Source: Farhang Foundation
Top three winners named during awards ceremony before a live audience at Farhang's Annual Iranian New Year Celebration at LACMA
LOS ANGELES, CA - March 18, 2012 - The winners of the 2012 Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival were announced on Sunday, March 18, 2012, during the foundation's 4th Annual Nowruz (Iranian New Year) Celebration at LACMA before a live audience at the museum's Brown Auditorium.
First place winner was My City Pizza (USA) by Ala Mohseni, earning the top prize of $10,000. The Voided Loom: Kelardasht's Carpet (USA) by Pouya Afshar and Sarah Moridpour came in second place and won $5,000. Third place winner and the recipient of $3,000 was Change Khongan (Iran) by Hossein J. Gowhari.
Rounding out the top six submissions of this year's festival were Oil Factor (USA) by Bijan Mottahedeh, The Art of Spirituality (Canada)by Shahram Pirouz, and Kermando (Iran) by Hamed Akrami, listed in no particular order.
"Since our very first Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival, we have been driven by the belief that the cinematic arts are a perfect forum for visualizing Iranian heritage and celebrating its most universal themes," said Mark Amin, Farhang Foundation trustee and chair of its film committee. "With 56 submissions received from all over the globe, including the United States, Iran, Canada, and China, it appears that we are not alone in this belief. We congratulate all participants, especially our finalists, whose works were among the best we have seen over the years."
All submitted films were judged by a jury that included film industry veterans, scholars, and Farhang Foundation's Board of Trustees. Decisions were based on artistic merit,originality, creativity, storytelling, production value, and visualization of Iranian heritage.Views expressed by the filmmakers do not represent those of Farhang Foundation or its Board Members and Management.
Founded in 2009, the Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival has quickly become one of the leading festivals dedicated to celebrating Iranian heritage through short film, video and animation, aiming to spark and inspire the audience's interest in learning more about Iranian culture. Competing for $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $3,000 (third prize), participants from all backgrounds - Iranian and non-Iranian alike - are invited to submit works that visualize some aspect of Iranian arts, crafts, cuisine, culture, geography, and history. The submissions period for this year's festival took place from November 1, 2011 through February 1, 2012.
To learn about Farhang Foundation, visit www.farhang.org.For more information on the film festival, visit www.farhangfilmfest.org.
About Ala Mohseni
Born in 1972 in Tehran, Iran, Ala Mohseni started theater in 1991, at the same time he started studying physics. He has acted in plays by well-known Iranian directors. In 1997, he joined an advertising company "Kelk-e Khial" as a writer for making teasers and animations. In 2001, he finished a course on film-making. In 2004, he made "Life" a documentary about one of the pioneers of Iranian cinema; Nosrat Karimi. This film has been banned to screen in Iran. In 2005, he accomplished a workshop by Abbas Kiarostami and became one of the selected members of the workshop. There he made a short comedy called "multi-purpose carpet". Later in 2005, he made his second documentary "Kiasoltan". "My City Pizza" which was produced by Maziar Bahari, is a comedy documentary about the popularity of pizza in Tehran, while showcasing the daily battle between traditions and modernism. Later he made "When it's going to rain?" ("Key Miresad Baran?") about Nima Yushij and "Omni-Science" ("Hameh Dana") about the common habit of many Iranians who think they know everything. He is a member of IRDFA (Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association). He moved to the U.S. in late 2010 and is currently working on ha documentary about an Iranian rock music band.
About Sarah Mordipour
Sarah Moridpour is an independent communication and cultural researcher and analyst. After receiving her MBA from Carleton University in Canada, she held several executive positions in the fields of communication and international commerce in Iran. In 2010 she left the corporate world to pursue her interest in social and cultural anthropology. During a summer vacation in her father's homeland Kelardasht, she had the chance to pursue for her unrest passion in Kelardasht's historic culture. She is now working on a book about Kelardasht's carpet and the origins of its initial weavers, the Kurd immigrants.
About Pouya Afshar
Pouya Afshar was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to the United States in 2000. He is an alumnus from the California Institute of Arts' Character Animation department and is a graduate of University of California, Los Angeles Graduate Department of Film and Television focusing in Animation and Digital Media. In addition to his personal projects, he has been working with Lian Ensemble as an Animator and Designer since 2004 and has worked as an animator and visual artist throughout Los Angeles at renowned locations such as Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center and Bovard Auditorium at University of Southern California (USC). Throughout the course of his studies, Pouya has received prestigious scholarships and awards from the Marc Davis foundation and Walt Disney scholarship. Currently he is working at the California Institute of Arts Community Arts Partnership in the field of Animation and Digital Media. He has taught at several locations in Los Angeles namely Banning's Landing Community Center/Sony Pictures Media Arts Program, Center for the Arts Eagle Rock/Sony Pictures Media Arts Program, Inner-City Arts High School Animation Program, Watts Towers Arts Center/Sony Pictures Media Arts Program and the Artscool program which is a partnership between CAP and Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Education Branch and Educational Options Program. He has also been working as faculty for Art Institute of California in Hollywood since 2010.
About Hossein Jamshidi Gowhari
Hossein Jamshidi Gowhari was born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran. He grew up in Tehran in a middle class family interested in cultural and social activities. In 2005, he entered IRIB School of Broadcasting, studied Motion Graphic major and was graduated in 2011. During these years, he focused on film title design and made numerous film titles for various films. He has made a documentary about Joopar (a city in Kavir) and several animations including "Change Khorgan". In 2011, Hossein was selected as Winner of the Second Award for the titles of the movies "Madaraneh" and "Koroush". Currently, he is editing a documentary film project focused on devotional and spiritual music and songs of Muslims around the world.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. www.farhang.org
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