Tag Archives: Personalities

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