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Iranian films travel to 14 countries in 2008

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Thanks to the new generation of directors, actors and actresses who have appeared on the stages of Persian cinema after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Iranian cinema is flourishing everyday and gaining  considerable credit in a rapid movement toward international acclaim.

 

It is said that Iran is a cradle of arts and cultural endeavors because of its historical backgrounds and 7500 years of recorded civilization; this is almost right because of the outstanding personalities that the country presented to the world. Mevlana, Ferdowsi, Hafez and Rudaki are among them as the greatest Persian poets ever, but the matter of modern arts differs a bit.

 

The Iranian cinema was unknown and isolated in the world in past 50 years due to the disgraceful and passive behavior of Persian kings under the Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties.

 

They paid neither attention to nor made nvestments in the modern arts like music, cinema and theater. Rather, they wasted the national budget for unnecessary abroad travels and their own "wining and dining" and this lead to a long-term retardation of arts and culture in Iran.

 

After the revolution of 1979, the attention and interest toward the culture and arts in Iran arose again and the artists found valuable opportunities to present their works in international fairs, exhibitions and festivals.

 

Since that time, Iranians succeeded to win several international awards and prizes in cultural and artistic fields, the Nobel peace prize for Shirin Ebadi and the Nobel literature prize for Doris Lessing the most eminent of them.

 

In the meanwhile, many Iranian artists, writers and filmmakers have been nominated for Academy Oscar awards, Nobel Prize of literature, Cannes film festival etc. but failed to qualify for the last rounds.

 

However, the Iranian cinema became a unique one of its type in the three past decades because of the exclusive properties it gained. It is empty from violence, immorality, insults and discourtesy.

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Entertainment and spirituality are mixed in the Iranian cinema and it prevents the families, children or the youth to be offended by watching a 90 minutes Iranian movie.

 

Today, Iran enjoys some renowned and notable artists in the field of cinema such as the famous female director Niki Karimi, the award winning producer Abbas Kiarostami and Majid Majidi, the international spiritual filmmaker who is honored by the Oecumenical Special Award of the 25th Montreal Film Festival in year 2001.

 

You may also know Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the influential film director of Iran who has been granted with the special award of Scythian Deer from the President of Ukraine in year 2007 and also won the Federico Fellini Gold Medal of UNESCO in 2001.

 

Ebrahim Hatami-Kia is another master of Persian cinema who won the Golden Seashell from San Sebastián International Film Festival in 1999, being ranked among the world's top drama directors.


The outstanding female director Tahmineh Milani is another screenwriter and director from the southwestern Iran who is awarded as the Best director of the 51st Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 2006 and the Grand Prix 'Cinéma Tout Ecran award from the Geneva Cinéma Tout Ecran festival in 2003. Finally, Jafar Pahani is another predominant Iranian producer and director who has been prized with the Podo Award at Valdivia Film Festival for his life-time artistic accomplishments in year 2007. 

In addition to all of the successful filmmakers mentioned above, the latest reports show that the Iranian films are slated to be screened in various international film festivals worldwide in 14 countries.

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Negar Azarbaijani's "Virtual Truth" will be displayed at 2008 Lisbon International Horror Film Festival, Asqar Farhadi's "Fireworks Wednesday" will participate in the Carthage International Film festival in Tunisia and Saman Salour's "From the Land of Silence" is planned to be screened at Germany's Around the World in 14 Films Festival.

 

The last festival which would be held in Berlin is hosting films from 14 countries including Argentina, Mexico, USA, Burkina Faso, France, UK, Indonesia and Iran and it is a honor for Persian cinema to be among the worlds top filmmaking countries.


It is also reported that the celebrated Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi's Oscard-nominated "As simple as that" is slated to be screened at 11 international film festivals around the globe.  Mirkarimi's film will begin its tour in Germany before going on to Turkey and the United States.  

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Kourosh Ziabari, freelance journalist and blogger from Iran, technology and culture reporter, interviewer and media correspondent for the Foreign Policy Journal.

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