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Kaveh Golestan Annual Photojournalism Award


By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


The First Annual Kaveh Golestan Photojournalism Award was held last Saturday 2nd October at the at Iranian Artists' Forum. You may check the site and see the footnote below [1] for further reference.


The short and very professionally conducted ceremony began at 5 p.m. when the doors were opened. The actual ceremony began at 5:30. and took about 45 minutes.



The ceremony started off with a short film made by Mr. Mohammad Raz- Bakhash which included some footage of Kaveh's work which he had done for the BBC as their cameraman in the area as well as many of his prize winning photographs, in his different fields  that he had been involved, which was most moving.



Then the restless, zealous, efficient and devoted Ms. Lili Golestan gave a talk about how the award was set up, and the important fact that this award was the very First Award in Iran which was completely Independent. She went on to introduced the steering committee, the honorable members of jury, Mr. Bahman Jallali, the famous photographer, photojournalist, university professor as well as the head of the jury, Ms. Rana Javadi one of Iran's best , the well known Cameraman Mr. Mahmoud Kalari, The famous and international acclaimed Director and  Film-Makers Mr. Jaffar Pannahi, Mr. Ahmad Allie the great photographer and teacher, Mr. Ebrahim Haghighi the distinguished  graphic artist and Mr. Sayffoullah Sammadian one of the famous and most active photojournalists in Iran, university teacher and organizer of many Photo events, as well as editor of a photo magazine in Iran. The last three gentlemen were not present as they were all on a business trip outside Iran.  Kaveh's old friend and colleague Mr. Jim Muir from the BBC had come especially to attend the ceremony and to be by family's side on such an important occasion.  The outstanding photojournalist Mr. Shahidul-Alam, the distinguished Bangladesh photographer and his wife were the guests of honor who were invited with the kind efforts of Mr. Sammie-Azar, head of Tehran Museum of contemporary Art and his colleagues.



Some 2342 pictures were received and 82 photographers with 214 pictures remain from  44 photographers in the first category, the Picture Story, and 59 pictures from  40 photographers in  the Best Single News Shot category reached the final, it must be added that some of were in both categories. The works received were so good that the jury decided to choose six photographers and give them each a certificate of achievement as well as a Dove statue, (the work of Mrs. Golestan, Kaveh's mother) and 500 rolls of film to encourage and promote their future works. The selection process was for very difficult and I personally can vouch for that as I attended a first couple of the sessions, as an aid, and it was really hard for the selection panel to set aside some of these works as they were all so good and interesting.



Finally Ms. Golestan thanked all those who, directly and indirectly, financially and otherwise have assisted the award and helped to make this occasion come true and in particular Ms. Simmin Ekrammie the famous Sculptor who designed the Award symbol and Mr. Siyavoush Salimmi who manufactured and polished the fabulous statue casts. She paid a great tribute to Members of Kanoon Anformatic, the Iranian Artist's Forum, Mr. Ebrahim Haghighi who designed the invitation cards and the posters for the event,  and Ms. Ghazie-Nejad who designed the Award Logo and letterheads. She thanked Mr. Amini and Digarr Publishing House, in particular, who printed two special books for this occasion with great efforts on time. These are ; one of Kaveh 's work and the others with pictures which were sent-in to partake in the Photo Story Reportage and Single News shot categories.



Then Ms. Peggah Ahmadi, the poet and stage manager requested the jury members as well as Mr. Jim Muir to come on stage to present the special awards to these six distinguished photographers who were:


1. Reza Moatarian

2. Newsha Tavakoulian

3. Abbass Kousari

4. Mehdi Ghassemi

5. Mr. Javid Tafazoulli

6. Javade Montazeri


Last but not least the main awards which included the Statue Symbol, in a form of two rolls of films n piece of film  and a cheque for 10,000,000 Rials were given to the winners as follows:


A. he winner in Picture Story Category went to Mr. Madjid Saeedi for his reportage on War in Iraq - he received his prize from Mr. Ahmad Allie


B. The Winner in the Single News Photograph was awarded to Mr. Hassan Sarbakhshian by Mr. Shahidul-Alam. His picture title was 'Akhoundak'


C. The award for the Best Young Talent was given to Mr. Omid Salehi by Mrs. Hengamhe Golestan.




After the ceremony the guests were invited for refreshments and for the viewing of the works which had reached the final and were displayed on the ground floor galleries. The show was very well received and the atmosphere there was very energetic and positive. I have a selection of photographs here to share with you the atmosphere there.


Many guests who had arrived late watched the ceremony on the huge screen on the ground floor.  This show is on until Thursday 7th October from 10.00a.m to 9.00 p.m. at Iranian Artists' Forum, North Iranshahr


Note: Award winning photos and other selected photos will be published in a separate article.




[1] The Golestan family set up this prize in memory of the late Kaveh Golestan, who lost his life unexpectedly and tragically while on assignment in April 2003. The Golestan family's wishes regarding an award being established in Kaveh's name became known shortly after the sad event. Many organizations that had similar ideas withheld them in honor of the family. Please note here some related articles on Kaveh and his works:  Works by Kaveh Golestan,  We all lost a friend; His name is Kaveh Golestan,  A tribute to Kaveh Golestan, Kaveh Golestan: 1950-2003, Renowned Iranian photo-journalist killed in Iraq's Kurdistan, Annual Awards in memory of Kaveh Golestan announced, Tribute to a cameraman, BBC cameraman's last moments, BBC cameraman dies in Iraq



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