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A Report of the 13th Iran Cinema Celebration


13th Iran Cinema Celebration was held last Friday night at Tehran’s Esteghlal Hotel attending moviemakers, House of Cinema members, governmental managers and the mayor of Tehran. Three artists and one contributor to art and culture were to be honored at the ceremony.

Host Ali Moallem welcomed the audience and described the gathering as a replacement for the usual competitive festival celebrating the National Day of Cinema in Iran. Among the present guests were Naser Taghvai, Mohammad Rahmanian, Mahtab Nasirpour, Habib Rezai, Masoud Raygan, Roya Taymourian, Saman Moghaddam, Maryam Kaviani, Iraj Raminfar, Manoochehr Mohammadi, Hooshang Golmakani, Reza Mir-Karimi, Ahmad Talebinezhad, Mohammad Ali Sajjadi, Dr. Mohammad Sarir, Davood Rashidi, Masud Kimiai, Mohammad Ali Najafi, Amir Esbati, Morteza Shayesteh, Kamran Ghadakchian, Morteza Razzagh Karimi, Mohammad Reza Sokoot, Mohammad Reza Sharafeddin, Nezameddin Kiai, Davood Mir-Bagheri, Aydin Aghdashloo, Mohammad Khazaei, Shahram Mokri and the three artists selected as honorees.

The ceremony opened with a clip in memoriam of those members of the Iranian cinema who passed away during the past year. The clip included images of the late Seifollah Dad at the backstage of the “Iranian Carpet”, Parvin Solaymani, Mehri Mehrnia, Ali Miri, Peyman Abadi and Farokhlagha Hushmand.
A musical performance by Bamdad Bayat followed the clip. Secretary of the 13th Iran Cinema Celebration Farhad Tohidi then delivered a different, satirical report of the events, activities and decisions during the past 5 months which led to the ongoing ceremony. His words were received amid enthusiastic applause by the audience.

The tribute ceremony began by honoring Digran Tomanian and a clip of his career, in which Tomanian himself described his journey through the years and his work at the film labs. He then walked up the stage to receive House of Cinema’s honorary statuette for lifetime achievement from Haroon Yashayayi. Tomanian expressed his appreciation for the honor, saying: “I am sincerely grateful to the board of directors at the House of Cinema for this very gracious award, and I am so happy that I am being honored tonight along with two of our great artists.”

The next clip showed Niku Kheradmand talking about her cinema, radio and voice acting career along with images of some of her memorable roles from the early days of her artistic life. Describing herself honored to present Kheradmand with the honorary statuette of the House of Cinema, Roya Taymourian invited the veteran actress up on the stage. Kheradmand, who walked up the stage amid standing ovation, said: “I wish I could talk to you longer, but I can’t right now. I’ll just say I’m immensely grateful to each and every one of you.”

The third tribute of the night went to prominent writer-director of the Iranian cinema, Naser Taghvai. Taghvai’s clip showed filmmakers such as Bahram Beizai, Masood Kimiai, Abbas Ganjavi, Ali Reza Zarrindast and Kianoush Ayari who unanimously described Taghvai as one of the most brilliant, influential artists in the Iranian history. Taking the stage as a filmmaker of Taghvai’s generation, Masood Kimiai said about his old friend: “You either go on and on about Naser or you don’t say anything at all. I’d have to say a lot of things if we want to delve into this ocean of Naser. I have had friends in the 50 years of my filmmaking career, and Naser is one of my closest friends, and he hasn’t made a film for a few years now, and his silence is no less than his filmmaking. But then there’s this one question; why doesn’t Naser make films?”

Accepting his award, Taghvai said: “Some day I’ll tell you why I don’t make films, but I’ll say it when it can have some effect. But one thing I’ll say here and now; we Iranians usually overdo things on two occasions, when we love someone, and when we hate someone. These days anybody who makes a film or says a poem is called an artist, but an artist is someone who blesses people with what he says, or shows, or with his mere presence, instead of harming them.”    

After Taghvai left the stage, backstage images and some edited parts of Taghvai’s unfinished “Bitter Tea” were screened. House of Cinema’s Managing Director Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour then took the stage to announce that after years of delay, he has now made extensive efforts to help bring the “Bitter Tea” project to completion, and so Taghvai’s diehard fans can be hopeful to finally get their wish and see the film on the big screen.

The last tribute of the 13th Iran Cinema Celebration went to Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, mayor of Tehran, for his services to the Iranian cinema. In the final clip of the night, several filmmakers including Ezzatollah Entezami, Kiumars Poorahmad, Dariush Arjmand, Roya Nonahali, Masood Raygan, Ahmad Reza Darvish and Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi talked about the municipality’s support of cinema in the recent years.

On the invitation of host Ali Moallem, Ghalibaf took the stage to say: “I have to thank the House of Cinema and all the distinguished members of the artistic community who have honored me with their praises. Such an acclamation gives me the responsibility to serve you with more drive and dedication.” He further added: “The exaltation of Iranian cinema is an unavoidable necessity and I feel obligated to follow in this path, which of course will have many highs and lows.”

Referring to the municipality’s ongoing projects, he said: “Tehran municipality has 3 million square meters of property under construction for cultural facilities, which will include the garden museum of sacred defense and a high quality movie theater which will be operational in a year.”

13th Iran Cinema Celebration wrapped up with hopes that the 14th event will be held at the movie theater which is currently under construction at the Abbas Abad hills. 









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