Tag Archives: Personalities

Iranian illustrator Hoda Hadadi wins gold at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards

Hoda Haddadi won the award for her illustrations for Drummer Girl, a book written by Pakistani-Canadian author Hiba Masood and published by Daybreak Press in the United States. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The contest is open to authors, illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English or Spanish for the North American market.

About Hoda Hadadi
Hadadi is an Iranian illustrator, poet and writer born in February 1977 in Tehran. She graduated with a M.A. in Graphic Design from Art University, Tehran. She teaches at the Association of Iranian Illustrators.

In 1998 Hoda Hadadi started writing and publishing her illustrations for magazines. Her first book as an illustrator was published in 1999 and her first book as a writer (My cloudy day -Shab Aviz) was published in 2000. Since then, she has illustrated more than fifty books published in Iran and around the world; in English i.e. Deep in the Sahara (Penguin Random House, 2013), Drummer Girl (Daybreak Press, 2016), A Rainbow in My Pocket (Tiny Owl, 2016) and forthcoming Just like me! (Tiny Owl, 2017).

Hadadi creates unique collages, balancing delicate materials and textures; she layers gauze papers, stitches, pencil and paint to create beautiful images. Depending on the text they take a more abstract or descriptive form. A Rainbow in My pocket, e.g., was a poem and required a more conceptual style.

In 2003 she directed and animated How is a good girl?, a 4-minute animation. The UNESCO calendar printed her art work in 2004. She has hold more than ten group exhibitions in Iran, India, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia, along solo exhibitions in Belgrade, Serbia (2009) and in Tehran (2007).

Other awards
New Horizons of Bologna (2010, Italy)
3rd Prize Teatrio Festival (2008, Italy)
Noma Encouragement Prize (2002 & 2008, Japan)
Defa-e Moghaddas Special Prize (2008, Tehran, Iran)
Grand Prix of Belgrade (2007, Serbia)
Golden Plaque of BIB (2007, Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, Slovakia)
1st Prize of Kanoon Book Festival (2005, Tehran, Iran)
2nd Prize KATHA (2005, India)

Sources: Moonbean Awards, Tehran Times, Tiny Owl Children’s Book Publisher, Wonderland Illustration Group, Saatchi Art, Facebook @hodihadadi, Twitter @hoda_hadadi, Instagram @ludlowgallery

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

Rio 2016: Zahra Nemati – Iranian archer

Born in April 1985 in Kerman, Iran, Nemati took up taekwondo when she was only eight. Ten years later, in 2003 she suffered a spinal injury during a road accident and both of her legs were paralyzed. After spending two months in the hospital, she returned home in a wheelchair. This would have been the end of a sporting career for most people, but not for Nemati.

On Friday August 5th, 2016, Nemati lead Iranian athletes as flag bearer during the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She is the only Iranian woman ever to have won a Paralympic gold medal and the only Iranian athlete who has qualified for both the 2016 Olympics and the 2016 Paralympics.

She is also the only Iranian athlete who has received the coveted Sport Accord’s Spirit of Sport Individual Award in 2013 and the first Iranian athlete to be named athlete of the year by the International Olympics Committee.

Nevertheless, she is not the first woman from Iran to participate at the Olympic games as flag bearer, as stated in many news articles. In fact, in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, sports shooter Lida Fariman was the first woman to lead Iran’s contingent. At the time, Fariman was the first woman from Iran to participate at the Olympics since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

In 2008, at the Beijing Olympics, rower Homa Hosseini (women’s single sculls) also led the Iranian delegation, as well as alpine skier Marjan Kalhor (slalom and giant slalom); she was Iran’s flag bearer in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Related article:
The Guardian | Trail-blazer Zahra Nemati wins hearts and minds with stirring effort in archery

I am posting daily updates on Iranian athletes’ performances and events at Rio 2016 Olympics here: The other Iran | Iran in Rio 2016

Sources: IranWire, Hindustan TimesBUSTLE, NBC Olympics, NBC News, worldarchery.org

Marcos Grigorian’s “Earthworks” on display in Tehran

Dastan +2 is hosting “Earth Works” by Iranian-Armenian artist Marcos Grigorian. The exhibition will be open from June 10th to July, 2nd.

Marcos (better known as Marco) Grigorian was an Iranian-Armenian artist, actor, teacher, gallery owner, and collector who played a pioneering role in the development of Iranian modern art. As a modernist pop artist, he turned to ordinary objects and popular ethnic forms and approaches. He used ethnic food such as “nan sangak” and “abghousht” to evoke authenticity in his work. Grigorian was a trend setter in experimenting with Earth Art in Iran.

Other posts on Iranian Armenians: https://theotheriran.com/tag/armenian/

Biography
Grigorian was born in Kropotkin, Russia in 1925, to an Armenian family from Kars who had fled that city when it was captured by Turkey in 1920. The family moved to Iran when Grigorian was five, living first in Tabriz, then Tehran and settling later in Julfa, the Armenian district of Isfahan. In 1940 his family moved back to Tehran where he attended Alborz College and later Kamal-al-Molk Art School in 1948.

After finishing pre-university education in Iran, in 1950, Grigorian went to Rome, and enrolled at the Academia di Belle Arti. He studied with cubist sculptor Roberto Melli (1885-1958). Upon graduation in 1954, he returned to Iran and opened Gallery Esthetique, one of the first modern galleries in Tehran.

In 1958, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, he organized the first Tehran Biennial. Grigorian was also an influential teacher at the Fine Arts Academy, where he disseminated his enthusiasm for local popular culture, including coffee-house paintings, a type of folk art named after the locations in which they were often displayed.

In 1959, after two years of intensive work, Grigorian completed a succession of enormous murals centering on the topic of the Holocaust. During the same period, he started applying dirt to the center of his canvases. This became the starting point of his celebrated “Earthworks Series”.

In 1960 he started acting in several Iranian films as Gregory Mark. An energetic and talented performer, he played villains in many movies, soon specializing in anti-hero roles and conspicuously contrary characters.

After moving to the USA in 1962 Grigorian started a new phase in his artistic career. He worked and lived in New York until 1970, when he returned to Tehran and joined the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tehran University. Grigorian left Iran in 1977.

In 1980 he returned to New York and established Arshile Gorky Gallery, named after the Armenian abstract expressionist painter who committed suicide in the U.S.A. in 1948. There he exhibited the works of Iranian and Armenian artists for several years.

In 1986 Grigorian lost his daughter to a massive heart attack. The tragedy caused a shift in Grigorian’s entire perspective and artistic priorities. He immersed himself in his other passion, that of Armenian folk art and rug weaving. He later donated 5,000 of his artworks to the government of Armenia.

In 1993 established the “Sabrina Near East Museum of Yerevan”, where he housed his own works and exquisite collection. Known as the Middle East Museum, the Museum displays 2,600 exhibits containing works of Russian, European and Middle Eastern applied arts. In particular the Persian Section is unique. Persian Pre-Islamic Zoroastrian culture, Islamic culture, Ghadjarac art is on display as well.

Some of his works are now on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kerman, and the National Gallery of Armenia. Grigorian died on August 2007 in Yerevan, Armenia.

Sources: dastan+2, Facebook | Dastan’s Basement, HonarOnline, Encyclopaedia Iranica | Grigorian, Marcos, Wikipedia | Marcos Grigorian, armeniainfo.am

“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,

‘Women without Men’ by Iranian artist Parastou Ahadi at Arte Gallery in Tehran

Arte Gallery in Tehran hosted ‘Women without Men’, a solo photography exhibition by Parastou Ahadi.

Parastou Ahadi is an Iranian painter and illustrator born on April 19th,1982. She got a diploma in Mathematics in 2000 and received a B.A. in Graphic Design in 2006. Ahadi lives and works in Tehran, Iran. She is currently pursuing a M.A. in Dramatic Literature at University of Tehran.
More information: parastouahadi.com

Sources: Honar Online, Facebook | Parastou Ahadi

‘Quantum Soup’ by Iranian artist Mohamadreza Ahmadi Monfared at Mohsen Gallery in Tehran

Mohsen Gallery hosted ‘Quantum Soup’ a solo painting and drawings exhibition by M. Ahmadi Monfared.

“Quantum Soup, is an informal expression for the linking of all matter and energy in the universe, and Demiurge, in Platonic philosophy is not exactly the Creator but a figure who constructs the world especially by using triangles. These two entitle my last two series of paintings and drawings of recent years and in this exhibition.” — Mohamadreza Ahmadi Monfared, Fall 2015

Born in 1983 in Iran, Ahmadi Monfared lives and works as a painter and art teacher in Tehran. After graduating in 2007 with a M.A. in Painting at Tehran University of Art, he has held numerous group and solo exhibitions in Iran. More information: ahmadimonfared.com

Sources: Honar Online, Facebook | M Ahmadi Monfaredsaatchiart.com | M. Ahmadi Monfared

Commemoration of Iranian artist Morteza Momayez with French Graphic Designer Michel Bouvet

In honor of late Iranian graphic designer Morteza Momayez the Iranian Artist’s Forum in Tehran organized a series of events which included a commemoration ceremony, an exhibition of his work and an exhibit and workshop presented by the event’s special guest, French graphic designer Michel Bouvet.

The commemoration ceremony took place in the Ostad Shahnaz Hall at the Iranian House of Artists and it was followed by the opening of an exhibition of Momayez’s work. Michel Bouvet also displayed his work at the Iranian House of Artists and presented a workshop on poster design.

About Morteza Momayez
Morteza Momayez was an Iranian graphic designer, born on August 26, 1935 in Tehran, Iran. He got his bachelor in painting from the School of Fine Arts at University of Tehran in 1965 and his diploma from Ecole National Superier des Art Deco in Paris, France in 1968. He was Editor-in-chief of “Neshan”. Throughout his career, Momayez initiated many cultural institutes, exhibitions and graphic design publications. The renowned pioneer of graphic design in Iran, Momayez received the Art & Culture Award of Excellency from the president of Iran in 2004.

About Michel Bouvet
Michel Bouvet (born 1955 in Tunis) is a French designer and poster artist. He is professor of visual culture at ESAG Penninghen (Paris). Bouvet studied and graduated at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A). His design influences include Fernand Léger, Raymond Savignac, André François and Roman Cieslewicz. His posters are very often the result of a mixture of techniques (photography, collage, sculpture, painting), which gives them a highly poetic graphic dimension. Bouvet has won many national and international design awards in Poland, Finland, Japan, China and Czech Republic. Since 2002, he designs the corporate identity for the Rencontres d’Arles. He has been the curator of several international graphic design exhibitions.

Sources: Tavoos Online, Wikipedia | Morteza Momayez, Honar Online 1, Honar Online 2, Wikipedia | Michel Bouvet

Mixed exhibition of Iranian and Western art at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (Photos)

The exhibition, entitled ‘Towards the Ineffable: Farideh Lashai’, presents a collection of 130 works including paintings, glassworks, drawings and video arts. It will be on display through February 26, 2016 at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

Italian Germano Celant, Artistic Director of the Prada Foundation in Milan, co-curated the exhibition with the Iranian curator, architect, and filmmaker Faryar Javaherian. It marks the first time a non-Iranian curator of such stature has curated an exhibit at the museum since the revolution.

Javaherian and Celant have created an anthology of works by the Iranian modernist Farideh Lashai (1944-2013), who became one of Iran’s leading artists of the era. The Western works are being presented as context for Lashai’s retrospective. The intercultural exchange was achieved by hanging works by Western artists on gray walls, often across the room from Lashai’s works, which are hung on white walls.

Forty two works by Jackson Pollock, Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly, Claude Monet, Willem de Kooning, René Magritte, and many others will surround Lashai’s art. Iranian artists are also represented, as works by Manoucher Yektai, Sohrab Sepehri, and Nasser Assar are included.

“I want to force the audience to see the context,” Celant said. “There’s a self-portrait by Farideh, and there’s a self-portrait by Giacometti. We’re trying to say, O.K., the identity of the Iranian art is related to another identity in the world. That’s a dialogue that needs to be established, and that’s my function as a non-Iranian curator.”

In addition, Catherine de Zegher, director of the Museum of Fine Arts Gent in Belgium, and Venetia Porter, the Assistant Keeper in the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum participated at a one-day seminar held at the museum. Art critics and historians Media Farzin, Marjan Tajeddini and the curators also discussed and reviewed the exhibition at the seminar.

In October, the museum signed a tentative agreement with the German government to send 60 artworks from Tehran – 30 Western and 30 Iranian – to Berlin for a three-month show next fall, which would mark the museum’s first exhibition overseas.

About Farideh Lashai
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a7/Farideh_Lashai.jpgBorn 1944 in Rasht, Farideh Lashai was among the most successful Iranian artists, writers and translators, best known for her abstract paintings. She studied art at the Academy of Decorative Arts in Vienna, Austria, and held over 100 solo and group exhibitions in Iran and many other countries, such as Italy, Germany, the US, Switzerland, Britain and France. After a long battle with cancer she passed away in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in 2013. She was 68 years old.

Lashai particularly won fame for her lyrical abstract paintings and multimedia installations that combined video projections and canvas works. Her works were mostly inspired by her personal experiences and modern Iranian art forms.

Sources: Tehran Times, Vanity Fair, IRNA, Tavoos Online, Honar Online 1, Honar Online 2, Honar Online 3, ISNA, The Telegraph

Iranian artist Pariyoush Ganji honored with Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun

Iranian artist Pariyoush Ganji has been honored with the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government. She received the “3rd Class, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon Order of the Rising Sun” at the Embassy of Japan in Tehran.

The 70-year old artist was commissioned by the Japan Foundation to conduct research in the city of Kyoto on Sassanid-era designs, which had been transferred via the Silk Road and appeared on the kimono, the traditional Japanese female costume, and the belt obi.

In addition, Ganji, who has been teaching in Iranian art universities, has long promoted the Japanese art of sumie (Japanese black ink painting) and shoi (traditional Japanese architecture) in her classes. She has had a big share in introducing and promoting Japanese art in Iran and has also helped elevate the artistic exchanges between Iran and Japan.

The Japanese government honored 89 foreign nationals on November 3rd, 2015. Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami also received the Order of the Rising Sun in 2013.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established by Emperor Meiji of Japan in 1875 and was awarded in nine classes until 2003. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun. The design of the Rising Sun symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the “rising sun” concept of Japan (“Land of the Rising Sun”).

The order is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment.

Sources: Tavoos Online, Embassy of Japan in Iran, Honar Online I, Honar Online II, Wikipedia | Order of the Rising Sun

‘Curriculum Mortis’ by Iranian artist Barbad Golshiri in Tehran

Aaran Gallery hosted one of Barbad Golshiri’s versions of ‘Curriculum Mortis’, that portrays concepts related to death and graveyards.

“I am a taphographer [1], I make grave markers, for the past fifteen years I take pictures of graves and burials and I make frottages on epitaphs of those eliminated only to distribute them. I have also made cenotaphs [2]. Memorials too, for the dead and the living. All these frame Curriculum Mortis. It is true to say that Curriculum Mortis  is not a series. I cannot make series.” […]
– Barbad Golshiri on the catalogue of the exhibition

About Barbad Golshiri
Barbad Golshiri is an Iranian contemporary artist, born in 1982 in Tehran, Iran. His father was Houshang Golshiri, a famous Iranian writer. He studied painting at The School of Art and Architecture, Azad University, Tehran. He has worked both as a media artist and a critic. He works with video, digital media, installation, photography, the internet, graphic novels and Lettrism. He won the third prize of the 6th Tehran Contemporary Painting Biennial, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. (More information: Wikipedia | Barbad Golshiri)

To read the review of the New York Times (Sep 19th, 2013) of one of Barbad Golshiri’s versions of ‘Curriculum Mortis’ click here.

Comments
[1] Tapographer: A tapographer is a copier of tombstones.
[2] Cenotaph: A cenotaph is an “empty tomb” or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere.

Sources: Honar Online, Instagram @aarangallerytehran, tandismag.com, Tehran Times, Aaran Gallery, Wikipedia | Barbad Golshiri, Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, Wikipedia | Cenotaph

‘Distant memories’ by Iranian artist Tara Behbahani in Tehran (Photos)

Golestan Gallery hosted ‘Distant memories’, a painting exhibition by Tara Behbahani.

Tara Behbahani (born 1983) has been learning tricks and techniques of sculpturing with her mother, and painting with her father, who himself is one of the most famous contemporary artists, Taha Behbahani, since early childhood. She has been studied Art and Mathematics along side each other and after completing her university studies in Mathematics she started to research the relationship between art and geometry in Eastern Art.

She has participated in several exhibitions in Iran and abroad and has written about Islamic and Eastern Art in various magazines. For the past 12 years she has been teaching painting to youth and children.

Sources: tarabehbahani.com, mopcap.com, Honar Online, Instagram @tarabehbahani, Golestan Gallery

‘Emigrants’ by Iranian artist Shirin Ettehadieh in Tehran (Photos)

Shirin Gallery hosted ‘Emigrants that carry away their memories’, a painting exhibition by Shirin Ettehadieh.

Autumn is the season of reminiscence, this time my paintings are the memory of flowers and the emigrants that carry away the memory of their homeland.
– Shirin Ettehadieh, Autumn 2015

Shirin Ettehadieh studied at École du Louvre in Paris. She has held exhibitions in France, Greece, the Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as numerous solo and group exhibitions in Iran.

Shirin Ettehadieh on Facebook, website

Sources: 360cities.net, Honar Online, Instagram @shiringallerytehran

Street Art in Iran: Mehdi Ghadyanloo (Photos & Video)

Iranian Mehdi Ghadyanloo’s canvas is the skyline. His illusions create windows to other — more magical — worlds. Seeking to combine minimalist architectural spaces with surreal scenes from another universe, he has painted over 100 murals across the Iranian capital, giving unsuspecting drivers good reason to do a double take, as the fantasy blends in with the real.

Like exaggerated dream sequences, his images portray gravity-defying figures and portholes to other dimensions, all from altered perspectives that meld sky and structure.

About Mehdi Ghadyanloo
Mehdi Ghadyanloo is an Iranian painter, born 1980 in Karaj, Iran. He moved to the capital to study at Tehran University’s College of Fine Arts. He graduated with a BA in 2005 and subsequently earned a MA in film studies from Tehran’s Teachers College (Tarbiyat-e Modarres).

Known primarily for his gigantic trempe l’oeil [1] style murals in central Tehran, Ghadyanloo also creates small scale paintings, with surreal and minimalistic themes. Through his works, Ghadyanloo opens a window into the mood of life in Iran today. At the same time, he provides an autobiographical perspective, portraying the landscapes of his youth, his memories of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), and his life experience in the Islamic Republic.

In 2015 he visited London for an exhibition of his “indoor” paintings, and painted murals there also, including one in Shoreditch.

A report from CNN about Mehdi Ghadyanloo:

Related articles:
1. The Guardian | Tehran’s answer to Banksy: Mehdi Ghadyanloo hits Britain,
2. Howard Griffin Gallery | Artists | Mehdi Ghadyanloo
3. Urban Outfitters Blog | Artist of the week: Mehdi Ghadyanloo
4. Facelifting Tehran | One Wall at a Time: Interview with Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Comments
[1] trompe-l’oeil: Art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo on Facebook, Bēhance, Instagram and Twitter

Sources: CNN, Huffington Post, Howard Griffin Prints, Wikipedia | Mehdi Ghadyanloo, The Guardian, Facebook | Blue Sky Painters, Bēhance, fubiz.net, yourmiddleeast.com, Wikipedia | Trompe-l’oeil

‘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

Zohreh Abdollah-Khani: Iranian ice climber (Photos)

Abdollah Khani, Zohreh - Iranian ice climber - First Iranian female to win an international ice climbing medal 0Zohreh Abdollah Khani, born on September 30th, 1984 in Karaj, Iran. She is currently Iran’s ice climbing champion and Asia’s bronze medal holder. She became the first female ice climber to win a medal for Iran at an international venue, when she finished third in Women Speed at the 2014 UIAA Ice Climbing Asian Championship in Cheongsong, South Korea.

The photo gallery was taken during Abdollah Khani’s training by reporters of Borna News.

Below a video of Zohreh Abdollah Khani

Other posts about great Iranian women: click here

Sources: Borna News | Photos, everest51.blogspot.de, Ice Climbing World Cup | Women Speed Asia 2014, ISNA-Alborz | News

Iranian ‘Mehr Theatre Group’ is in Europe performing its new play ‘Hearing’

The Mehr Theatre Group, an Iranian troupe led by director/writer Amir-Reza Kuhestani, will be performing the play Hearing in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and France. The show centers on events happening in a girls’ dormitory.

Hearing premiered at Tehran’s City Theater in July before going on stage in Zurich, Switzerland at the Zürcher Theater Spektakel. They are attending the Noorderzon Festival in Groningen, the Netherlands with performances on August 25th and August 26th.

The troupe will next return to Geneva, Switzerland to perform Hearing on August 29th and August 31st at the La Bâtie, a festival of theater performances and film screenings. In September they will be heading to Frankfurt, Germany and Marseille, France. Full schedule: Mehr Theatre Group | Tour dates

About Hearing (Synopsis)
The girls’ dormitory was always like an unattainable castle. […] After the entrance door, a female world begun in which the entree of any man was prohibited. […] Now, presume that in a situation like this, one day, a girl reported that she had heard a man in one of the rooms. This would be the starting point of the performance.
More about the show: Mehr Theatre Group | Hearing

About Mehr Theatre Group
Mehr Theatre Group was created in 1996. The aim was to create a new type of theater — far from the traditional Iranian theater — based on new stage direction and a new acting style influenced by film. At first, Amir Reza Koohestani joined the Mehr Theatre Group to participate in their acting workshop, but after 6 months of the workshop they decided to produce theater productions based on their training. Since Amir was the only one with writing background he dedicated his time to write for the theater. […] The Mehr Theatre Group is today one of the most well known Iranian theater companies in Iran and has gained international acclaim with successful performances across the world. More about the troupe: Mehr Theatre Group

Below, a trailer of Timeloss, their last work before Hearing, also presented at the Under The Radar Film Festival in New York, USA. Other trailers: Mehr Theatre Group | Videos

About Amir Reza Koohestani
Amir Reza Koohestani is one of Iran’s most successful and prolific playwright-directors. With his third play, Dance on Glasses (2001), in tour for four years, Amir Reza Koohestani gained international notoriety and found the support of several European theatrical artistic directors and festivals. In February 2012, the movie Modest Reception, which script was co-written by Koohestani and Mani Haghighi – actor and film director – wins the Netpac Award at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012. He is the first director to win two consecutive awards for the “Best theatre production of the year” in Iran (Ivanov, 2011 and The Fourth Wall, 2012). More about him: Mehr Theatre Group | Amir Reza Koohestani

Related articles: The other Iran | Theater

Sources: Tehran Times | Art Desk, Mehr Theatre Group

Taha Zaker: Iranian artist wins Graphis gold award

“Contemporary Musicians”, the poster series by Iranian graphic designer Taha Zaker received the gold award of the Graphis Poster Annual 2016. The collection including seven posters by Zaker has been produced in Tehran Studio, and the winners were announced by the jury late July.

Graphis is a Zurich-based international journal of visual communication, the first edition of which was published in 1944. Graphis is committed to presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in graphic design, advertising, photography and art/illustration.

About Taha Zaker
Born in 1987, Zaker is a graduate of graphic design. He is the art director and graphic designer at Tehran Studio. He has also produced several documentaries and experimental films. He has also designed the poster of the 33rd Fajr International Film Festival and several other movies such aa “I Am Not Angry”, “Rainy Day”, and “Parviz”.

Sources: Tehran Times, Mehr News, Graphis.com

Duluth orchestra and Iranian composer make music history

For perhaps the first time since the Iranian revolution in 1979, an Iranian composer living in Iran collaborated with an American orchestra. It was the world premiere of “Kalileh,” a classic Persian fable set to music by composer Hooshyar Khayam, performed on July by the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra (LSCO), in Duluth, Minnesota.

The story of how a small orchestra in Duluth commissioned an original piece from a young Iranian composer begins last year, when conductor and artistic director Warren Friesen needed six more minutes of music for a concert. “So I literally went into YouTube, and I put in ‘piano and strings’ and let’s see what comes up,” he recalled. Thousands of pieces did and Friesen listened to snippets of dozens of them.

“I came across a piece called ‘Stained Glass’ by a composer I’d never heard of, with this funny name of Hooshyar Khayam. […] At this point I didn’t even know that Hooshyar was living in Tehran. All I knew was that I liked his music.” The LSCO performed the piece last July in Duluth, and an unlikely friendship was born between the 62-year-old Friesen and 36-year-old Khayam.

“I was very much moved by the extreme power of the musicians in the American orchestra, who could in fact play the Persian rhythms with that accuracy and that perfection,” Khayam said. So after that performance, Khayam agreed to create an original piece for shadow puppets and chamber orchestra based on an ancient Indian/Persian fable of the composer’s choice to play this year. Ultimately, Khayam added a youth chorus into the mix.

The result is “Kalileh,” based on an ancient Persian fable of the same name, which tells the story of a jackal, a trickster character, who seeks to become more powerful by becoming more beautiful. “The opening chorus, which I love, says ‘Come, Come Wanderer, lover of leaving, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times, come, come.’ It’s such a beautiful invitation,” Friesen said. The lyrics, explained Friesen, are verses of poetry written by famous 13th-century Persian poets Saadi and Rumi.

Khayam said the work “for me was more than a professional commission. I personally believe that ‘Kalileh’ shows something deeper of this relation of me as an Iranian with this wonderful orchestra in America. […] I’m always searching for sort of a higher meaning than only notes to listen to. […] The most important ingredient of this collaboration is that fact that it’s happening between two countries who have had years of misunderstanding and years of conflict.”

Khayam has collaborated with Friesen and others through Skype over the past year and visited Duluth for the performances.

All USA-Iran related posts on this blog: The other Iran | USA

About Hooshyar Khayam
Hooshyar Khayam (b. 1978) is an Iranian musician. He is active as a composer, pianist, and conductor. His works are in contemporary classical, contemporary jazz, Persian/world music; and in music for film, animation, dance, and theater.

He is the finalist of the Queen Elisabeth International Composition Competition for his piano concerto Before the Dream is Over (2013), first prize award winner of Franz Schubert and Modern Music International Composition Competition for his trio I Waited for You in Rain (2011), finalist of the Mauricio Kagel International Composition Competition (2013); Winner of Culture and Music Critic’s Prize: Tehran’s best album of the year for Tatari (2007); and 4-star winner Top of the World Albums by Songlines (75th issue) for his album All of You (with Amir Eslami, 2011) as distinctive music of Middle East.

Khayam has BM in Persian Music, University of Art, Tehran; AD in Piano Performance, Trinity College, London; MM and DMA in Composition, College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati. He lives and works in Tehran as an independent artist.

About Warren Friesen
Warren Friesen on Facebook

Further read: Duluth News Tribune | Duluth’s Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra set to bridge cultures with new work

Sources: Minnesota Public Radio News, Hooshyar Khayam | Biography, Duluth Reader | A musical blowout at the end of July 2015

Works by Iranian artist Pariyoush Ganji on display in Tehran

The current exhibition ‘A decade of paintings” is a selection of works from Pariyoush Ganji’s Red, Night and Day Windows, Roses and Water series.

Over the past ten years Ganji has worked on several collections ‘Day, Night Windows’ (2012), ‘Day, Night Windows’ (2010), ‘Roses’ (2006), ‘Windows Red’ (2003), ‘Sumi-e, Ink Paintings’ (2000-2012) and ‘Windows, Memories of Childhood’ (1997-2007).

The exhibition will run until July 23rd at Aryana Gallery (No.9, Fayazi St.,(Fereshte St.), Tehran).

About Pariyoush Ganji
Pariyoush Ganji (1945 in Tabriz, Iran) studied painting from 1968 to 1975 in London (St. Martin School of Art, Sir John Cass Art School, Chelsea School) and Paris (École de Beaux Arts). Her research include ‘The History of Persian Textile’ (Italy, 2007), ‘The Influence of Sassanid Patterns on Kimono and Obi Patterns through the Silk Road’ (Kyoto, Japan, 1996) and ‘Saffavid tiles in Isfahan’ (London, England, 1974). She held exhibitions at Luci Makintosh Gallery (Switzerland, 2012), Bank Art Museum (Japan, 2006), Museum of Art and Science (USA, 2003) and National Museum of Tashkent (Uzbekistan, 1999).
A more detailed biography: Pariyoush Ganji | About or Caroun.com | Pariyoush Ganji.

Sources: Iran Daily | News, Art 360° | Ariana Gallery, Honaronline.ir | Featured

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

Hossein Alizadeh: Iranian Grammy Award nominee tours Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Italy starting Feb 27

Alizadeh, Hossein - Iranian tar virtuosoIranian tar virtuoso Hossein Alizadeh is scheduled to tour Europe to perform a series of concerts entitled “The Art of Improvisation”.

Kamancheh player Saba, who is Alizadeh’s son, and tombak virtuoso Behnam Samani will accompany him during the tour, which will begin at the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Gothenburg, Sweden on February 27.

The group will then perform at the Hvidovre Main Library in Copenhagen, the most populated city in Denmark.

Cosmopolite Scene in Oslo, Norway, will be the next stop for the ensemble on March 1 and then the group will leave for Venice to perform at the Centro Culturale Candiani on March 6.

The tour will come to an end at San Luigi Guanella, a major theater in Rome, on March 7.

The concerts will offer an attractive combination of traditional Persian music with an amalgam of percussion and stringed indigenous Iranian instruments.

About Hossein Alizadeh:
Hossein Alizâdeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician.

He has made numerous recording with prominent musicians including Shajarian, Nazeri, Madjid Khaladj, and Gasparyan, and is a member of the Musical group, Masters of Persian Music.

Alizadeh was born in 1951 in Tehran to Azeri and Persian parents. He graduated from the music conservatory in 1975 and entered the school of fine arts in the University of Tehran where he studied composition and Persian music. He continued his education at the Berlin University of the Arts in composition and musicology. He studied with various masters of Traditional Persian Music such as Houshang Zarif, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur-Ali Borumand, Mahmoud Karimi, Abdollah Davami, Yusef Forutan, and Sa’id Hormozi. From these masters he learned the radif of Persian classical music.

Alizadeh has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and has appeared on many radio and television programs, including Radio France, RIAS in Berlin, WDR in Cologne, the BBC, KCRW in Los Angeles, and KPFA in Berkeley. Some of Alizadeh’s most noted compositions are, The Nava Improvisations (1976), Riders of the Plains of Hope (1977), Hesar (1977), Revolt (1983) for harp, string orchestra, and percussion, NeyNava (1983), Dream (1986) for harp and flute, Torkaman (1986), Raz-O-Niaz (1986), and Song of Compassion (1991).

He has been nominated for the 2007 Grammy Award along with Armenian musician, Djivan Gasparyan, for their collaboration album, The Endless Vision. In 2008, he was voted as “Iran’s most distinguished musician of the year”.

Listen to his music on last.fm: http://www.last.fm/music/Hossein+Alizadeh

Sources: Tehran Times , Wikipedia | Hossein Alizadeh , Iran Chamber

Academy Award winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi named Busan Film Festival jury president

Asghar Farhadi named Busan Film Festival jury president

Academy Award winning Iranian filmmaker has been selected to preside over the jury for the New Currents section at the 19th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

Farhadi will head the festival’s jury panel that is comprised of French philosopher Jacques Ranciere, Professor of film studies at the Scotland’s University of St. Andrews Dina Iordanova, Indian actress Suhasini Maniratnam, and Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho.

The Iranian director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour’s drama We Have a Guest is also scheduled to compete at the festival which will take place from October 2 to 11.

https://i2.wp.com/i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02151/a-separation_2151511i.jpg

Academy Award winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi

Born in 1972, Farhadi received his Bachelors in Theater from University of Tehran’s School of Dramatic Arts in 1998 and his Masters in Stage Direction from Tarbiat Modarres University a few years later.

His 2011 family drama A Separation became a sensation and received rave reviews from numerous international film events and festivals.

The film won the award for the Best Foreign Language film at the Golden Globe Award and Academy Award in 2012.

“Farhadi is a filmmaker who makes one becomes familiar with the rich culture of Iran. His works remind us of Victor Hugo,” The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe had earlier said during an award ceremony during which the Grand Medal of Vermeil from the City went to Farhadi for his latest drama The Past (Le Passé).

The Past has scooped numerous awards so far such as two prizes at the 66th Cannes film festival including the Best Actress award and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (prix du Jury œcuménique).

Dancing in the Dust (2003), The Beautiful 2004), Fireworks Wednesday (2006) and About Elly (2009) are his other directorial works.

Loris Tjeknavorian: Armenian-Iranian composer and holder of Iran’s “Top Medal of Art”

Tjeknavorian, Loris - Iranian composer and conductor - Foto by Arash Mirsepasi for Young Journalists ClubLoris Tjeknavorian (also spelled Cheknavarian) is an Iranian-Armenian composer and conductor. He was born in 1937 in Borujerd in the province of Lorestan, southwestern Iran, and was educated in Tehran.

In the course of his career, Tjeknavarian has made about 100 recordings (with RCA, Philips, EMI, ASV, etc.) and written more than 75 compositions (symphonies, operas, a requiem, chamber music, concerto for piano, violin, guitar, cello and pipa (Chinese lute), ballet music, choral works and an oratorio. And over 45 Film mosaics.

Tjeknavarian also has conducted international orchestras throughout the world: in Austria, UK, US, Canada, Hungary, Iran, Finland, former USSR, Armenia, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Denmark, Israel, etc. In October 2010 he became the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra in Southern California. Glenn Treibitz, president of the Glendale Symphony said; “with Loris Tjeknavorian at the helm, our orchestra will automatically become one of the most prominent in the Western USA.”

Awards
– Austria’s Presidential Gold Medal of Artistic Merit (2008)
– Austria’s Cross of Honor for Science and Art, first class (2008)
– Awarded “Top Medal of Art”, Iran’s highest medal for performing arts (2002)

Sources: Wikipedia | Loris Tjeknavorian

France honors the Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi with L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (the Order of Arts and Letters)

Asghar Farhadi receives the Oscar for "A Separation"

Asghar Farhadi receives the Oscar for “A Separation”

The culture minister of France presents the order to a person who has made significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the dissemination of these fields.

Farhadi made his latest film “The Past” in France. The French-language drama brought its star Bérénice Bejo the Palme d’Or for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. He received the first EU MEDIA prize for “The Past” in 2012 when the film was in its preproduction stage.

His previous film “A Separation” won the Oscar for best foreign-language film at the Academy Awards in 2012. He previously received France’s César award for best foreign film for “A Separation”.

Source: Tehran Times

“A Separation”, first Iranian movie to win the Oscar academy award

A Separation (Persian: Jodái-e Náder az Simin, “The Separation of Nader from Simin”) is a 2011 Iranian drama film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi.

Farhadi focuses on a middle class family in Tehran to explore the tensions and challenges of modern Iran. By examining class, religious and gender conflict through the intimate lens of family life, he highlights the interconnection between the personal and political. The lecture identifies and analyses the multiple pressure points within the film narrative and the central idea that the very things that connect us as human beings also separate us.

A Separation won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, becoming the first Iranian film to win the award. It received the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, becoming the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, making it the first non-English film in five years to achieve this.

Nader and Simin: A Separation (trailer):

Asghar Farhadi, 123 mins, Iran, 2011

Source: Wikipedia | A Separation, Australian Centre for the Moving Image | A Separation

Professor Parvaneh Vosough: “Iran’s Mother Theresa”

Parvaneh-VosoughProfessor Parvaneh Vosough was born in 1935 in Tafresh, central Iran. She received her MD in general medicine in 1963 in Tehran University of Medical Science. She completed her specialty and sub-specialty in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Illinois Universities, and she attended Washington University for her graduate course. In 1971 she returned to Iran and practiced her profession in Ali Asghar Hospital in Tehran.

Her colleagues say that many times, she had been proposed residence of US and European countries for research and lucrative income, but that she had chosen providing free service to her country’s cancer-suffering children.

In the course of her medical services, Professor Vosough treated many cancer-suffering children around the world, giving them health, and she had never married. Perhaps for this reason, she was called ‘Iran’s Mother Theresa’ by some people.

Source: Payvand News | Prof. Parvaneh Vosough, angel of Iran’s Cancer Children, passes away