Tag Archives: Video

Iran’s Fajr International Festival of Visual Arts: Exhibition

The 8th Fajr International Festival of Visual Arts displayed at Saba Art and Cultural Institute works by over 200 Iranian and foreign artists coming from different countries including Tunisia, Pakistan, Turkey, Italy, Cuba and Kyrgyzstan.

The Niavaran Cultural Center hosted a side-section exhibit of calligraphy and miniature works under the title “Fajr and National Art” and a selection of documentaries focusing on different visual arts including painting, sculpture, miniature, pottery and ceramics was screened at the Saba Institute as well as at the cinematheque of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

A day dedicated to Mexican art, organized in collaboration with the Mexican Embassy, included thirty five lithographies by José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913), considered the precursor of Mexican folk art, photos by Tina Modotti (1896-1942) that reflect the struggle of the less privileged of the post-Mexican Revolution period and sculptures by Gabriela Rodríguez, fifteen pieces commemorating the International Year of Light, celebration promoted by Mexico at the United Nations.

Short video by PressTV dedicated to this year’s Fajr International Festival of Visual Arts:

Sources: Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, IRNA 1, IRNA 2, Honar Online 1, Honar Online 2, Financial Tribune, Tehran Times 1, Tehran Times 2, El Universal (in Spanish)

Chaharshanbe Suri – Ancient Iranian Fire Festival (Photos)

Chaharshanbe Suri is an ancient ceremony dating back to at least 1700 BCE. Iran’s largest dictionary, Dehkhoda, describes it as: “A festival arranged on the last Tuesday evening of the old year, where you light fires and jump over them, to achieve happiness and good health in the New Year.”

The celebration usually starts in the evening and people leap over the flames, singing “zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man”, literal translated as “my yellow is yours, your red is mine”, asking the fire to take their pallor, sickness, and problems and in turn give them redness, warmth, and energy.

Traditionally, it is believed that the living were visited by the spirits of their ancestors on the last day of the year. Many people specially children, wrap themselves in shrouds symbolically reenacting the visits. By the light of the bonfire, they run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons (“Gashog-Zani”) to beat out the last unlucky Wednesday of the year, while they knock on doors to ask for treats. Sometimes the treat is a mixture of seven dried nuts and fruits (pistachios, roasted chic peas, almond, hazelnuts, figs, apricots, and raisins) and is called “Ajeel-e Chahar Shanbeh Suri”. The practices are very similar to Halloween, which is a Celtic version of similar festivals celebrated throughout the area in ancient times.

Photos: Chaharshanbe Suri in Iran, 2016

Families customarily enjoy snacks during the evening and a supper at night after the end of the festivities. In Ker­man and Shiraz the main dish is usually polow with pasta soup (“ash reshte“); the longer the pasta strands, the better the chances for a long life for each member of the family.

The ancient Iranians celebrated the last 10 days of the year in their annual feast of all souls, Hamaspathmaedaya (Farvardigan). They believed Foruhars (faravahar), the guardian angels for humans and also the spirits of dead would come back for reunion. These spirits were entertained as honored guests in their old homes, and were bidden a formal ritual farewell at the dawn of the New Year. The ten-day festival also coincided with festivals celebrating the creation of fire and humans. Flames were burnt all night to ensure the returning spirits were protected from the forces of Ahriman. This was called Suri festival. Zoroastrians today still follow this tradition.

The celebration was not held on this night before Islam and might be a combination of different rituals to make them last. Wednesday is likely to have been prompted by an Arab superstition where it represents a bad omen day with unpleasant consequences. This is contrary to Zoroastrian cosmology where all days were sacred and named after a major deity. By celebrating in this manner Iranians were able to preserve the ancient tradition. The festival is celebrated on Tuesday night to make sure all bad spirits are chased away and Wednesday will pass uneventfully.

Today, there is no religious significance attached to it any more and is a purely secular festival for all Iranians (Persians, Azerbaijani people, Armenians, Kurdish people, Assyrians, Bahá’í, Jews, Christian and Zoroastrians). The night will end with more fire works and feasts where family and friends meet and enjoy music and dance.

Chaharshanbe Suri in Tehran, Iran – 2016

Fire Festival in Sweden
In Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden they celebrate Eldfesten, a Swedish version of the Persian Chaharshanbe Soori. This year, 2016, is the 25th anniversary of the festival in the city of Gothenburg, where it has become one of the most popular public cultural celebrations in the city. Thousands of people, including non-Iranians, attend each year to celebrate the arrival of spring with crackling fires, music, fireworks and fragrant Persian dishes.

Photos: Eldfesten 2016 in Sweden

Sources: Iran Chamber Society, Enciclopædia Iranica, Wikipedia | Chaharshanbe Suri, IRNA 1, IRNA 2, IRNA 3, IRNA 4, IRNA 5, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, Mehr News AgencyFacebook | Eldfesten 2016, Göteborgs-Posten, goteborg.com, Huffington Post Canada

‘The President’, a film by awarded Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 2014, Georgia, /France/UK/Germany, 105 minutes,
Cast: Misha Gomiashvili, Dachi Orvelashvili
Festivals: Venice Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival

More info about director Mohsen Makhmalbaf: click here

Persian Film Festival Australia Iran Sidney Movie Trailer The PresidentPlot: In an imaginary village in the Caucasus, a President is on the run with his five-year-old grandson following a coup d’état. The two travel across the lands that the President once governed. Now, disguised as a street musician to avoid being recognized, the former dictator comes into contact with his people, and gets to know them from a different point of view.

The President and his family rule their land with an iron fist, enjoying lives of luxury and leisure at the expense of their population’s misery. When a coup d’état overthrows his brutal rule and the rest of his family flees the country by plane, The President is suddenly left to care for his young grandson and forced to escape. Now the country’s most wanted fugitive with a bounty on his head, The President begins a perilous journey with the boy, criss-crossing the country to reach the sea where a ship waits to bring them to safety. Posing as street musicians and traveling together with the people who suffered for years under the dictatorship, the fallen President and the innocent child will be exposed first hand to the hardships that inspired unanimous hatred for the regime.

Trailer:

Sources: http://www.iranianfilmfestival.org/all-date-list/the-president/ , Youtube

Iran’s Pallet band launches concert tour in US

Iran’s Pallet music band has launched its new international concert tour with a successful performance in the US city of Portland. The group went on stage in Portland, Oregon on September 11. The tour will continue with concerts in 11 other US cities and wrap up in Washington D.C on October 4.

Iran's Pallett-music-band-US-tourAccording to bandleader and clarinetist Rouzbeh Esfandarmaz, Pallet will perform pieces from its two albums ‘Mr. Violet’ and ‘Tehran, Smile.’

Vocalist Omid Nemati, cellist Mahyar Tahmasebi, guitarist Kaveh Salehi and double-bass player Dariush Azar accompany Esfandarmaz during the tour.

The fusion band Pallet has held many concerts in Iran and other countries such as France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands.

More songs from Pallet: http://www.last.fm/music/Pallet+Band

Source: Payvand | News, Youtube.com

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