Tag Archives: Film

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)