Category Archives: Cinema

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