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Government restrictions on film community condemned at Iranian festival


Source: Radio Zamaneh (photos by Mohsen Rezaei, Mehr News Agency)

Iranian film community criticized government censorship and expressed solidarity with their persecuted members in its fourteenth festival held last night, at Milad Tower, in Tehran.

"About Elli" got the top spot in the festival with five awards for best film, director, actor, supporting actor and supporting actress.

Houshang Golmakani, film critic and editor-in-chief of "Film" monthly magazine said: "In the past ten years screening has been denied for over 200 films and if we add documentaries and short films to that list, we would realize that a significant part of our films were not screened."

Fereshteh Taerpour, scriptwriter and producer contended that "today Iranian producers are highly supportive of each other and can function independent from external forces which are not beneficial to them."

Iranian director, Rasoul Sadreameli also added: "This event goes to show that our solidarity makes us independent from government support."

Asghar Farhadi, director of "About Elli" upon receiving his award said: "I hope the situation of the country would become so that Golshifteh Farahani and many filmmakers like Amir Naderi and Bahram Beyzai can return and filmmakers like Jafar Panahi can resume their filmmaking."

Jafar Panahi, prominent Iranian filmmaker was imprisoned in the post-election turmoil for supporting the disputing candidates of the 2009 presidential elections. He was only released on a heavy bail after weeks of hunger strike and was later barred from attending the screening of his film in the Venice Film Festival.

Prominent Iranian director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad (right) and her actress daughter Baran Kousari (left) wore Green in solidarity with the Green Movement of the people of Iran

The Iranian film festival was interrupted in the past two years and was finally re-established this year with the dedicated support of the Iranian film community.

"About Elly" scoops six awards at Iran Cinema Celebration
Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Asghar Farhadi's "About Elly" still continues to scoop awards; this time six at the fourteenth edition of the Iran Cinema Celebration awards.

The award-presentation ceremony for the main section took place here at Tehran's Milad Tower on Thursday, attended by cineastes, where "About Elly" stood on top winning six awards after eight nominations, among them best director and best film.

The film brought the best actor award for Shahab Hosseini, best supporting actress award for Merlia Zarei, best supporting actor for Saber Abar, and best editor for Haydeh Safiyari.

"About Elly" won Farhadi a Silver Bear for best director at the Berlinale 2009. It was also awarded in the Best Narrative Feature category at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

"About Elly" represented Iranian cinema in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards in 2010.

Starring Shahab Hosseini, Golshifteh Farahani, Mani Haqiqi, Saber Abar and Merila Zarei, "About Elly" tells the story of middle class Iranians whose trip to the Caspian Sea turns into a disaster as they try to maintain their social customs.

The following is the list of the other winners:

* Best Screenplay: "Time of Being" by Jalil Saman

* Best Actress: Negar Javaherian "Gold and Copper"

* Best Stage Designer: Abdolhamid Qadirian for "The Kingdom of Solomon"

* Best Cinematographer: Hamid Khozuii Abyaneh for "The Kingdom of Solomon"

* Best Computerized Special Effects: Leo Lu for "The Kingdom of Solomon"

* Best Site Specific Special Effects: Mohsen Ruzbahani for "The Fateful Night"

* Best Music: Mohammadreza Aliqoli "Evening of the 10th Day"

* Best Makeup Artist: Sudabeh Khosravi for "The Day Goes and the Night Comes"

* Best Sound Recorder: Mahmud Sammakbashi for "When All of Us Are Asleep"

* Best Sound Effects: Mohsen Roshan for "The Child and the Angel"

* Best First Film Director: Majid Barzegar "Time of Seasonal Rainfall"

* Best Photo: Mehdi Delkhaasteh for "A True Report"

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