Kurdish ethnicity born in 1969 in Baneh, near the Iraqi border. He belongs to the “new wave” of Iranian cinema. His first feature film “A time for drunken horses” won the Camera d’Or in Cannes in 2000.

Source: Filmfest München | Iranian Films, Tehran Times

“The Salesman” crew received a warm welcome in Iran after winning two awards at Cannes Festival (Photos)

Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and actors Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti got an overwhelming welcome in Tehran after arriving home from the 69th Cannes Film Festival, where Farhadi won the best screenplay prize and Shahab Hosseini received the Palme d’Or for best actor.

The film, whose screenplay was also written by Farhadi, is about Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) who move into a new flat in the center of Tehran. An incident linked to the previous tenant dramatically changes the young couple’s life.

Shahab Hosseini and Asghar Farhadi had worked together in “A Separation“. The first Iranian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. “A Separation” also won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor (Shahab Hosseini and Peyman Moaadi), becoming the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear. Farhadi’s “The Past” (Le Passé) had been nominated for a Palme d’Or in 2013.

Sources: Festival de Cannes, Tehran Times 1, Payvand Iran News, Wikipedia | A Separation, Facebook | Festival de Cannes – Page OfficielleTehran Times 2, Mehr News Agency 1, ISCA, Tehran Picture Agency, Mehr News Agency 2,

Iran’s Fajr International Film Festival – Winners (Photos)

The closing ceremony of 34th Fajr International Film Festival was held at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall. 150 international guests from 20 countries attended the festival, watched films and participated at different sections of the six day long event.

In the main competition section, “Rams”, a humanist drama by Icelandic director Grimur Hákonarson, won the Golden Simorgh for Best Film and its protagonists, actors Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Theódór Júlíusson, shared the Best Actor award. “Frenzy” by Emin Alper from Turkey was awarded the Silver Simorgh for Best Director and Iranian actress Pantea Panahiha won the Best Actress award for her role in “Breath” by Narges Abyar.

Spanish film “Amama: When a tree falls” written and directed by Asier Altuna Iza won the Silver Simorgh for Best Script. “Arvand” by Iranian director Pouria Azarbayjani received the Special Jury Prize. “Seen” by Soheil Amirsharifi from Iran won the Best Short Film award.

In Eastern Vista Kazakh filmmaker Yerlan Nurmukhambetov received the Best Film Trophy for “Walnut Tree”. “Madam Courage” by Algerian director Merzak Allouache won the Best Director award. Iranian documentary “A157” by Behroz Nouranjipour received a Special Mention.

“Zemnaco” by Iranian director Mehdi Ghorbanpour won the Interfaith Award. “Hasti” directed by Kamal Parnak from Iran and “Love Marriage in Kabul” by Australian filmmaker Amin Palangi received a Special Mention Diploma. His film was the winner in the Muhammad Al-Ameen section.

“Dawn” by Latvian director Laila Pakalnina was awarded the Trophy for Best Film and “Figura” directed by Katarzyna Gondek from Poland received the   Trophy for Best Short Film in the Art and Experience category.

The 34th edition of Fajr International Film Festival was held from April 20th to April 25th, 2016 in Tehran’s Charsou Cineplex, under supervision of Iranian filmmaker, Reza Mirkarimi, current Managing Director of Khaneh Cinema, Iran’s Alliance of Motion Picture Associations.

Sources: FIFF 2016, Azad News AgencyBorna News, Fars NewsIRNA, ISCA, ISNAMehr News Agency (MNA) 1MNA 2, Tasnim News Agency, Young Journalists Club

Fajr International Film Festival: Overview (Photos)

A wide range of movies, documentaries and shorts by directors from around the globe were screened this April during the 34th Fajr International Film Festival.

Fifteen featured films competed in the official section, including “Guaraní” by Luis Zorraquín (Argentina, Paraguay), “1944” by Elmo Nüganen (Estonia, Finland), “El Clásico” by Halkawt Mustafa (Iraq, Norway), “Norfolk” by Martin Radich (United Kingdom) and “The Treasure” by Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania, France), the winner of the Prix Un Certain Talent prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. (Details: FIFF 2016 | International competition | Featured films)

This section also included eighteen short films from Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Iran, Ireland, Russian Federation, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and Venezuela. (Details: FIFF 2016 | International competition | Short films)

Directors Majid Majidi and Nasser Taqvai from Iran, Chinese filmmaker and producer Tian Zhuangzhuang, Spanish director José Luis Guerín, producers Ivo Felt from Estonia and Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan from Turkey and Canadian writer Emmanuel Prevost were the official competition’s jury members.

Eastern Vista, a segment dedicated to films from Asian and Muslim nations, included “Solomon” by Zaza Khalvashi from Georgia and “My Sister, the Pig Lady” by Jang Moon-il from South Korea. A jury formed by Iranian actress Golab Adine, Afghan filmmaker Sahra Karimi, Indian actor and producer Jaaved Jaaferi, French-Moroccan director Ismael Feroukhi and Italian writer Teresa Cavina selected the winners of Best Asian Film and Best Asian Director from a total of sixteen movies from twelve different countries. (Full list: FIFF 2016 | Eastern Vista)

Directors Andrew Lau from Hong Kong, Alexander Sokurov from Russia and French journalist and critic Jean-Michel Frodon attended the festival. Special Screenings, a section focusing on documentaries, presented Sokurov’s new feature, Francofonia and Jia Zhang-ke by Brazilian director Walter Salles, writtern by Salles and Frodon. (Full list: FIFF 2016 | Special screenings)

Ten films were screened outside competition, including “The Assassin”, a martial arts drama by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien and “Lamb” by American director Ross Partridge. (Full list: FIFF 2016 | Festival of Festivals)

The festival highlighted French cinema, as one of its side section programs, screening “The Fear” by Damian Odoul (2015), “Rabid Dogs” by Eric Hannezo (2015), “The Little Prince” by Mark Osborne (2015), “The Measure of a Man” by Stéphane Brizé (2015), “The Clearstream Affair” by Vincent Garenq (2014) and “Anton Chekhov 1890” Rene Feret (2015).

A restored version of Dariush Mehrjui’s acclaimed 1969 drama “The Cow” was screened along with “The Lover’s Wind” by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse (1978) and “The Country of Lion and Sun: Persia” by Vladimir Erofeev (1935). A photo exhibition with selected scenes of “The Cow” and “The Lover’s Wind” was also held at Charsou Cineplex.

A number of top Iranian cineastes, including Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi , actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, actor Reza Kianian and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Majid Majidi, have held a series of workshops on the sidelines of the festival. Over 100 students from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Iran attended the six-day workshop program entitled “Dar ul-Funun”, the name of the Iranian polytechnic established in 1851.

The 34th edition of Fajr International Film Festival was held from April 20th to April 25th, 2016 in Tehran’s Charsou Cineplex, under supervision of Iranian filmmaker, Reza Mirkarimi, current Managing Director of Khaneh Cinema, Iran’s Alliance of Motion Picture Associations.

Sources: Tehran Times, Fajr International Film Festival, kinokultura.com, Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, Young Journalists Club (YJC) 1, YJC 2, YJC 3, YJC 4, YJC 5, YJC 6, Azad News Agency (ANA) 1, ANA 2, Borna News Agency (BNA) 1, BNA 2, BNA 3, BNA 4, BNA 5, BNA 6, Fars News Agency (FNA) 1, FNA 2, FNA 3FNA 4, IRNA 1, IRNA 2, IRNA 3, IRNA 4, IRNA 5, IRNA 6. IRNA 7, IRNA 8, ISCA 1, ISCA 2, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, ISNA 3, ISNA 4, ISNA 5, ISNA 6, ISNA 7, Tasnim News Agency (TNA) 1, TNA 2, TNA 3, TNA 4, TNA 5, TNA 6, TNA 7, TNA 8, TNA 9, Borna News Agency (BNA) 1, BNA 2, BNA 3, BNA 4, BNA 5, BNA 6, Tehran Picture Agency (TPA) 1, TPA 2, TPA 3, TPA 4, TPA 5

Three Iranian films won awards at Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey

The Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) is a film festival in the United States held in Atlantic City, New Jersey which showcases over 150 independent films annually. Three Iranian movies won awards at the 14th GSFF held this year from March 31st to April 3rd.

“Oblivion Season” by director Abbas Rafei and “Ashes” by Alan Coulson from the UK shared the International Narrative Feature Award. The movie “Oblivion Season”, starring Sareh Bayat and Pejman Bazeghi, is about an ex-prostitute who starts a new life by marrying her lover but leaving the shadow of her dark past turns out not to be as easy as it had seemed beforehand.

“Lima” by Afshin Roshanbakht and Vahid Jafari received the International Animated Short Film Award. Lima repeats old memories trying to remember his lost father until he himself gets old.

“Blue-Eyed Boy” directed by Amir-Masoud Soheili won the International Narrative Short Film Award. The film tells the story of a young boy suffering from an unusual type of color blindness that causes him to see the world in blue.

Sources: Tehran Times, Wikipedia | Garden State Film Festival, Mehr News Agency, imdb, gsff.org

Iranian documentary wins Amnesty International Film Prize

Mehrdad Oskouei’s ‘Starless Dreams’ (Royahaye Dame Sobh) along with ‘Fuocoammare’ (Fire at Sea) by Gianfranco Rosi have won the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. Rosi’s documentary film about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Lampedusa, won also the Golden Bear prize for Best Film.

Oskouei, one of Iran’s best documentary filmmakers, explores in ‘Starless Dreams’ the anguish and joys of girls in a juvenile correctional facility on the outskirts of Tehran. His small, all-male crew spent 20 days talking to the young women who gave them surprising access to their lives and feelings. The film won in Iran the Best Documentary Director Award at the 34th Fajr Film Festival earlier this year.

The German branch of Amnesty International has awarded the Amnesty International Film Prize for the first time at the Berlinale 2005. The aim of the prize is to draw the attention of audiences and representatives of the film industry to the theme of human rights and encourage filmmakers to tackle this topic. German actress Meret Becker, Swiss film maker Dani Levy and Markus Beeko, Director of Campaigns and Communications for Amnesty International Germany were the members of this independent jury at the Berlinale 2016.

Iranian filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei (1st R) and Italian director Gianfranco Rosi (2nd L) with Jury members Dani Levy (1st L) and Meret Becker (2nd R) in Berlin - Feb 20, 2016. Photo credits: Henning Schacht / Amnesty International

Iranian filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei (1st R) and Italian director Gianfranco Rosi (2nd L) with Jury members Dani Levy (1st L) and Meret Becker (2nd R) in Berlin – Feb 20, 2016. Photo credits: Henning Schacht / Amnesty International

About Mehrdad Oskouei
Oskouei, an independent producer, filmmaker, photographer and researcher, was born in Tehran, Iran in 1969. He has a B.A. in film direction from the University of Arts, starting in the theatre in 1981 and the film world in 1988. In 2010, Oskouei received the Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands.

Sources: Tavoos Online, Berlinale, Hollywod Reporter, Reuters, Wikipedia | Starless Dreams, Fajr Film Festival (in Persian)

Winners of the 32nd Tehran Short Film Festival (Photos)

The winners were announced during the closing ceremony of Tehran’s 32nd Short Film Festival held at Andisheh Hall.

The jury members of the International Competition Section were Andrzej Bednarek from Poland, Matthias Flügge from Germany, Seigo Tono from Japan, Gipsy Chang from Hong Kong and Alireza Shoja Noori from Iran.

“A Warm Spell” by Toshimichi Saito from Japan received the Grand Prix of the festival. Best Fiction Film was awarded to “It Will Be Alright” by Patrick Vollrath from Austria. “Songbirds’ Shop” by Anatoliy Lavrenishyn from Ukraine won the Best Animation Award. Best Documentary was awarded to “Touch of Freedom” by Sardar Arshad Khan from Poland.

Jessica Dürwald from Germany received the Best Experimental Award for “Eat My Dream”, “Survival” by Masoud Hatami from Iran won the Special Jury Prize, “Electronic Town” by Tony Mullen from Japan was chosen as the Best Film from Asian Countries. Saeed Nejati from Iran received the Best Film from Islamic Countries Award for “Prohibition” and “Angelus Novus” by Aboozar Amini from Netherlands won the Best Anti-Violence Film Award.

Sources: Tavoos Online, Tehran International Short Film Festival, Fars News, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, Tasnim News, Mehr News

Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) honors Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya

The 2015 edition of Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) has awarded Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya during a ceremony held in Brisbane, Australia. She received the event’s Special Mention for the Best Performance by an Actress for her portrayal of a nurse in ‘Avalanche,’ directed by Iranian filmmaker Morteza Farshbaf.

Kirin Kiki won the award for Best Performance by an Actress for her role in “An” from Japan while the award for Best Performance by an Actor went to Jung Jaeyoung for his role in “Right Now, Wrong Then” from South Korea.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul from Thailand received the best film award for “Cemetery of Splendor” and Alexey German Jr. from Russia won the best director award for “Under Electric Clouds”. The award for best cinematographer went to Mark Lee Ping-bing from Taiwan for his collaboration in director Hou Hsiaohsien’s “The Assassin”.

The 2015 APSA International Jury was presided by South Korean filmmaker Kim Dong-Ho. He was joined by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh), Zhang Xianmin (China), U-Wei Bin HajiSaari (Malaysia), Alexei Popogrebsky (Russia) and Negar Javaherian (Iran). Javaherian won the UNESCO Award at the APSA in 2013 for her performance in Maziar Miri’s “Painting Pool”.

Established in 2007, APSA is an international cultural initiative to honor and promote the films, actors, directors, and cultures of the Asia-Pacific region, under the auspices of UNESCO and FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

About Fatemeh Motamed-Arya
Born in 1961, Fatemeh Motamed-Aria is one of the most significant Iranian actresses, who has won numerous national and international awards, including the Best Actress Prize of the 2011 Montreal Film Festival in Canada and the Prix de Henri-Langlois award of the 2012 Vincennes International Festival in France. ‘Once Forever’ (1993), ‘Blue-Veiled’ (1995), ‘Gilaneh’ (2004) and ‘Here Without Me’ (2011) are among the films she has performed in so far.

Sources: Tehran Times, Payvandasiapacificscreenacademy.com, Instagram | apscreenawards, taghato.net

Iran via Documentaries: Docunight is hosting Iran documentaries for audiences in the US and Canada

On the last Wednesday of every month, Docunight screens a documentary about, around, or made in Iran or by Iranians in various cities throughout the US and Canada. ‘The Glass House’ by Hamid Rahmanian (2008, 92min) will be  on October 28th.

Docunight is a monthly program, focused on screening Iran-related documentaries that began in San Francisco and has grown to screen films in other cities including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, San Diego, Minneapolis, Washington, Vancouver and Toronto.

Organized by efforts of Ahmad Kiarostami in collaboration with NIAC in the US and ECUPC in Vancouver, the program aims to create an opportunity for cultural exchange and to provide proper grounds for foreign audiences to better understand the Iranian society.

For information on upcoming screenings please visit:
www.docunight.com or Facebook | Docunight

These are the documentaries that have been shown so far:
– Trucker and the Fox (2014, 78min, Dir: Arash Lahooti)
– Abbas Kiarostami: A Report (2013, 82min, Dir: Bahman Maghsoudlou)
– Iranien (Iranian) (2014, 105min, Dir: Mehran Tamadon)
– Going Up the Stairs (2011, 52min, Dir: Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami)
Behjat Sadr (2006, 46min, Produced by Marjaneh Moghimi, Dir: Mitra Farahani)
Monir (2014, 54min, Produced by: Leyla Fakhr, Dir: Bahman Kiarostami)
– Caged (2013, 52min, Dir: Tala Hadavi)
Street Sultans (2011, 38min, Dir: Paliz Khoshdel, Zeinab Tabrizy)
– Before The Revolution (2013, 60min, Dir: Dan Shadur & Barak Heymann)
– Molf-e Gand (2009, 53min, Dir: Mahmoud Rahmani)
– I Saw Shoush (2002, 8min, Dir: Bahman Kiarostami)
Infidels (2004, 40min, Dir: Bahman Kiarostami)
Pilgrimage (2005, 52min, Marjaneh Moghimi for Butimar Production, Dir: Bahman Kiarostami)
The Bathhouse That Wanted To Keep On Being A Bathhouse (2010, 52min, Dir: Mehdi Shabani)
Park Mark (2010, 42min, Dir: Baktash Abtin)
“Mory” Wants A Wife (2009, 42min, Dir: Baktash Abtin)
Be Like Others (2008, 74min, Dir: Tanaz Eshaghian)
The Law In These Parts (2011, 90min, Dir: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz)
My Name Is Negahdar Jamali And I Make Westerns (2012, 65min, Directed by Kamran Heidari)
Lady of the Roses (2008, 52min, by Mojtaba Mirtahmasb)
Back Vocal (2004, 40min, by Mojtaba Mirtahmasb)
Kahrizak, Four Views (2012, 86min, Dir: Rakhshan Bani Etemad, Mohsen Amiryoussefi, Bahman Kiarostami, Pirooz Kalantari)
Bassidji (2009, 114mins, Directed by Mehran Tamadon)
Red Lines and Deadlines: Life behind the scenes of the Iranian newspaper Shargh (2004, 5-53min, Filmed, produced and directed by Taghi Amirani)
Statues of Tehran (2008, 60min, Dir: Bahman Kiarostami)

Sources: docunight.com, Tavoos Online

Zurich Film Festival Hosting Iranian Films

The 2015 Zurich Film Festival (September 24- October 4) is hosting Iranian films in the New World View section of the festival.

Every Year, in the out-of-competition section, the Festival has dedicated the New World Section to films from a foreign country. In the past years, films from India (2014), Brazil (2013), Sweden (2012) and Turkey (2011) have been selected for this section. This year ZFF is hosting films from Iran.

A total of 11 films from Iran will be screened: “13” by Houman Seyyedi, “Fish and Cat” by Shahram Mokri, “Atomic Heart” by Ali Ahmadzadeh, “Bright Day” by Hossein Shahabi, “I am not Angry” by Reza Darmishian, “Nahid” by Ayda Panahandeh, “Profession Documentarist” by Shirin Barghnavard, “Paradise” by Sina Ataian, “Acid Rain” by Behtash Sanaiha, “What’s the Time in Your World” by Safi Yazdanian and “Wednesday May 9” by Vahid Jalilvand.

Source: tavoosonline.com

‘A Tribute to Gohar Kheirandish’, a documentary by Iranian director Pouria Heidary Oureh

Director: Pouria Heidary Oureh, 2015, Iran, 83 minutes,
Cast: Gohar Kheirandish [in person], Asghar Farhadi, Leila Hatami, Ezzatollah Entezami, Niki Karimi, Tahmineh Milani, Bahram Radan, Mahnaz Afshar, Ebrahim Hatamikai, Bahman Farmanara, Jamshid Mashayekhi, Kianush Ayyari…

Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco - A Tribute to Gohar KheirandishPlot:
Gohar Kheirandish, the legendary stage and screen actress was born in 1954 in Shiraz, Iran. She started her acting career with a theatrical group in Shiraz while still in high school, where she also met her future husband, Jamshid Esmailkhani, who was active in theater. During this period, she was working for the Department of Art and Culture in Shiraz. In 1978 she was accepted to the University of Tehran when she and her husband and children moved to Tehran in order for her to pursue her education. She later graduated from the College of Arts. While in university, she started acting in theater, television and cinema. Her first film was Days of Waiting. Her film career spans more than two decades with such notable films as: Banoo [Lady] (1999), The Mix (2000), Low Heights (2002), Donya [World] (2003), The Fifth Reaction (2003), Tradition of Lover Killing (2004), Maxx (2005), Ghaedeye Bazi (2007), Shirin (2008), Tehran 1500 (2013), Azar, Shahdokht, Parviz and Others (2014), Iran Burger (2015).

She has won many awards including: Best Actress for Tradition of Lover Killing at Fajr Film Festival, Best Actress for Low Heights by Iranian Writers and Film Critics as well as Fajr Film Festival, Best Actress for The Fifth Reaction by House of Cinema…

About Pouria Heidary Oureh:
Pouria Heidary Oureh was born in Tehran in 1984. He is a digital filmmaking graduate from SAE Institute in Dubai. He started his professional career in the cinema in 2008. With his first short film Beyond the Dead End, he attended 28 international festivals and won 12 awards. His second short film Hypothesis of Social Learning dealt with the negative effects of watching the hanging in the public on the children, and it was praised by University of Hamburg and Amnesty International, and then attended other festivals.

Gohar Kheirandish filmography is Pouria Heidary Oureh’s first feature length documentary, and he is now making his first feature film in Armenia.

Source: iranianfilmfestival | A Tribute to Gohar Kheirandish

4th Persian Film Festival in Sydney, Australia, from September 3rd to 6th, 2015

The 4th Persian Film Festival is on from September 3rd to 6th at Palace Norton Street Cinemas, showcasing the best of Iranian cinema and the Persian speaking world. Over four days the festival offers its viewers a great line-up of 22 films including features, documentaries, short films and animations, and Q&A sessions with filmmakers from Iran, USA and Australia.

The festival is hosting a free screening of a number of award winning short films and animations from across Iran and from Iranian filmmakers in Australia, including the screening of Oscar nominated Simorgh by Meghdad Asadi, and current official selection at MIFF 2015 The Phoenix by Nora Nasiri, as well as, Sydney based filmmaker’s How Can Be Both by Saeed Sourati.

The displayed Movies and their directors are:

The President by Mohsen Makhmalbaf
A Few Cubic Meters of Love by Jamshid Mahmoudi
Block 9 Exit 2 by Alireza Amini
The Ride (Darbast) by Ali Khameparast Fard
I Want To Be A King by Mehdi Ganji
Impression-xps160 by Tiyam Yabandeh

Other films are:

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Ranging in subject matter and style, the films offer short glimpses into contemporary and important social and cultural issues.

Opening Film: The President by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Opening Film: The President by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Other posts about Iranian cinema and its stars: click here

Sources: Persian Film Festival, Persian Film Festival | Free sessions, Persian Film Festival | Directors, Persian Film Festival | Movies

Italian festival ‘Il Cinema Ritrovato’ screening movies from Iranian New Wave cinema

Il Cinema Ritrovato, an Italian festival dedicated to screening newly restored classics running in Bologna until July 4, is showing four Iranian films from the Iranian New Wave cinema. The program is curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht in collaboration with the National Film Archive of Iran.

The black comedy “Night of the Hunchback” (1965) directed by Farrokh Ghaffari, set over the course of one night against a backdrop of uptown Tehran partying to Ray Charles, focuses on the efforts of a group of stage actors, the father of a bride, and a hairdresser and his assistant (played by Ghaffari himself) to rid themselves of an unwelcome corpse.

The satirical documentary “The Night It Rained or The Epic of the Gorgan Village Boy” (1967) directed by Kamran Shirdel, offers a crash course in 1960s Iran. A newspaper story of a heroic village boy who prevented a train disaster appears and spreads quickly. The incident, reported on and challenged by local officials and journalists, is soon doubted and leads ultimately to confusion, with nobody knowing exactly who has saved whom.

“The Cow” (1969) by Dariush Mehrjuii, which is considered as the milestone of Iranian new wave cinema, tells the story of a poor villager whose only source of joy and livelihood is his cow, which provides milk for the village. One night the cow is mysteriously killed and that’s when the madness, or rather transformation, begins.

“A Simple Event” (1973) by Sohrab Shahid Saless depicts a few days in the life of a young boy living by the Caspian Sea. At school he falls behind his classmates and is almost expelled. He helps his father to fish illegally, and at home watches as his mother’s health deteriorates.

About Iranian New Wave
Iranian New Wave cinema came about as a reaction to the popular cinema of the time which did not reflect the lives of regular Iranians. It began in 1969 and then ended with the beginning of the Iranian revolution in 1979. The films produced were original, artistic and political. The House Is Black by Forough Farrokhzad (1963) is considered to be a precursor to the New Wave cinema. Other films such as Farrokh Ghaffari’s “The Night Of The Hunchback” (1964), Abrahim Golestan’s, “Mud-Brick And Mirror” (1965), and Ferydoon Rahnema’s “Siavush in Persepolis” are all considered to be precursors as well. The first film considered to be part of this movement is Darius Mehrjui’s “The Cow” (1969). Other films considered to be part of this movement are Naser Taqvai’s “Peace in the Presence of Others” (1969/1972), which was banned and then heavily censored upon its release, and Sohrab Shahid Saless’ “A Simple Event” (1973) and “Still Life” (1974).

Sources: Tehran Times | News, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Wikipedia | Iranian New Wave

Iranian actress’ Motamed-Arya portrait displayed at UN exhibit in New York (Photos)

A portrait of the acclaimed Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya is displayed besides 15 international figures at a multimedia exhibition titled ‘The Transformative Power of Art’ at the UN Exhibits in New York. The exhibition features sculptures and large fresco portraits of artists who have stood up for human rights.

Motamed-Arya, 54, is involved in humanitarian activities and helps raise funds for different charities. Her latest gesture is putting up her Crystal Simorgh award, presented to her for the role of best actress in ‘Gilaneh’ in 2005, on sale to support people deprived of a home in Iran. She has been nominated nine times for the best actress award at the Fajr International Film Festival and won the Crystal Simorgh four times. She had a role in Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’ celebrated film ‘The Tales’ and played the lead character in ‘Nabaat’, Azerbaijan’s nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 2014 Academy Awards.

The objective of the exhibition – curated by painter and sculptor Fabrizio Ruggiero – is to demonstrate that art creates bridges where politics divide. It takes place under the United Nations “2015: Time for Global Action” campaign, primarily destined to raise awareness about climate change and our fragile ecosystems.

The sculptures are made of many natural elements and the 16 accompanying portraits represent people from all continents who, during their lifetime, contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we think. The men and women who are represented never lost sight of the most vulnerable.

They are: Pierre-Claver Akendengué (Gabon), Maya Angelou (USA), Joan Baez (USA), Audrey Hepburn (UK), Vassily Kandinsky (Russia), Umm Kulthum (Egypt), Gong Li (China), Miriam Makeba (South Africa), Edgar Morin (France), Fatemeh Motamed-Arya (Iran), Okot p’Bitek (Uganda), Satyajit Ray (India), Sebastião Salgado (Brazil), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Kenya), and Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan).

Sources: IRNA | News, United Nations | News

Iran’s ‘Cloudy Children’ from Reza Fahimi is the Grand Prix winner at ‘SSFF and Asia’

Iranian filmmaker Reza Fahimi’s Cloudy Children emerged as the big winner at the Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia (SSFF & ASIA) 2015, receiving the Grand Prix of the event that was held in Tokyo and Yokohama from June 4 to 14.

Set in a central Iranian village, the film narrates the story of two students fighting over things that they could never have, and in the end they share everything that does not belong to them.

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.

About Reza Fahimi
Reza Fahimi, born 1987 in Iran, is a scriptwriter and a director. He studied filmmaking at the Soore Art University of Tehran, with Directing as a major. Cloudy Children is his second short film. It was awarded Best Film, Best Direction (Fiction Film) and Best Screenplay at Tehran International Short Film Festival, 2014, Iran.

Sources: Tehran Times | News, shortshorts.org | Program 2015 | Cloudy Children, tehranisff.ir | 31st TISFF Announces Winners in National Competition Section

5th International Urban Film Festival underway in Tehran, Iran

Tehran, Iran - 5th International Urban Film Festival 1 - PosterIran’s 5th International Urban Film Festival is running from May 24 to June 2 in eleven movie theaters across Tehran.

More than 360 productions will take part in this year’s national and international competition sections, presenting short and feature-length films, as well as documentaries and animations from Iran, China, Egypt, the US, Britain, Palestine, Switzerland, Italy, Serbia and other countries.

The festival is also holding filmmaking, cinematography and scriptwriting workshops for cinema enthusiasts of all ages.

International cineastes Krzysztof Zanussi, Dina Iordanova, Deborah Young and Caroline Otto are scheduled to hold several master classes at the Mellat Cinema Complex during the 5th International Urban Film Festival.

Zanussi, 76, is a renowned Polish filmmaker and screenwriter. Zanussi, whose work was noticed during his activities in the amateur film movement in the 1950s and 1960s, is also a professor at the Silesian University in Katowice.

Iordanova, a professor of film studies at University of St Andrews, focuses on transnational cinema, global film industries and film festivals, as well as on Eastern European and Balkan cinema.

American film critic Young is an editor of the Hollywood Reporter, and Film Comment Magazine. Based in Rome, Italy, she has reviewed films from around the world since the 1990’s, when she was appointed Rome bureau chief for Variety.

Active as a screenwriter and director Otto is a member of the Federation of Scriptwriters in Europe (FSE). She was also the head of the script funding commission of the German film board during 2009-2013.

Sources: Press TV | News, Tehran Times | News

The Fish & I: Awarded Iranian short film by Babak Habibifar

The Fish and I is an Iranian short film directed, written and acted by Babak Habibifar that recounts the story of a blind man trying to save his fish. The film, screened at the 2015 Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival (Young Audience Program), has won several international honors:

  • Young Jurors Prize; 20min|max Internationales Short Film Festival Ingolstadt, Germany (June, 2015)
  • Special Audience Award; 12th CLAM International Film Festival of Solidarity in Navarcles, Spain (May, 2015)
  • Best Short Film; 6th Skepto International Film Festival in Cagliari, Italy (April, 2015)
  • Honorable Mention; 11th Rengo International Film Festival, Rengo, Chile (February 2015)
  • Special Jury Mention, Young Jury Prize for the Best International Short Film and Mediterranean Diet Award (a cash prize dedicated by a Spanish Institution); 16th International Short Film Festival “City of Soria” in Soria, Spain (November, 2014)
  • Jury Grand Prize and Audience Award; Short Short Story Film Festival in Providence, USA (November, 2014)
  • Most Original Film; Uhvati Film Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia (September, 2014)

About Babak Habibifar
Babak Habibifar is an Iranian writer and director. His short fictions include The Fish and I (2014), After seventeen hours (2013), Somewhere up there (2013) and After fifteen years (also known as Crossword puzzle, 2012). This last film was highlighted by the Jury at the 2013 Strawberry Shorts Film Festival in Cambridge, England. Besides directing, Habibifar has worked as an actor and is also a gifted photographer, having won several photography awards in national competitions.

Sources: Mehr News Agency | News, Art Film Festival | Portfolio | Babak HabibifarGreen Film Festival in Seoul | The Fish and I, NacióDigital.cat | CLAM Festival, Skepto International Film Festival 2015 | Awards and Special Mentions, Rengo International Film Festival, Heraldo.es | Noticias, Press TV | News, Merging Arts Productions | SSS Film Festival, Uhvati Film Festival | Awards, The House of Films | News, 20min|max Film Festival, Odense Film Festival (OFF15), indiehometv.festhome.com (all awards and screenings)

Safi Yazdanian: Iranian film director

Safi Yazdanian, born 1960 in Tehran, is an Iranian film director, writer, translator and film critic. He graduated in Theater and Cinema Studies in 1988, starting his career as a reviewer and columnist in Iranian magazines.

In 1995 he ventured into filmmaking. His earliest films, documentaries and shorts, include:
In search of Scheherazade (Dar jostojouy-e shahrzad, 2002) with Leila Hatami as narrator
My boats (Ghayegh-ha-ye man, 35mm, 2005), with Ali Mosaffa as Farhad, was Yazdanian’s first short fiction. It won the Best Film Award at Tehran’s International Short Film Festival
Entracte, 2009.

Yazdanian’s feature directorial debut was 2014 with What’s the time in your world? (Dar donya-ye to saát chand ast?). The movie premiered at the 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF 2014) and was honored with the FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Press Cinematographique) Award.

Besides directing he also edited Nahid Reazaei’s documentaries The water and Atefeh (Ab va Atefeh, 2001) and Dream of silk (Khab-e abrisham, 2003) and wrote together with Ali Mosaffa Mosaffa’s first feature film Portrait of a lady far away (Sima-ye zani dar doordast).

Sources: IRNA | News, FIPRESCI | People | Safi Yazdanian, Festival Scope | Director | Yazdanian, Safi, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam | Industry, Clermont International Short Film Festival | Safi Yazdanian , Cinéma du Réel | Archives | Ab va Atefeh, Cinéma du Réel | Archives | Khab-e abrisham, IMDb | Portrait of a Lady Far Away, Guest List 2014 Busan International Film Festival (PDF), BIFF | History | 19th (2014) | Safi Yazdanian

Reza Mirkarimi: Awarded Iranian film director

Reza Mirkarimi, born 1966 in Tehran, is an Iranian film writer and director. He graduated from Fine Arts University in Graphic Arts. His cinema activities began in 1987 with a series of shorts followed by two TV series aimed at young people.

His 1999 first feature, ‘The Child and The Soldier’, has won several national and international awards. In 2000 his second feature ‘Under the Moonlight’, dealing with social and religious issues won the Best Feature Award at the 40th Critics’ Week at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival.

Three of his films have been presented by Iran for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: ‘ So Close, So Far’, ‘A Cube of Sugar’ and his current feature, ‘Today’ Reza Mirkarimi has also sat on several international film festival juries.

Filmography (as director)
– 2000: Koodak va Sarbaz (The Child And The Soldier)
– 2001: Zir-e Noor-e Maah (Under The Moonlight)
– 2002: Inja Cheraghi Roshan Ast (Here Is A Shining Light)
– 2005: Kheili Dour, Kheili Nazdik (So Close, So Far)
– 2008: Be Hamin Sadegi (A Simple as That)
– 2011: Yek Habe Ghand (A Cube of Sugar)
– 2014: Emrooz (Today)

Short Films, Documentary and TV Series
– For Him (Short / 1987)
– A Rainy Day (Short / 1987)
– Rooster (Short / 1987)
– The Adventures of Mrs. Aziz (TV Series / 1996)
– Hemmat School Kids (TV Series 1997)
– Iranian Carpet (Documentary / 2006)

Awards
Film: Koodak va Sarbaz (The Child And The Soldier)
Honor Diploma for Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2000
Silver Baloon – Three Continents Festival 2000
Golden Shoe – Zlín Film Festival 2001

Film: Zir-e Noor-e Maah (Under The Moonlight)
Best Director Award tied with Gjergj Xhuvani for Slogans – Tokyo International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Prize – Beirut International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Prize – Tokyo International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Award – Fajr International Film Festival 2001
Critics Week Grand Prize – Cannes Film Festival 2001
Silver Peacock Special Prize of Jury – Delhi International Film Festival 2002

Film: Inja Cheraghi Roshan Ast (Here Is A Shining Light)
Best Screenplay – Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2002
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2003
Special Jury Prize – Bali International Film Festival 2004

Film: Kheili Dour, Kheili Nazdik (So Close, So Far)
Crystal Simorgh Best Film – National Competition, Fajr International Film Festival 2005
Best Film Award – Celebration House of Cinema 2005

Film: Be Hamin Sadegi (A Simple as That)
Golden St. George – 30th Moscow International Film Festival 2008
Russian Guild of Film Critics Award – International Competition, Moscow International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Screenplay with Shadmehr Rastin – Competition of Asian Cinema, Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Competition of Asian Cinema, Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – National Competition, Fajr International Film Festival 2008

Film: Yek Habe Ghand (A Cube of Sugar)
Special Jury Prize – Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema 2012
Best Film – Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema 2013

Film: Emrooz (Today)
Best Film Award Rabat International Film Festival 2014

Sources: Wikipedia | Reza Mirkarimi, Internet Movie Data Base | Reza Mirkarimi

Reza Attaran: Awarded Iranian actor, director, screenwriter and singer

Reza Attaran (born 1968 in Mashhad) is an Iranian actor, director, screenwriter and singer. He won in 2008 the Best Actor Award at the Gol Agha Comedy Festival and is regarded as one of the most creative and prolific Iranian comedy actors.

He graduated from high school in Mashhad majoring in Economy and moved to Tehran to study Industrial Design at the University of Tehran. Despite enjoying his field of study he turned to acting. In 1980s he started playing theatre under Hassan Hamed, portraying non comic roles until 1992 when Hamed passed away.

Attaran made his television debut playing his first comedy role as Reza back in 1994 in the TV Series Happy Hour (Saate Khosh) directed by Mehran Modiri alongside actors like Reza Shafii Jam, Nasrollah Radesh, Arzhang Amirfazli and Nader Soleimani.

In 1994 he married Farideh Faramarzi, a film editor and actress. She played with her husband in the movie Absolute Rest (Esterahate Motlagh) directed by Abdolreza Kahani.

Between 1997 and 2003 he started directing his own TV series where he achieved great recognition and fame for his singing skills. At that time he formed a music band called Dampaei (Slippers) together with Youssef Teimouri and other artists. Since then he has become the most successful comedy series maker in Iranian TV.

Attaran made his debut as a film director in 2011 with I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad). In 2013 he directed and acted in Red Carpet (Farshe Ghermez); Attaran’s sarcastic take on film festivals, fame and stars.

He was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 30th, 31st and 32nd Fajr International Film Festival: In 2012 for I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad), in 2013 for The Corridor (Dehliz) and in 2014 for Sensitive floor (Tabagheye Hasas).

TV shows
Happy Hour (Saate Khosh, as Reza, comedy, 1995-96)
Acacia Alley (as Faramaz, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2002-03)
Vagabond (as Ahmad, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2004)
The Accused Fled (as Ramin, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2005)
Shirin-va-Torsh (as Naser, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2007)
Turning Point (as Nader, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2008)
Ghalbe Yakhi (as Esfandiar, crime/drama, 2012)

Films
– 2015: Sperm whale (shooting, as Arjang, director: Saman Moghadam)
– 2015: Absolute Rest (Esterahate Motlagh, as Davoud, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2014: Bar Bad Rafteh (Director: Reza Attaran)
– 2013: The Corridor (Dehliz, as Behzad, Director: Behrouz Shoaibi)
– 2013: Red Carpet (Farshe Ghermez, director: Reza Attaran)
– 2013: Sensitive Floor (Tabagheye Hasas, as Kamali, director: Kamal Tabrizi)
– 2013: Kalashnikov (Director: Kamal Tabrizi)
– 2012: By no reason (Bikhod & Bijahat, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2011: I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad, as Reza, Director: Reza Attaran)
– 2010: Whatever God Wants (Harchi Khoda Bekhad, director: Navid Mihandoost)
– 2010: No men allowed (Voroode Aghayan Mamnoo, as Vahid Jebelli, director: Rambod Javan)
– 2010: Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast, as Behruz Shakiba, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2009: Az Ma Behtaroon (Director: Mehrdad Farid)
– 2009: Nish O Zanboor (Director: HR Slahmnd)
– 2009: Khoros Jangi (Director: Masood Atyabi)
– 2009: Bad Az Zohre Saghie Saghi
– 2008: Aghaye Haft Rang (Director: Shahram Shah-Hosseini)
– 2008: Empty chair (Sandali Khalli, director: Saman Astrky)
– 2007: Token (Neshani, director: Fereydoun Hassanpour)
– 2007: Tasvie Hesab (Director: Tamineh Milani)
– 2007: Tofighe Ejbari (as Ata, director: Mohammad Hossein Latifi)
– 2007: Quarantine (Gharantineh, director: Manouchehr Hadi)
– 2006: A hat for the rain Kolahi Baraye Baran (Director: Masood Navabi)
– 2006: Tigh Zan (Director: Alireza Davoodinejad)
– 2005: Havoo (Director: Alireza Davoudinejad)
– 2002: Kolah Ghermezi Va Sarvenaz (Director: Iraj Tahmasb)
– 2000: Cinderella (Director: Bijan Birang)
– 1997: Sarzamine Sabz (Director: Bijan Birang)

Awards
Best Actor Award at the 2008 Gol Agha Comedy Festival
Crystal Simorgh for Best Director in the New Vision section at the 30th International Fajr Film Festival for I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad), 2012
Statuette for Best Actor at the 15th House of Cinema Awards for Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast)
Statuette of Golden Smile for Best Comedy Actor in the 2nd Sun’s Smile Awards for both Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast) & No men allowed (Voroode Aghayan Mamnoo)
Diploma of Honor for Best Actor at the 6th Critics & Writers Guild’s Awards for By no reason (Bikhod & Bijahat), 2012

Sources: Wikipedia | Reza Attaran, Reza Attaran | Biography, picbazi.com | The legendary Attaran, Iran Novin Film | Red Carpet – Director’s Biography

Iranian Film “Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South” by Kamran Heidari

Since his Internet hit, “Bad Shans” (hard luck), Hamid Saeid has become one of the best-known Iranian musicians with African roots. He’s travelling by motorbike across the province of Hormozgan, which is situated in the South of the country on the Persian Gulf, in order to realize his dream. He wants to organize a concert with the best black musicians in the country.

Besides Persians, Indians, Arabs and Europeans, the province of Hormozgan, Iran’s “black south” has been influenced primarily by the descendants of slaves and merchants from Africa. Although Shiites, they still hold Voodoo ceremonies just as their African ancestors did and wakes in Hormozgan are more reminiscent of scenes from New Orleans, with the mourners dancing in an elated and joyous manner to black rhythms.

Filmmaker Kamran Heidari accompanies Hamid Saeid as he attempts to make his dream come true. He must overcome numerous hurdles along the way: Hormozgan’s landscape, which is as inhospitable as it is breathtaking, traveling from the coast over rugged mountains to the desert, the African spirit rites; and the resistance of his wife, who is completely against his plan.

In an Interview Mr. Heidari talks about the healing tradition of Zar in the south of Iran: “There are wild winds (Dingomaro) coming from Africa and these winds are always in movement. Sometimes these winds take over ones body and then they will stay inside. This is when the Zar ceremony becomes necessary”.

The healers and masters of Zar ceremonies are called Mama Zar or Baba Zar, depending on gender, and by beating the drums and chanting MamaZar or BabaZar will drive these wild winds away. During the filming of the documentary, Kamran Heidari was asked many times to let Mama Zar drive the Dingomaro away from his body but he declined saying that he has made peace with these African wind spirits and has made friends with them. He would like to keep them in his heart.

By incorporating African rhythms into the music that he plays, Saeid succeeds in preserving his heritage that he then shares with others. But, at the same time, cultures are dynamic: by mixing African and Iranian beats, he is recreating traditions and moulding them into a new form of hybrid identity. Holding an ‘African-style’ concert in an area where many have rejected, or forgotten about their roots can be challenging. Heidari, together with Saeid, show us how to value this cultural heritage and give it a meaning through music. It was screened as part of the UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema in May 2014.

Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South (trailer):

Director: Kamran Heidari
Film by: Kamran Heidari, Dariusch Rafiy
DoP: Sajjad Avarand
Camera: Kamran Heidari, Bahman Kiarostami, Hasan Rastin
Editor: Kamran Heidari, Martin Homel
Assistant: Tahereh Alavizadeh
Sound Recording: Mohamad Hossein Kaveh
Sound Mix: Kamyar Behbahani
Photography: Tahereh Alavizadeh
Producer: Dariush Rafi-y, Kambiz Khorram
Documentary / 66 min / Color / HD-Video / 16:9 / 2013 / IRAN

Sources: The Culture Trip | Kamran Heidari’s universal cinema beauty and humanity from Iran, Kamran Heidari Official Site | Films, Autentic | Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South, Blog Africa to Persia

Kamran Heidari: Iranian film director and photographer

Born in 1977, in Gachsaran, close to the old city of Shiraz, Heidari directs documentaries and films about the lives of the people who come from his region. In 2012, Heidari directed his very first full-length documentary about the life of the eccentric and touching figure of Negahdar Jamali from Shiraz.

In 2013, Heidari directed another documentary, also on the life of an eccentric and touching person with a dream; Hamid Saeed, one of the best-known Iranian musicians with African roots.

One day while I was taking photos in Shiraz’s old neighborhood near the bazaar where century-old houses were falling into ruin I saw some beautiful writing on a wall which said “don’t know”.

I took a picture of the wall. As I was editing the photo and looking again at the writing it made me wonder about the person who wrote it? Did he or she write the words in a good mood or were they in a philosophical state of mind?

Rumi, the great Persian poet and philosopher wrote that “I” is a euphoric state — “What I know, what I know”. This “I” is what I think about when I take photos — it has become my overall concept for the Shiraz Street Photos series.

These old neighbourhoods serve as my photo workshop, the walls are my interior design and I carry my studio on my back. The subjects of these portraits stand in front of walls scrawlled with text — text full of sadness, happiness, pleasure, love, but also full of hope for life.

Apart from text, these walls incorporate other elements such as telephone and electrical cables, heater vents, and cracks, which make this environment even more attractive to me. These people represent the “don’t know” text on the walls. One can view them from an anthropological perspective — the geographic sections of the city of Shiraz become the backdrops for its’ inhabitants. In all of the photos the subjects look somewhat surreal. Kamran Heidari’s on Shiraz Street Photo Series

EXHIBITION
2014: “Good News from Iran”, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich Germany (Isfahan Gate Series and Shiraz Street Photos Series) – Curators: Stefan-Maria Mittendorf and Mojgan Endjavi-Barbé

FILMOGRAPHY
2004: “Dash Akol” (Documentary, 18min)
2006: Mohammad Bahman Beigi (Documentary, 40min)
2006: The Big Red (Short film, 14min)
2007: Comfortably Numb (Feature, 85min)
2008: At the End of Perfect day (Documentary, 50min)
2010: The Dead Sea (Documentary, 30min)
2011: Mola Sadra (Documentary, 30min)
2012: My name is Negahdar Jamali and I make westerns (Documentary, 65min)
2014: Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South (Documentary, 45min)

Sources: The Culture Trip | Kamran Heidari’s universal cinema beauty and humanity from Iran, Endjavi-Barbé Art Projects | Kamran Heidari, Kamran Heidari Official Site

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema 2015

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema 2015The UCLA Film and Television Archive is pleased to once again explore the diverse currents of Iranian cinema with its annual series highlighting recent and classic films from Iran and the Iranian diaspora.

The Program “UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema”, funded by the Farhang Foundation, will take place from April 25, 2015 to May 16, 2015 at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood Village, Los Angeles, USA.

Film directors Rakhshan Banietemad (4/25), Shahram Mokri (4/26), Kamran Heidari (4/27), Sepideh Farsi (5/8), Zhinous Pedram (5/10) and Amir Badie (5/16) will be attending in-person to discuss their work.

In the wake of Asghar Farhadi’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar win for A Separation in 2011, the depth and breadth of Iranian cinema today continues to amaze even as the challenges faced by its filmmakers remain of concern.

While established masters continue to make their unique voices heard, including writer-director Rakhshan Banietemad, whose award-winning Tales opens this year’s series, newer filmmakers continue to captivate.  Farhadi’s influence can be felt in a number of outstanding, tightly-wound contemporary dramas by emerging directors (Melbourne, I’m Not Angry), while others are charting radically different paths visually and narratively (Fish & Cat, 316).

Screening schedule:

Saturday, April 25
Bani-E'temad, Rakhshan - Film 2014 - Tales (Ghesse-ha)TALES (Ghesse-ha) / 7:30 PM /
In person: Rakhshan Bani-Etemad (DIR)
Iran, 2014 / 91 min. / DIR: Rakhshan Banietemad /
CAST: Fatemeh Motamed Aria, Peyman Moaadi, Baran Kosari

Winner of the Best Screenplay award in Venice, writer, writer-director Rakhshan Banietemad’s return to fiction filmmaking is a tour-de-force portrait of a people and a society at the breaking point.

Sunday, April 26
Dormishian, Reza - Film 2014 - I'm not angry (Asabani nistam!)I’M NOT ANGRY (Asabani nistam!) / 3:00 PM

Iran, 2014 / 110 min. / DIR: Reza Dormishian /
CAST: Baran Kosari, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Reza Behoudi

Director Reza Dormishian’s second feature bluntly depicts the seething frustrations of a generation through the emotional and personal struggles of a student activist trying to get his life on track.

Mokri, Shahram - Film 2013 - Fish & Cat (Mahi va gorbeh)FISH & CAT (Mahi va gorbeh) / 7:00 PM /
In person: Shahram Mokri (DIR)
Iran, 2013 / 134 min. / DIR: Shahram Mokri /
CAST: Babak Karimi, Saeed Ebrahimifar, Siavash Cheraghipoor

With Fish & Cat, writer-director Shahram Mokri emerges as an original new voice in Iranian cinema, blending bravura technical skills with a boldly absurdist, apocalyptic vision.

Monday, April 27
Heidari, Kamran - Film 2012 - My name is Negahdar Jamali and I make westerns - PosterMY NAME IS NEGAHDAR JAMALI AND I MAKE WESTERNS / 7:30 PM /
In person: Kamran Heidari (DIR)

Iran, 2013 / 65 min. / DIR: Kamran Heidari / CAST: Negahdar Jamali

Utterly unexpected and thoroughly charming, director Kamran Heidari’s debut documentary about an amateur filmmaker in southwestern Iran explodes preconceived notions and illuminates the universal power of cinema.

Friday, May 1
Mirkarimi, Reza - Film 2014 - Today (Emrouz) 2TODAY (Emrouz) / 7:30 PM
Iran, 2014 / 88 min. / DIR: Reza Mirkarimi /
CAST: Parviz Parastui, Soheila Golestani, Shabnam Moghadami

Iran’s official submission for Oscar consideration, writer-director Reza Mirkarimi’s tense, powerful drama unfolds over a single day after a cab driver allows himself to be drawn into the personal crisis of a woman who jumps into his backseat.

Saturday, May 2
Attaran, Reza - Film 2014 - Red Carpet (Farshe Ghermez)RED CARPET (Farshe Ghermez) / 7:30 PM
Iran, 2014 / 80 min. / DIR: Reza Attaran /
CAST: Reza Attaran, Marc Ansari, Susan Parvar

One of Iran’s most famous comedians, Reza Attaran, takes on Hollywood and the international media in this hilarious but gentle satire.


Wednesday, May 6

Yazdanian, Safi - Film 2014 - What's the time in your world (Dar donyaye to sa’at chand ast) - Poster 2WHAT’S THE TIME IN YOUR WORLD? (Dar donyaye to sa’at chand ast?) / 7:30 PM
Iran, 2014 / 101 min. / DIR: Safi Yazdanian / CAST: Leila Hatami, Ali Mosaffa, Ebrahim Zamir

Leila Hatami stars as Goli, a woman who returns to her hometown after decades living abroad to find a mysterious guide waiting to take her on a journey of self-discovery suffused with romantic melancholy.

Friday, May 8
Farsi, Sepideh - Film 2014 - Red Rose - PosterRED ROSE / 7:30 PM / In person: Sepideh Farsi (DIR)
France/Greece/Iran, 2014 / 87 min. / DIR: Sepideh Farsi / CAST: Mina Kavani, Vassilis Koukalani

Writer-director Sepideh Farsi ingeniously employs a single setting to dramatize the vicissitudes of political idealism in intimate and deeply personal ways amid the explosive passions of the Green Revolution.

Sunday, May 10
Haghani, Payman - Film 2014 - 316 - Poster316 / 7:00 PM
Iran, 2014 / 72 min. / DIR: Payman Haghani / CAST: Sara Vazirzadeh (narrator)

Writer-director Payman Haghani reflects on recent Iranian experience through one woman’s singular passion for shoes with a film as beguiling as it is moving.

Preceded by:
PINK NAIL POLISH / In person: Zhinous Pedram (DIR)

Iran, 2014 / 6 min. / DIR: Zhinous Pedram

Slowly, cautiously, a young girl makes her way out into the world in director Zhinous Pedram’s beautifully shot paean to girlhood.

Friday, May 15
Javidi, Nima - Film 2014 - MelbourneMELBOURNE / 7:30 PM
Iran, 2014 / 91 min. / DIR: Nima Javidi / CAST: Payman Maadi, Negar Javaherian, Mani Haghighi

Writer-director Nima Javidi’s remarkable debut feature is one of the most nerve-wracking, nail-biting, what-would-you-do ethical thrillers in recent memory.

Saturday, May 16
Shahid Saless, Sohrab - Film 1974 - Still life (Tabiate bijan) - PosterSTILL LIFE (Tabiate bijan) / 7:30 PM
Iran, 1974 / 93 min. / DIR: Sohrab Shahid Saless / CAST: Zadour Bonyadi, Mohammed Kani, Hibibollah Safarian

Winner of the Silver Bear at Berlin in 1974, Still Life tells the story of an elderly railroad employee forced into retirement, and confirmed Sohrab Shahid Saless as a “leading visionary of his generation.”

Preceded by:
MOHSEN BADIE: ARTISAN OF CINEMA / In person: Amir Badie

Iran, 2009 / 45 min. / DIR: Aziz Saati / CAST: Naser Malek Motiei, Bahman Farmanara, Houshang Kavoosi

This heartfelt tribute pays homage to Iranian cinema pioneer Mohsen Badie, founder of what film scholar Hamid Naficy described as “perhaps the best film lab in Iran.”

Sources: UCLA Film and Television Archive | UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema, Farhang Foundation

Iranian film “My Name Is Negahdar Jamali And I Make Westerns” by Kamran Heidari

“My name is John Ford and I make westerns” this is how John Ford introduced himself at the American Film Directors’ Association gathering. Negahdar Jamali, an Iranian from Shiraz introduced himself the same way when I first met him without knowing John Ford that well.

“MY NAME IS NEGAHDAR JAMALI AND I MAKE WESTERNS” he introduced himself with self-confidence and without any weakness in his statement; not in the Monument Valley or in the Grand Canyon but in Shiraz and the deserts surrounding the city. He has been making Western films continuously for the past 35 years under hard conditions, and this film is about the struggle with his family, friends and society to make what he likes the most in his life “Western Movies”.

While “My Name is Negahdar…” might begin as an oddity it soon evolves into a moving tribute to a man who will let nothing separate him from his art. “I almost fell into the trap of making a social documentary but then I realised that with this film cinema is the only thing that matters,” said Heidari.

“It is about a man and his love for cinema and for making cinema. His love for cinema is just so pure. He doesn’t want to make money out of them, he just wants to make these films and he puts everything he has into it,” he said. “It’s inspiring and a lot more honest to just tell his story.”

My Name Is Negahdar Jamali And I Make Westerns (trailer):

Director: Kamran Heidari
Cast: Negahdar Jamali
Movie type: Documentary
Photography: Kamran Heidari
Editor: Bahman Kiarostami
Sound recorder: Sasan Kaveh
Sound mix: Kamyar Behbahani, Farshid Zarmehr
Music selection: Ennio Morricone, Hamid Saeed
Production Manager: Tahereh Alavizadeh
Producer: Mehrdad Monavarian
Color, SD-Video, 16:9, 65 min, 2012, IRAN

Sources: Iranian Film Festival in Germany, The Daily Star Lebanon, My name is Negahdar Jamali and I make westerns (Photos), Kamran Heidari Official Site | Films

Iranian film “Fish & Cat” (Mahi va gorbeh) by Shahram Mokri

Fish & Cat (from Persian transliterated as Mahi va Gorbeh) is a 2013 mystery drama slasher Iranian film directed by Shahram Mokri. The film was first premiered at the 70th Venice Film Festival in September 2013.

“Selected in 2014 for New Directors/New Films (the annual spring showcase from the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, USA), Fish & Cat heralds the emergence of a fresh and original new voice in Iranian cinema combining formal experimentation with a sly sense of humour.”

Shahram Mokri’s second feature initially seems as if it might be the first Iranian slasher movie, but things are not always as they appear. Filmed in one long, bravura shot by top cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari (A Separation), it plays mind-bending games with time and place while a pair of potential serial killer cannibals stalk a group of camping students at a lake.

“In my short films I was trying to define a new meaning of time, of it being on one plane—very similar to the perspective Escher revealed in his paintings. I attempt to make type of experimental film that shows a new side of what the audience is used to seeing. On the other hand, Fish & Cat was produced due to my interest in slasher and genre films. I wanted to make a movie that would challenge our regular thoughts about time, and also one that used the same old genre structures. For Fish & Cat I took a real-life case and made it my own. It’s also a film that focuses on the Iranian youth generation. Because the film was been shot using just a single one, we rehearsed the film for two months exactly like we would have a theater performance. I decided to prepare with long rehearsals and we ran through the full movie twice a day. The actors do have theatrical backgrounds, so their experience being in front of an audience was helpful throughout.” – Shahram Mokri

Awards
– Special Prize, Venice Horizons Award: 70th Venice Film Festival (2013)
– Best Film Award: Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival 2013
– Muhr Asia Africa Special Jury Prize: Dubai International Film Festival 2013
– FIPRESCI Prize and Youth Jury Award: Fribourg International Film Festival 2014
– Best Film Award (International !f Inspired Competition) and SIYAD (Turkish Film Critics Association) Jury Award: 13th Istanbul Independent Film Festival (2014)

Fish & Cat (Mahi va gorbeh) (trailer):

Director: Shahram Mokri
Cast: Babak Karimi, Saeid Ebrahimifar, Siyavash Cheraghi Pour, Mohammad Berahmani
Producer: Sepher Seifi
Executive Producer: Shahrzad Seifi
Screenwriter: Shahram Mokri
Director of Photography: Mahmoud Kalari
Production Designer: Amir Esbati
Music: Christophe Rezai
Sound: Parviz Abnar
Production Company: Kanoon Iran Novin

Sources: Wikipedia | Fish & Cat, trigon-film.org (Photos), UCLA Happenings | Fish & Cat, The Hollywood Reporter, 13th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) 2014 | Fish & Cat, Houston Iranian Film Festival | Fish & Cat

Shahram Mokri: Iranian film director and screenwriter

Shahram Mokri (Persian: شهرام مکری‎) is an Iranian writer and film director. Born 1977 in Marand, Iran, Shahram Mokri is a graduate of cinema from Tehran’s Soureh College.

Raised in a family of movie lovers, director Shahram Mokri took multiple filmmaking workshops in his native Iran before enrolling in Tehran at the university to study cinema. He started making short films in 2000 and also edited television series and more than 20 short and documentary films.

“I belong to the group of movie lovers who cut out photos of movie stars from magazines,” recalls Mokri. “I’d hang them on my bedroom wall or stick them on my school notebooks. I’ve loved to make movies since I was a child and I’m so happy to still be doing it now.”

His short films brought him national and international recognition along with his debut feature film, Ashkan, The Charmed Ring And Other Stories, which had its international premiere at Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in 2009.

Mokri’s second film, Fish & Cat, premiered at the 70th Venice Film Festival and was awarded the Special Orizzonti Award for innovative content. He was nominated for the 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing for Fish & Cat. For his short film The Dragonfly Storm, Mokri won Best Director at the 2007 Noor Iranian Film Festival.

Filmography
– 2000: Electric Shock And Fly (short)
– 2002: Toofan-e Sanjaghak (The Dragonfly Storm) (short)
– 2005: Mahdoodeh-ye Dayereh (Limit of circle) (short)
– 2006: This is the question (documentary)
– 2007: Andosi (Ando-C) (short)
– 2009: Ashkan, angoshtar-e motebarek va dastan-haye digar (Ashkan, the charmed ring and other stories)
– 2011: Kham, pekhth, swkhth (Raw, cooked and burnt) (short)
– 2013: Mahi va Gorbeh (Fish & Cat)

Sources: Wikipedia | Shahram Mokri, Asia Pacific Screen Academy | Shahram Mokri, Houston Iranian Film Festival | Fish & Cat, Film Society Lincoln Center | Meet the (New) Director: Shahram Mokri

Iranian film “Tales” (Ghesseh-ha) by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad

What will lighten our dark night? An untimely love?!

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’s latest film Tales is a collection of stories highlighting the difficulties the lower classes face in today’s society, from unemployed factory workers to poor or drug-addled women or those at risk of domestic violence.

The stories take us all over Tehran, with tales of patriarchal abuse, forced imprisonment and prostitution unfolding in taxis, trains and buses — each marked by fear, but also acts of courage and love.

After three decades of filmmaking the characters of my documentary and feature films are still alive to me and I live with them. “Tales” is returning to the characters of my previous films under today’s circumstances. Even though “Tales” is a complete independent version, but for me and the people who have seen my previous movies, is a review of the people’s fate and social conditions over the past three decades. Rakhshan Banietemad, director

Awards
– Best Screenplay Award: 71st Venice Film Festival (2014)
– Jury Grand Prize: 8th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2014)

Tales (Ghasseh-ha) (trailer):

Director& Producer: Rakhshan Banietemad
Screenplay: R. Banietemad, Farid Mostafavi
Production Designer: Amir Esbati
Director of Photography: Koohyar Kalari
Sound Recorder: Yadollah Najafi
Sound Mix: Amirhossein Ghassemi
Editor: Sepideh Abdolvahab
Music: Siamak Kalantari
Make-Up Designer: Mehrdad Mirkiani
Production Manager: Nava Rohani
Executive Producer: Kanoon Iran Novin
Cast: Golab Adineh, Saber Abar, Farhad Aslani, Foojan Arefpoor, Bahareh Daneshgar, Mohammadreza Forootan, Shahrokh Forootanian, Babak Hamidian, Mehdi Hashemi, Negar Javaherian, Baran Kosari, Fatemeh Motamedaria, Peiman Moadi, Hassan Majooni, Habib Rezaei, Atefeh Razavi, Mehraveh Sharifinia, Khosro Shahraz, Rima Raminfar
Color, D-Cinema, 16:9, 88 min, 2014, Iran

Sources: Noori Pictures | Feature | “Tales” (Ghesseha), Aquila Style

Winners of 2015 Farhang Short Film Festival in Los Angeles, California

Maryam Farahzadi’s The Role of Each Fret (Iran) was this year’s winning short film and awarded the top prize of $10,000. Commotion (Osyan) (Canada) by KAJART was the runner up and recipient of the $5,000 award. Rounding out the top three was Ali Azimi’s & Arash Ashtiani’s Prelude (Pishdaramad) (UK), which nabbed the $3,000 award.

Nearly 100 short film were submitted this year, representing a diverse range of genres and styles and hailing from Canada, Germany, Iran, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“We could not be more pleased with the results of this year’s film festival,” said Mark Amin, Farhang Foundation board member and Film Festival Committee chair. “The top three submissions came to us from various corners of the world, each demonstrating a unique talent for expressing a very keen understanding of Iranian culture. We congratulate the winning filmmakers and thank our panel of jurors for their dedicated service.”

The 2015 festival jury included Hassan Ildari, an assistant professor at Emerson College; Beejan Land, an actor and award winning playwright; Shaeda Moghaddam, President of Triangle Road Entertainment; Shaun Toub, a veteran actor appearing in hit films including Bad Boys, Iron Man, and the Oscar-winning film Crash; and Mark Amin, Chairman and CEO of Sobini Films and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Farhang Foundation.

Since inception in 2009, the Farhang Short Film Festival has called on filmmakers from all backgrounds and walks of life to submit short films that explore, capture, or celebrate some aspect of Iranian culture.

Maryam FarahzadiMaryam Farahzadi
Born in 1990, Maryam holds a BFA in graphic design from Faculty of Fine Arts (University of Tehran). She has been working as an animator and character designer in “Pouya Negar” animation studio for 5 years and has taken part in different animation projects for Iranian national TV in addition to some personal projects.

The role of each fret by Maryam Farahzadi (1st prize):

 

KajartKAJART
Kajart is a creative production studio based in Toronto, Canada. Formed by four friends (Hajar Moradi, Kajeh Mehrizi, Taravat Khalili, Vahid Fazel) whom share a similar taste of arts. One of our prominent works besides art & design is to make animation films. We love and enjoy giving life to objects and materials, and we always look for a new challenge in technique, concept and style.

Commotion (Osyan) by Kajart (2nd prize):

 

Ashtiani, ArashArash Ashtiani
Born on August 1983 in Tehran, Iran. He attended script writing classes of Nasser Taghvaei, an acclaimed Iranian film director/writer, followed later by participating in a workshop given by Abbass Kiarostami and made his first short film during that time. He later moved to London to study Filmmaking at London Film School. “Only sound Remains” his graduation film was nominated for a BAFTA award along number of other nominations. He has made short films, documentaries and music videos since his graduation and is currently writing his first feature script.

Azimi, AliAli Azimi
Leader of the band “Ali Azimi and the Needs”. An Iranian rock and alternative band with all British musicians. He also was the singer-songwriter of the band Radio Tehran which became noticed after their first album 88, released in the Persian year 1388. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Ali Azimi began his interest in music at a young age. Coming from a musical family, he self learned to play the Piano and studied classical guitar with Kazem Moazen. Ali got his bachelors in engineering at Tehran University and Masters in United Kingdom in the same field.

Prelude (Pishdaramad) by Ali Azimi & Arash Ashtiani (3rd prize):

About Farhang Foundation
Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry reading in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture.

Source: Farhang Foundation

Iranian actress Roshanak Gerami

Roshanak Gerami (born on September 23, 1983 in Tehran) is an actress, known for The Rule of Accident (2013), Melbourne (2014) and No Where No Body (2013).

Posts on other interesting Iranian women: https://theotheriran.com/tag/women/

Sources: IMDB | Roshanak-Gerami, whatsupiran | Roshanak-Gerami

Awarded film “13” by Iranian director Hooman Seyedi will be screened on Tiburon International Film Festival in California, USA

Struggling to deal with his parent’s divorce and constant abuse at school, thirteen-year-old Behmani lashes out. He finds solace in a group of older street kids. They treat him as an adult and as one of their own. He soon gets in over his head when he becomes entangled in their own complex lives. Not truly understanding the consequences of his involvement within the group and their affiliates, Behmani finds himself stuck amid a murder. The film is a burst of youthful rage and an indictment of modern adolescence.

13 (Sizdah) / Dir: Hooman Seyedi / 2014 / Iran / Drama / 90 min
Cast: Amir Jafari, Azadeh Samdi, Rima Raminfar, Amir Jadidi, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Vishka Asayesh, Yasna Mirtahmasb

Venue: Tiburon Playhouse Theater, 40 Main Street
Showtime: Saturday, April 11, 2015 @ 08:30 PM

Awards
– 2014 Busan International Film Festival: New Currents Award
– 2014 Warsaw International Film Festival: NETPAC Award

About director Hooman Seyyedi
Born in 1980 in Rasht, Hooman Seyedi holds diploma in Graphics. He has made few short films and tele-movies. 13 is his debut feature film.

Sources: Payvand News of Iran, Tiburon Film Festival

The directors of Iran’s most popular movies of the year are all women

“The City of Mice 2”, “Ceasefire 2”, and “Track 143”, three movies produced by Iranian women directors, were on top of the list of Iran’s most popular films of the year. The list was announced during a ceremony held by the Cinema Organization of Iran at Tehran’s Eivan-e Shams Hall on Monday to honor the directors of the movies.

Marzieh Boroumand’s “The City of Mice 2”, a puppet show movie in the children genre, stands high on the top of the chart. A sequel to her 1984 hit “The City of Mice”, the movie was warmly received by children, it also drew a large number of adult cinemagoers as well.

“Ceasefire 2” by Tahmineh Milani was the second movie on the list. “Ceasefire 2” is about the encounter of a young educated couple with their former family counselor after some years, during which the couple reviews their lives and some of the dramatic events that happened over the past years.

Narges Abyar’s acclaimed drama “Track 143” took the third place. The film, which was widely acclaimed at the 32nd Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran earlier in February 2013, is about the great maternal sacrifice during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

About Tahmineh Milani
Please check out this article

About Marzieh Boroumand
Marzieh Boroumand is an Iranian actress, puppeteer, screenwriter and director of TV series and films. She is best known for Alo!Alo! Man joojoo-am (1994), Barbershop Ziba (1989) and City of Mice (1985). She began her career in cinema by playing in The Cycle directed by Dariush Mehrjui.

About Narges Abyar
Born in Tehran. Narges Abyar studied in Persian Literature and received her B.A. in this field. So far she has devoted most of her time to writing, which had led to the publication of 30 story and fiction books for children, young adults and also the adults. She has made several short and feature-length documentaries: -Kind Dead-End (fiction-15min-2006), – One day after the 10th day(documentary-25min-2007)

All posts related to Iranian women on this blog: The other Iran | Women

Sources: IMDb | Narges Abyar, Wikipedia | Marzieh Boroumand, Payvand News of Iran

German animation “Virtuoso Virtual” wins in Tehran International Animation Festival 2015

The 9th Tehran International Animation Festival was held from March 8 to 12. Over 130 works from across the globe were screened at the event.

German animation “Virtuoso Virtual” directed by Thomas Stellmach and Maja Oschmann has won the top prize in the International section of the 9th Tehran International Animation Festival, the organizers announced on Thursday.

“Virtuoso Virtual” shows some modest drawings that seem to come from nowhere. Following a secret choreography, they take on characteristics and moods of the music and narrate a story that appears to be laid out in the music.

The second prize went “All the Winters I Haven’t Seen”, Iranian animator Omid Khoshnazar’s acclaimed anti-war animation.

It tells the story of a pregnant woman in New York City who discovers that her fetus suffers severe physical defects. Totally unaware of the problem, the mother finds that she has been exposed to chemical weapons, a matter entirely absent from her medical records.

“Coda” directed by Irish animator Alan Holly received the third prize. “Coda” is about the afterlife. It shows some exotic experiences and the possibility of forgiveness.

Iranian animator and writer Mehdi Alibeygi was presented with the special jury award for his surreal short film “Changeover”.

“My Mom Is an Airplane” directed by Yulia Aronova from Russia was crowned best film in the About Children Section.

Award Title Winner Country
1 Golden Statue for the best animation Virtuoso Virtual Thomas Stellmach and Maja Oschmann Germany
2 Silver Statue for the second animation All winters that I haven’t seen Omid Khoshnazar Iran
3 Bronze Statue for the third animation Coda Alan Holly Ireland
4 Golden Statue for the best animation on the theme of children and young adults My Mum Is an Airplane Yulia Aronova Russia
5 Golden Statue for the best student animation Carn Jeff Le Bars France
6 Golden Statue for the best TV production Kung Fu Bunny (Kitchen War) Zhiyong Li China
7 Golden Statue for the best commercial animation Venice / Massi Simone Icaro Massi Italy
8 Special Statue of the jury Change over Mahdi Alibeigi Iran
9 Special Statue of the director of the festival —- Alexander Petrov Russia
10 Honorary diploma Green Fields Benjamin Vedrenne France
11 Honorary diploma Indah Citra Pierre-Antoine Naline, Sarah Feruglio, Maxime Orhnial, Anthony Oliveira France

Sources: Payvand News, Tehran International Animation Festival, TIAF | Photos

Taraneh Alidoosti: Awarded Iranian actress, blogger and writer

Taraneh Alidoosti is a Crystal-Simorgh winning Iranian actress. In a poll conducted among 130 film critics by Sanate Cinema magazine, she was voted the best Iranian actress of the decade. In 2012, a similar poll by the Film Monthly also chose her as the best actress of the decade.

Her father, Hamid Alidoosti, is a former member of the Iranian national football team and currently a football coach in Iran.

Career as actress
She began her acting career at age 17 with the leading role in Man, Taraneh, panzdah sal daram (I Am Tarane, Fifteen Years Old), (Rasul Sadr Ameli, 2002). Critics praised her performance as a defiant 15 year old girl who after a failed relationship is determined to rear a child on her own, while struggling with poverty and social stigma. She won the Bronze Leopard for Best Actress from Locarno International Film Festival in 2002, as well as the Crystal Simorgh for Best Actress from the 20th Fajr Film Festival, becoming the youngest ever to do so. Shortly after she set another record, getting nominated three consecutive times for the best actress prize at the Fajr Film Festival for her first three films. Since then she has maintained a steady but selective work flow in both theatre and cinema. She is mostly known for her choosy criteria in accepting challenging, dramatic roles, as exemplified by her long collaboration with Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi, making her one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation.

Blogging/Writing
In addition to her acting career she is also known for her writing as featured in her personal weblog . Additionally, her short stories and commentary pieces have been widely published in magazines and daily newspapers such as Shargh. In 2010, a piece written in support of director Asghar Farhadi, defending his comments in support of dissident Iranian artists, caused her weblog to be closed by government officials. Her new weblog however is active now. A collection of stories by Canadian author Alice Munro collected and translated by Taraneh Alidoosti, was published in 2011. It received the prize for best fiction translation at annual Book of Season Awards. She is fluent in English and German.

Awards
Bronze Leopard for Best Actress from Locarno International Film Festival in 2002
Crystal Simorgh for Best Actress from the 20th Fajr Film Festival (youngest actress to win the prize with 17 years)
Best fiction translation at annual Book of Season Awards

Filmography
2002: Man Taraneh, Panzdah Sal Daram (I Am Taraneh, Fifteen Years Old)
2004: Shahre Ziba (Beautiful City)
2006: Fireworks Wednesday
2008: Canaan
2008: Shirin
2008: Tardid (Doubt)
2009: Darbareh Elly (About Elly)
2010: Whatever God Wants
2011: Life With Closed Eyes
2011: At the End of 8th Street
2012: Modest Reception
2013: The Shallow Yellow Sky
2014: The Life Wedlock Mr Mahmoudi & Banoo

Sources: wikipedia | Taraneh Alidoosti, Bing Image Search

Iranian director Teimour Ghaderi: short film “It Hits Upon The Roof” shines in CourToujours Festival in Geneve, Switzerland

Teimour Ghaderi’s ‘It Hits upon the Roof’ has won the special award of Switzerland’s courtoujours short film festival.

Iranian short film 'Rainfall of Roof'

The short film It Hits upon the Roof competed with representatives from Russia, France, Tajikistan, Belgium, Portugal, Egypt, Mexico, and Switzerland and managed to scoop the jury’s special award and a cash prize of 1,500 francs.

Produced by the Art Forum of Kurdistan province, Ghaderi’s narrative short movie depicts the life of a young boy who tries not to let his mother wake up by gathering the raindrops falling of their dripping ceiling into his hands.

It Hits upon the Roof has been screened in several international film festivals so far such as 2014 Lucania Film Festival in Italy, Lahore Short Film Festival 2013 Celebrating Iranian Heritage, and the third MiCe Film Festival in Valencia, Spain.

Synopsis
A house in a village, where only an old woman and a child live, the rain falls and starts dripping from the ceiling. The child tries to do something about the drips.

teimourAbout Teimour Ghaderi
Teimour Ghaderi, born 1992, graduated in screen writing and photography. He has written the short stories: The Address I’m lost and Summer Cold. Has directed three short films: Pomegranate is the Fruit of Paradise, Picking the down and It Hit Upon the Roof. Winner of 18 national and international awards (Canada, South Korea, Czech Republic and Turkey) for the films Pomegranate is the Fruit of Paradise and Picking the Down.

CourToujours Festival
The international short-film festival of Geneva, CourToujours, is a platform, giving young film directors or confirmed talents the opportunity to present their short-films to a diverse audience. The 11th edition of CourToujours took place in the Swiss city of Geneva from the 19th to 21st February 2015 at Maison des Arts du Grütli.

PS: Finding info about Teimour Ghaderi, like with many young Iranian artists, is not easy. An Iranian name can be written in many ways with latin letters. Some combinations I had to try to find this info were:
Teymour Qaderi, Teymur Qaderi, Teymour Ghaderi, …

Sources: IRAN FRONT PAGE, MEHR, Iranian Film Festival, viddsee.com

Negar Javaherian – Awarded Iranian actress

Negar Javaherian holds a Bachelor Degree in Stage Design from the School of Art and Architecture at Azad University in Tehran, Iran. She started her acting career in theatre at the age of sixteen. In 2001, at the age of seventeen, she acted in her first film I Am Taraneh, I Am Fifteen Years Old (2002). Since then, she has played in a number of films and theatrical performances.

Her recent films include Howze Naghashi (2013), for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Award by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy (Australia), Here Without Me (2011), for which she won the Best Actress in the Supporting Role at the 15th Cinema Home Ceremony (Iran), Gold and Copper (2011), for which she received the Best Actress in the Leading Role Award at the 28th Fajr Film Festival (Iran) and Before the Burial (2008), for which she was awarded the Best Actress prize at the 11th Osian’s Cinefan Festival (India).

Negar Javaherian performed in a theatrical play The Fourth Wall (2012-2013) which was awarded the Best Performance of the Year (Iran). Two theatrical plays, Ivanov (2011) and Where Were You on January 8th? (2010), went on European festival tours. For the latter, she was nominated for the Best Actress Award at the International Fajr Theatre Festival (Iran).

Awards
Best Actress in a Leading Role for Tala va Mes, from 28th Fajr Film Festival, 2010 (1388)
Best Actress in a Leading Role for Tala va Mes, from cinema home ceremony, 2010 (1388)

Sources: imdb.com, Wikipedia | Negar Javaherian

Iran’s 33rd Fajr Film Festival – winners and closing ceremony

The 33rd edition of Iran’s Fajr International Film Festival has come to an end with “Crazy” by the renowned Abolhasan Davoodi winning the Best Director and the Best Film awards. Produced by Bita Mansuri, Crazy received 11 nominations, including best film, best director for Abolhassan Davudi, best actress for Tannaz Tabatabaii, best cinematographer, best screenplay and best music.

Winners for the national main competition section:

Best Supporting Role Actor – Houman Seyyedi for ‘I Am Diego Maradona’
Best Main Role Actor – Saeed Aghakhani for ‘The Long Farewell’
Best Screenplay – ‘A Time for Love’ by Roya Mohaghegh
Best Director – Abolhasan Davoodi for ‘Crazy’
Best Film – ‘Crazy’ produced by Bita Mansuri
Best Main Role ActressBaran Kousari for ‘Binam Alley’

Sources: Payvand, ISNA | Photos, ISNA | Photos 2, Tasnim News Agency | Photos

Azita Hajian: Iranian actress and director

She was born on 10 January 1958 in Narmak, Tehran. She graduated in theatre acting and directing from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Tehran, Azita Hajian started stage acting in 1975 and film acting in 1989 with “Thief of Dolls” (Mohammad Reza Honarmand). Due to her theatrical background in the field of children and teenagers, her first films were in the same field. She is one of the majors teacher of acting in Iran. She has also played in some TV series.

Her two daughters, Mehraveh and Melika, are both actresses.