TEHRAN, Feb. 1 (Mehr News Agency) -- The 26th Fajr International Film Festival was inaugurated here on Thursday evening at Tehran's National Grand Hall.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Mohammadreza Jafari-Jelveh and a number of cinematic figures and artists.
A highlight of the evening's events was the presentation of lifetime achievement awards to Veteran Iranian actress Parvaneh Masumi and actor Masud Jafari-Jozani.
Masumi, delighted at receiving a Golden Simorgh said, "I have been working for thirty five years and tonight all my tiredness has drained away."
She continued, "I don't know how or why I was selected as the mother of Iran's cinema. However, I feel it to be a great honor, since a mother is the most perfect creature on the earth, and I hope I can be a good and decent one for this land."
Jafari-Jozani also expressed his pleasure on receiving his award and said that he felt greatly honored.
Two musical videos were then screened as a tribute to Masumi and Jafari-Jozani made by Azizi Saati and Masud Amini respectively.
Tributes were paid to late directors Ali Hatami and Rasul Mollaqolipur, with several pieces of music being performed by the band "Vangshu" in their memory, and selected scenes from their movies were shown.
In the advertising material section, four Crystal Simorghs were awarded. Abdollah Abdinasab won best photographer award for his work "Somewhere in the Distance", Heydar Rrezaii best designer award for "The Outcasts", Behzad Khorshidi best billboard design award for "The Game Rule" and Amir Sheyban Khaqani won the best TV advertisement award for the two movies "Night Bus" and "Stone, Paper, Scissors". Photographer Elmira Moqaddas also received an honorary diploma for the movie "The Boss".
Artist Ebrahim Haqiqi who was hosting the award presentations made a short speech saying, "We had asked the organizers to add an advertising section to the festival several years ago. We think this new section will help promote quality in this area."
Secretary of the event Majid Shah-Hosseini was the next to speak, commenting, "It is worth examining any ideas which can revive national cinema. Our cinema, which has been the source of so much hope, is now itself in need of some positive input."
Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Mohammadreza Jafari-Jelveh referred to the 26th festival as representing the rise of new hope in Iran's cinema and stated that it is an institution seeking identity, truth and justice.
Later, artists active in fields related to cinema including Naser Ansari, Ali Javadi, Masud Behnam, Vahid Tabrizi and Mohammadreza Firuzifar were honored.
Ali Sartipi, head of the film distributing company "Filimiran", and Borqei, manager of the Shahr-e Aftab cinema hall in Qom were also honored at the ceremony.
Sartipi remarked that he was pleased to see that attention is being paid after 26 years to the area of film distribution in cinema.
The 26th Fajr Film Festival will be held at several of Tehran's cinema halls from February 1-11.
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