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No celebration at 13th Iran Cinema Celebration

Tehran Times Art Desk

TEHRAN -- The 13th Iran Cinema Celebration was held Friday night at Tehran's Esteqlal Hotel, with no competition and no winner announcement. The festival is held annually to celebrate Iran's National Cinema Day (Sep. 12) and is sponsored by the House of Cinema. However, this year's celebration was held on September 18 due to its coincidence with the holy month of Ramadan.

The twelve previous editions announced winners and presented awards in different sections, but this year the event took place without having a winner or an award ceremony.

Instead, it was an honoring ceremony, paying tribute to several veteran actors and filmmakers. The new Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Mohammad Hosseini, Mohammadreza Jafari-Jelveh, and actors Masud Rayegan, Davud Rashidi, Mahtab Nasirpur, Habib Rezaii and Pulad Kimiaii were among the participating guests.

The ceremony began with a music video commemorating the names and memoirs of late cinematic figures of last year with Bamdad Bayat, the son of late musician Babak Bayat, giving a solo piano performance.

Secretary of the celebration Farhad Tohidi next gave a short report on the celebration which was different from previous reports and was warmly received by the participants.

Digaran Tumanian, a film laboratory specialist, was honored first. Actress Niku Kheradmand was next who came on stage with actress Roya Teimurian helping her to walk due to her recent illness.

Niku Kheradmand (right) and Roya Teimurian

She began to shed a few tears and said, "I wish I could talk more with you, but I am too weak, I can only express my appreciation to all those who helped arrange this celebration."

Filmmaker Naser Taqvaii was also honored in this ceremony and Iran's Cinema Celebration award was presented to Taqvaii by filmmaker Masud Kimiaii.

Kimiaii said, "Throughout these years, Taqvaii has been one of my closest friends. When one talks about him, he must either say a lot, or not to say anything. His silence over not making a film in all these years also proves that he can be reluctant to make a film and we have to push him to make one."

Naser Taqvaii (right) receives lifetime achievement award from Masud Kimiaii

He later complained that he submitted a screenplay to Jafari-Jelveh to give to the Farabi Cinematic Foundation and now, almost 11 months later, he is still waiting for a reply (permission license), adding, "Our artistic lives are not long enough to wait 11 months for everything we plan to do. But with Taqvaii I'll make an exception; I'll make a film for him under most any circumstance."

Taqvaii continued, "The reason why I haven't made any films is a long story and I will talk about that some other time. We tend to brag about the one we like or about the one we dislike. We also exaggerate about the term 'artist'. We should not make use of the word artist for just anyone. Not everybody that makes a film or plays in one deserves to be called an artist. An artist is someone who while creating something, benefits others. Consequently, I feel that I don't deserve to be called an artist."

The ceremony continued with a screening of excerpts from the Taqvaii's unfinished project "Bitter Tea". Managing Director of the Iranian House of Cinema Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur expressed hopes that Taqvaii would complete his project.

Tehran mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf was next to receive an award from Asgarpur. Qalibaf made a short speech after he got his award and said, "Your appreciation will cause me to make more diligent efforts for the future. I believe promotion of Iran's cinema industry is absolutely essential."

Tehran mayor Qalibaf receives an award from Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur

... Payvand News - 09/21/09 ... --

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