Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran; photos by Raouf Mohseni
The 28th Fajr International Film Festival kicked off at Tehran's Milad Tower Saturday evening in the absence of movies stars and prominent Iranian filmmakers.
Celebrated filmmaker Ebrahim Hatamikia whose "Color of Purple" premiered at the festival on Sunday morning was seen among the guests of honor on the opening night.
The film, which tells the story of a romance between an Iranian intelligence agent and the daughter of an opposition group leader, was withdrawn from the screening schedule of the 23rd Fajr International Film Festival 2005 by Hatamikia due to objections from the Intelligence Ministry. But the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance lifted the ban on screening for this year's event.
Other lesser known guests of the ceremony were Shabnam Qolikhani, Morteza
Razzaq-Karimi, Mahvash Vaqari, Amir Esfandiari, and Esmaeil Soltanian.
Afterwards, the names and memory of deceased individuals from the past year were remembered, among them were Masud Rassam, Niku Kheradmand, Parvin Soleimani, Peyman Abadi, Jamshid Layeq and Amir Qavidel.
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini, Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari, and Festival secretary Mehdi Masudshahi each made short speeches at the ceremony.
Veteran film dubber Ali Kasmaii, founder of Iran's first color film laboratory Ebrahim Rezaii, and veteran sound recorder Asghar Shahverdi who is suffering in the aftermath of an accident while returning home from being on location in Northern Iran, were among those honored during the ceremony.
Actor Dariush Arjmand, sound recorder Es'haq Khanzadi, war photojournalist and documentarian Reza Borji, and cameraman Mohammad-Taqi Paksima were also among those who were honored.
Comedian Alireza Khamseh, one of the presenters at the opening gala, once again reminded the organizers that he is still waiting to receive the Pride car awarded to him last year for the Best Supporting Actor Crystal Simorgh for his serious role in "Twenty".
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