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2012 Farhang Heritage Award Presented to Bahram Beyzaie


Source: Farhang Foundation

Prolific playwright, filmmaker, and researcher recognized by the foundation for his artistic and scholarly contributions

LOS ANGELES, CA, December 2, 2012 - On Saturday, December 1, 2012, Farhang Foundation recognized the incomparable Bahram Beyzaie, the Daryabari Visiting Professor of Persian Letters at Stanford University, with the 2012 Farhang Heritage Award in recognition of his devotion to art, his enduring scholarship and contribution to the range of Iranian theatrical forms, and his love of the aesthetic and cultural legacy of Iran.

With more than thirty-five plays and fifty screenplays to his credit, Mr. Beyzaie's illustrious career as a filmmaker has spanned four decades and he has been noted for his pivotal role in Iran's new wave of cinema. He has made ten feature and four short films, among them Mustachioed Uncle, The Journey, Talking with the Wind, The Speaking Carpet, Downpour, The Stranger and the Fog, The Crow, The Ballad of Tara, Death of Yazdgerd, Bashu, The Little Stranger, Maybe Some Other Time, The Travelers, Killing Rabids, and While We Are All Asleep.


As a scholar, Mr. Beyzaie has written one of the most authoritative works on the history of Iranian theater and has recently completed a manuscript on A Thousand and One Nights, in which he presents a new interpretation of the Indo-Iranian origins of these tales.

Farhang Foundation is honored to recognize the remarkable contributions of Mr. Beyzaie and individuals who, like him, have devoted their lives to their craft and the advancement of Iranian art, culture, and studies

Since 2009, the Farhang Heritage and Lifetime Achievement Awards have been presented to various notables and luminaries, including Ehsan Yarshater, Richard Nelson Frye, Amin Banani, Simin Behbahani, Abbas Milani, Iraj Afshar and Hossein Ziai.

About Bahram Beyzaie

Bahram Beyzaie was born in Tehran in December 1938. His unique talents as an artist and his singular accomplishments as a scholar eventually combined to make him the Chair of the Dramatic Arts Department at Tehran University, where he helped train at least two generations of artists. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he was forced to resign from the university. His unbending dedication to his art and to the dignity of artists and scholars, his unwillingness to allow ideological or political forces deform his ideas and art, his defiant desire to always speak truth to power have made him a maverick. Mr. Beyzaie has written more than thirty-five plays and fifty screenplays. Though a filmmaker for over forty years, and recognized as one of the masters of Iran's much-celebrated new wave of cinema, he has been allowed to make only ten feature films and four short films. As a scholar, Mr. Beyzaie's pioneering work on the history of Iranian theater remains, some forty-years after its publication, the most authoritative source on the subject. His many monographs and essays have delved into a comparative study of Iranian, Indian, Chinese and Japanese performing art traditions. He has just finished work on a lengthy manuscript on the origins of A Thousand and One Nights story. He offers an altogether new interpretation of the Indo-Iranian origins of these remarkable stories. Western audiences were first introduced to Mr. Beyzaie's talents when two of his plays were performed at the Festival du Theater des Nations in Paris in 1963 and his works have been translated into English, French, German, Portuguese, Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic. He is currently the Daryabari Visiting Professor of Persian Letters at Stanford University. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife, an acclaimed actress, Mojdeh Shamsai, and their son Niassan. For more info visit:

About Farhang Foundation
Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry reading in Southern California. Farhang Foundation, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions plans major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. For more info visit: 

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