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Iranian film bags Golden Peacock Award at 34th Int'l Film Festival


Iranian film, 'At 5 in the Afternoon' (Panj-e Asr) directed by Samira Makhmalbaf bagged the Golden Peacock Award at the 34th International Film Festival of India, 2003 in New Delhi on Sunday, IRNA reported.

According to an IRNA reporter, Ravi Shankar Prasad, India's minister of state for information and broadcasting handed over the citation and the first award. It was received on behalf of Samira by the first lady of Islamic Republic of Iran Embassy in New Delhi.

In her message, Samira applauded the values of non-violence in Indian culture and donated the award money of Rs500,000 to Indian non-government organizations working in the area of human rights.

The second award for the best promising Asian director and the Silver Peacock worth Rs250,000 was bagged by an Israeli director, Ran'anan Alexadrowicz for his film, 'James Journey to Jerusalem'.

The Special Jury award worth Rs250,000 was bagged by an Indian film Director, Subhadro Choudhury for his film 'Prohor' (In Course of Time).

Prasad in his address after the award presentation ceremony at Siri Fort Auditorium said, "Samira gesture is profoundly effective and it will go a long way in cementing Indo-Iranian relations." He said, films and cause of films need to transform beyond political divide. "In pursuit of creativity we should bring best in offer in film industry," he added.

In the 10-day festival, almost 270 films were screened with a participation of almost 300 delegates.

The Iranian films which participated in the festival were 'Gipsy' directed by Ali Shah Hatami; 'Paradise is Somewhere Else' directed by Abdolrassul Golbon Haghighi and two films in the Asian competition section were 'Cinderella' directed by Bijan Birang and Masoud Rassam and a movie 'Five in the Afternoon' directed by Samira Makhmalbaf.

The five members jury for the 11 Asian film competition section was led by Krzystof Zanussi.

The closing film of the festival was an Australian one, 'Rabbit Proof' directed by Phillip Noyce. It is a powerful true story of hope and survival and showcases Australian government policy to train aboriginal children as domestic workers and integrate them into the White society.

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