Mordad 13 1399 - August 03 2020
World Artists Welcoming Iran's First International Online Student Puppet Festival

The first 'virtual International puppet theatre festival' started its work on 9th May 2020 by enrolling participants' works on Instagram page of the festival: "We have corresponded with most Iranian students and universities around the world, and fortunately, we have received a great response. So far, more than 30 plays have been submitted to the festival from about 12 countries." 7/22/20

THE FAIRIES: An opera banned in Tehran is released in Amsterdam

The Persian Dutch Network presents a recording which has been banned in Tehran for three decades: an opera based on a famous poem by Ahmad Shamlu, known as the 'Poet of Freedom' in Persia (Iran) Shamlu was an outspoken advocate for freedom of speech in his homeland, which caused serious restrictions to his activities, imposed by both the monarchy and the Islamic regime. Shamlu was given a Freedom of Expression award by Human Rights Watch in 1991. His poems have been translated into various languages. 7/21/20

Yara Shahidi Has Been Preparing For This Moment Since Birth

"A lot of the work that I'm hoping to do is about pointing people toward the organizers and the people on the front lines of this (Black Lives Matter) movement." -Kaitlyn Greenidge, Elle 7/16/20

Kourosh Ahari's Thriller 'The Night' Becomes First U.S.-Produced Film To Receive License For Theatrical Release In Iran

The Kourosh Ahari-directed psychological thriller The Night has landed a license for theatrical release in Iran. This is a historic benchmark for the country's filmmaking community as it is the first U.S.-produced film to receive a license for theatrical release in Iran since the revolution. -Deadline 7/15/20

Documentary "Lift-up" to chronicle life story of Iran's history-making woman weightlifter

Iranian filmmaker Reza Surani is making the documentary "Lift-up" about the life story of Pupak Basami, who is the first woman from post-revolution Iran to compete in an international weightlifting tournament. Basami wrote her name into the history books as the first Iranian woman who participated in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in April 2019. 7/14/20

'Break this taboo': Religious singer Koveitipour's duet with young girl shocks Iran

A well-known religious singer has caused controversy in Iran by releasing a recording of a duet with a 13-year-old girl, which has gone viral on social media. The song, which was first released by Gholam Koveitipour during the Iran-Iraq war, was reprised by Koveitipour and a girl, known as Parichehr, recording their lines separately. -Rohollah Faghihi, Middle East Eye 7/6/20

Can New Spy Thriller 'Tehran' Affect Israeli-Iranian Relations? Its Writer Hopes So

'We present a different, pleasant side of Iran, which no Western series has ever shown,' says Moshe Zonder, the creator of 'Tehran': Moshe Zonder always liked peeking outside and over the fence - and that's not just a metaphor. While working as a young reporter on the local weekly Tel Aviv, he made it a habit to visit Gaza at every opportunity... -Itay Stern, Haaretz 7/3/20

Composer Loris Tjeknavorian creates "memorable" piece in home quarantine

Loris Tjeknavorian, the 82-year-old Iranian composer, has said that he has created one of the most memorable pieces of his life during the home quarantine. Speaking to Mizan on Tuesday, he said, "I have worked on a special piece over the past four months for which I have not selected a name as yet, but it is the outcome of contemplation and mediation during the home quarantine. I believe it will be one of the most memorable works of my professional life." 6/25/20

'The Salesman' Star Taraneh Alidoosti Given Suspended Prison Sentence in Iran

Taraneh Alidoosti, star of Asghar Farhadi's "The Salesman" and one of Iran's most popular female actors, is set to receive a five-month prison sentence on charges of anti-government activism, BBC Persia has reported. -Variety 6/25/20

Apple To Co-Produce Israel-Iran Spy Thriller 'Tehran'

Apple TV+ has come aboard Israel-Iran espionage thriller Tehran, taking the international rights to the series outside of Israel, where it is being broadcast by Kan 11. Distributed by Cineflix Rights, the eight-part series features young Israeli actress Niv Sultan as Tamar Rabinyan, a Mossad computer hacker-agent undertaking her very first mission in Iran's capital, which is also her place of birth. -Deadline 6/17/20

The Art of Persia: A rare glimpse into an ancient world of art and culture

Samira Ahmed and her team, with the help of some amazing drone photography, make a pretty good stab at revealing Iran's fascinating, rich and complex past, a story of successive invasions and empire-building, about which, I imagine, most of us are fairly ignorant. By calling the three-parter The Art of Persia, as opposed to Iran, there's a clear delineation between the country's past and present, its pre-Islamic and Islamic cultures, and the time before and after it became an Islamic Republic in 1979. -Evening Standard 6/16/20

Iranian Actor Mohammad-Ali Keshavarz dies at 90

The legendary actor Mohammad-Ali Keshavarz, famous for his roles in Ali Hatami's hits such as "Mother" and "Hezardastan", has died. He was 90. Born in 1930 in Isfahan, Keshavarz began his stage acting career in 1948 and entered the world of cinema with "Night of the Hunchback" by Farrokh Ghaffari in 1964. 6/15/20

Samira Ahmed: 'Run for director general of the BBC? Maybe next time'

What next for the broadcaster who blew the whistle on gender inequality at the BBC? A groundbreaking TV series on the treasures of Persia, and - if her mum has her way - a crack at Bollywood -Tim Adams, Guardian 6/8/20

Shardad Rohani performing from Tehran's Roudaki Hall

In celebration of Maestro Shardad Rohani's upcoming birthday on May 27, Farhang Foundation is proud to present an exclusive world premiere performance by the Maestro performing his much celebrated composition of Dance of Spring, exclusively for us from Tehran's Roudaki Hall (aka Vahdat Hall), home of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra. 5/26/20

Bani Adam (Children of Adam): World musicians release solidarity music video during pandemic

A music video inspired by Persian poet Sadi's famous poem "The Sons of Adam Are Limbs of Each Other" has been released with the voice of Iranian vocalist Alireza Qorbani in collaboration with several Italian singers and overseas musicians during the pandemic. The music video has been released to promote the message of peace and friendship, the Italian theater and cinema actress Pamela Villoresi has said in an introduction to the music video. 5/20/20

Finally, a Stage for Female Composers From Iran

Growing up in Iran, the composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh was surrounded by the sounds of traditional Persian instruments like the santour and tar. She found herself, however, drawn to the piano. But one element remained consistent across traditions: Virtually all the music was composed by men... Together with her fellow Iranian composers Anahita Abbasi, 35, and Aida Shirazi, 33, Ms. Nourbakhsh set out to change that. In 2017, they founded the Iranian Female Composers Association, known as I.F.C.A., which is dedicated to supporting female composers from Iran through programming, commissioning and mentorship. -Ryan Ebright, New York Times 5/19/20

VIDEO: Tehran Choir performs John Rutter's "For the Beauty of Earth"

The Tehran Choir by conductor Mehdi Qasemi has released a video in which its members perform British composer John Rutter's "For the Beauty of the Earth" during the home quarantine in the battle against the spread of COVID-19. Several musicians from the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, Iran's National Orchestra as well as musicians from several other countries have collaborated in this project 5/14/20

VIDEOS: Iran's National Instruments Orchestra Pays Tributes to COVID-19 Healthcare Staff

With the aim of expressing appreciation for the medical staff from around globe, the Iran's National Instruments Orchestra performed "The Avicenna Suite" by maestro Farhad Fakhreddini. The work has been recorded and edited by cell phone at home. 5/1/20

Prolific prisoner, revisited visionary, revered record store

We might be chafing at the stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 crisis, but Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi has for years endured a similar but far graver confinement and made the most of it. In 2010 an Iranian court punished his outspokenness with a six-year prison term, later reduced to house arrest, plus a 20-year ban on making movies. -Peter Keough, Boston Globe 4/30/20

Coronavirus: Iran's female singers familiar with restrictive measures

The current quarantine is nothing new for Iranian women musicians - they've been restricted from performing in public since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Singer Massy Ahadi explains how they come to terms with it. -Deutsche Welle 4/29/20

Golshifteh Farahani: Who Is This Iranian Born Extraction Actor?

Did you happen to binge on Chris Hemsworth-starrer Extraction this weekend? The action-thriller has been garnering love in India not just for the Indian cast and kinetic cinematography, but for Iranian-born actress Golshifteh Farahani. Extraction delivers exactly what it promised it would - dramatic dialogues and mayhem. In between all the stunts and violence, Hemsworth's (who plays Tyler Rake in the film) handler and primary contact Nik (aka Golshifteh Farahani) makes an appearance. -She The People 4/29/20

'Untiemly' wins award at 2020 Kansas City FilmFest International

Iranian feature 'Untimely', directed by Pouya Eshtehardi, has won the 'Best World Cinema Feature' at the 2020 edition of the Kansas City FilmFest International in the United States. 'Untimely' is about a young private, Hamin, doing his military service in a watchtower in the borderline of Iran and Pakistan. Up in the watchtower, Hamin reviews the past years and the things that happened to him and his sister since their childhood. 4/20/20

AP PHOTOS: In Iran, isolated musicians perform from rooftops

With performance halls closed and many isolated in their homes as a result of the Mideast's worst virus outbreak, Hosseini and other Iranian musicians now find performance spaces where they can. That includes rooftops dotted with water tanks and littered with debris, empty front porches and opened apartment windows. Their music floats down on others stuck in their homes, fearful of the COVID-19 illness the virus brings. -Ebrahim Noroozi, AP 4/16/20

Popular Iranian TV Series Criticized For 'Unforgivable' Scenes Reminiscent Of Shah-Era Shows

Until recently, the Iranian television series Paytakht (Capital) was praised for promoting state policies -- including Tehran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- while also attracting viewers who usually watch satellite TV for entertainment. But Paytakht has recently been accused by hard-liners of being manipulated by Iran's enemies for perceived immoral content and scenes that resemble those from prerevolutionary hit shows banned under the country's strict theocracy. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 4/12/20

What an Iranian film about a leper colony can teach us about coronavirus

In the autumn of 1962, the celebrated Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad made what would be her first and last film. Regarded as a precursor to the Iranian new wave and now considered a classic, The House Is Black is a documentary about the members of a leper colony near the city of Tabriz in northwest Iran. Despite having been filmed nearly 60 years ago, and focusing on a small group of people suffering from a particular condition, it has found new relevance in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, having much to say not only about the current situation in Iran but also to those in self-isolation and/or suffering, regardless of location. -Joobin Bekhrad, Guardian 4/6/20

Iranian Filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei Awaits a Prison Sentence in Quarantine

Three days before the announcement of the coronavirus coming to the city of Qom in Iran, I organized a one-day documentary-film workshop in which more than 80 people participated. My hotel was right in front of the Fatima Masumeh holy shrine. Early in the morning, around 4 a.m, pilgrims who had come from different cities began shouting loudly in the corridors as they prepared for pilgrimage. After class, I went to the shrine, and some of my students accompanied me; -Mehrdad Oskouei, as told to Bilge Ebiri, Vulture 4/3/20

In Iran, Coronavirus Is Suffocating an Already Strained Experimental Music Scene

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, the devastation it leaves in its wake is, for the time being, incalculable. In addition to the rising deaths, there are overloaded medical facilities, widespread layoffs, and countless impacts on everyday life: weddings on hold, kids home from school, festivals postponed, nightclubs closed until further notice. The ultimate effects of the disease are likely to be as much cultural as they are economic. -Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork 3/25/20

At Saudi music festival, Iran rivalry takes the stage

Exile Iranian musicians critical of religious hardliners in Tehran converged this month to perform in the most unlikely locale: Saudi Arabia. Taking place amid heightened tensions between the regional enemies, the event was promoted as cultural dialogue but also allowed the kingdom a subtle dig at Tehran, with Saudi-owned MBC Persia airing the concerts for Iranian viewers. -Reuters 3/18/20

Cartoonist Jamal Rahmati uses Shahnameh characters to make animations on defeating coronavirus

has used characters from Persian poet Ferdowsi's magnum opus, the Shahnameh, to make an animation series named "The Seven Adventures of Coronavirus". "Rustam and Zakariya against Corona", the first part of the seven-episode comedy series, was released on Saturday. 3/15/20

European Film Community Protests Mohammad Rasoulof's Imminent Arrest

Figureheads from the European film industry have gathered to protest the imminent incarceration of Iranian film director Mohammad Rasoulof, whose film "There Is No Evil" won the Golden Bear at this year's Berlinale, which he was unable to attend because of a government ban on travel. -IndieWire 3/10/20

'Radioactive' director Marjane Satrapi reveals why she chooses not to work with US producers

Iranian-French filmmaker Marjane Satrapi, the first woman to be nominated for an animation Oscar with her film Persepolis, has called for more female role models on screen. "Women are half the population of the world so half the stories should be about us, but that's not the case," she said to an audience of rising writers and directors at the Glasgow Film Festival on Friday. "And the stories that are made about women have us as the cheated-on girlfriend or old and looking for love." -Screen Daily 3/9/20

Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Renowned Filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof Summoned to Prison

The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) strongly condemns the Iranian judiciary's decision to put internationally acclaimed filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof in harm's way by summoning him to prison when thousands of prisoners are being released to prevent coronavirus transmissions. "Yet again we're witnessing the cruel lengths judicial officials will go to stifle peaceful criticism of state policies," said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi. "Filmmakers and free speech advocates everywhere should loudly call for this absurd sentence to be rescinded." 3/5/20

Iranian Instrument maker Zolfaqar Beitaneh picked as Living Human Treasure

The South Khorasan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (SKCHTHD) has selected dotar maker Zolfaqar Beitaneh as a Living Human Treasure. The 58-year-old master, who lives in Ferdows, South Khorasan Province, has also skills in crafting a kind of reed flute, which is used in the folk music of Khorasan. 3/4/20

Banned Iranian Director Mohammad Rasoulof Wins Top Prize At Berlin Film Festival

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival for his film titled There Is No Evil, which he made despite being forbidden to do so by the government in Tehran. Rasoulof was not present at the February 29 ceremony to receive the Golden Bear award for the film, which tells four stories loosely connected to the use of the death penalty in Iran and dealing with personal freedom under tyranny. 3/1/20

Iranian filmmakers: Successful despite censorship

Directors from Iran face strict state restrictions, but they nevertheless manage to creatively bypass them. These 10 filmmakers' works have obtained international critical acclaim despite the obstacles. -Deutsche Welle 2/27/20

Iran's Mohammad Rasoulof on His 'There is no Evil' As 'Resistance,' Exclusive Trailer

Iranian auteur Mohammad Rasoulof, whose sixth feature "There is no Evil" screens in competition at the Berlinale, is one of his country's most prominent directors even though none of his films have screened in Iran where they are banned. In 2011, the year he won two prizes at Cannes with his censorship-themed "Goodbye," Rasoulof was sentenced with fellow director Jafar Panahi to six years in prison and a 20-year ban on filmmaking for alleged anti-regime propaganda. His sentence was later suspended and he was released on bail. -Nick Vivarelli, Variety 2/21/20

Iranian musicians release "Requiem for UIA Flight 752"

A group of Iranian musicians has released a song online in commemoration of the victims of a Ukrainian jetliner, which was hit unintentionally by Iran last month. Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian is the composer of the song "Requiem for UIA Flight 752" recorded at the Rad No-Andish Art and Cultural Institute in Tehran. 2/16/20

Lights, camera, revolution: Iran's military makes films

While the theocratic state once sought to win over hearts and minds with street posters of martyrs and long speeches by clerics, it is now putting its money into reality shows, comedies, documentaries and feature length films... Films such as the Oscar-winning A Separation were mostly funded by private individuals or foreign money. Falling state television viewing figures, particularly among young people, have convinced the guards it is time to deliver a more nuanced message. -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Financial Times 2/14/20

PERFORMANCE: The Story of Nowruz comes to life in San Francisco in March 2020

The production "The Story of Nowruz" describes the unique celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of the Persian new year. From exciting and ancient Zoroastrian soul-cleansing rituals, to the good luck charm and beauty of the "Table of the Seven S's," the performance depicts traditions of inspiration, rebirth, renewal, and hope through traditional choreography, original scoring performed by a live 22-piece orchestra, and professional actors in a first-of-its-kind stage production. 2/13/20

The Bleak Humor of Tehran's One and Only Standup Comic

During my three years as a journalist in Tehran, from 2016 to 2019, I visited many places where it felt as though I was passing through a membrane, leaving behind the Islamic Republic for a place of personal freedom. A place where headscarves became no more than fashion accessories and Western culture became something to discuss rather than set on fire...Ali, who was then in his early thirties, looked supremely confident as he walked onto the small stage, grinning broadly, like the Cheshire Cat on MDMA. -Eric Randolph, NY Review of Books 2/10/20

Iranian actors call on Rouhani to allow cinema legend to come home

Iranian actors are calling on President Hassan Rouhani to allow legendary Iranian actor Behrouz Vossoughi to come home from self-exile in the United States, but the requests on behalf of the iconic actor have fallen on deaf ears. With more than 90 cinematic and television films, Behrouz Vossoughi is arguably Iran's most versatile actor. At the age of 82, he still has many fans across the country - most of whom are currently raising their voices to ensure the model-turned-actor-turned-exile comes back to Iran after 40 years in the United States. -Rohollah Faghihi, Al-Monitor 2/7/20

Popular Iranian Rapper Tataloo Released From Detention In Turkey

Popular Iranian rapper Tataloo has been released from detention in Turkey a week after being arrested by police amid concerns that he could be deported to Iran. Tataloo, whose real name is Amir Hossein Maghsoodloo, posted a video on February 3 on his Instagram page, which has nearly 3 million followers, in which he is seen leaving what appears to be a detention center in Istanbul, where he had been held in recent days. -RFE/RL 2/4/20

"Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness" wins grand prize at Sundance Film Festival

"Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness" directed by Iran's Masud Bakhshi received the "World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic" award at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Saturday February 1st, 2010. Filmmaker Massoud Bahkshi brings aesthetic energy and dramatic intensity to a story that unfolds over a few hours and almost entirely within the studio. 2/3/20

Concert: Niaz Nawab, Erwin Khachikian & Rana Farhan to perform in San Francisco on February 28, 2020

Diaspora Arts Connection (DAC) presents Niaz Nawab, Erwin Khachikian, and Rana Farhan Live in San Francisco on Friday, February 28, 2020. After successful performances in Canada, the trio will perform their songs with Karmandan and Steven Toub. Join us for an evening of music and community. 2/3/20

Homecoming: 27th Houston Iranian Film Festival to conclude at Rice Cinema

Co-founded by Rice Cinema and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Houston Iranian Film Festival will return to campus this weekend to conclude its 27th annual iteration with a celebration of Abbas Kiarostami, one of Iran's most monumental filmmakers. This year, in addition to screening Iran's 2020 entry for the Academy Awards in the category of Best International Film "Finding Farideh" and other acclaimed new Iranian releases, the festival featured a retrospective of Kiarostami, a legendary director not only within Iran but on the international stage of contemporary global cinema. -Katelyn Landry, Rice Thresher 1/29/20

Iranian cineastes launch campaign to support flood-stricken children in Sistan-Baluchestan province

The Iranian House of Cinema, which is the official guild of Iranian cineastes, has launched a campaign to support children in the flood-stricken region of Sistan-Baluchestan. In the campaign named "Royesh_Sib", the cineastes will travel across Iran to collect people's donations to provide relief for the flood victims, the house announced in a press release published on Monday. 1/28/20

Iranian Rapper Arrested In Turkey, Tehran Authorities Say

Iranian rapper Amir Tataloo, an underground musician unauthorized by the Islamic republic's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, has been arrested in Istanbul following a request by Iran, Tehran authorities said on January 28. Police spokesman Ahmad Nourian was quoted by Iranian news agencies as saying that Tataloo, whose real name is Amir Hossein Maghsoodloo, was arrested by the Turkish police after the Interpol issued a "red alert" for him. -RFE/RL 1/28/20

Maz Jobrani: Just Iranian American

Maz Jobrani, the "just Iranian American" comedian and actor loves the Kennedy Center and D.C. and, obviously, they love him back. His latest Netflix special "Immigrant" was filmed at the Kennedy Center, and, in 2016, he performed at the White House, where he introduced former First Lady Michelle Obama. 1/24/20

Iran's top cultural event jeopardized by artist boycotts

Confronting a boycott by Iranian artists, the Fajr International Film Festival announced the cancellation of its opening ceremony, originally scheduled for Feb. 1. In a statement released Jan. 15, festival organizers cited the "public atmosphere of the community" in sympathy with the grieving families of those killed in Iran's accidental downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 on Jan. 8. -Saeid Jafar, Al-Monitor 1/23/20

'An American dream': singer Andy Madadian becomes first Iranian on Hollywood's Walk of Fame

At age 22, Andy Madadian fled Iran with nothing, moved to Los Angeles and started playing guitar at nightclubs to pay rent. Now 63, the internationally celebrated pop singer says he's ready for another "new beginning": Madadian is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first Iranian artist to earn the honor. -Sam Levin, Guardian 1/16/20

Iranian Drama 'Yalda' to Screen at Sundance Without Director Due to U.S.-Iran Tensions

U.S.-Iran tensions have put Iranian director Massoud Bakhshi whose daring drama "Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness," is set to premiere at Sundance, in a tough spot. The film's production and sales companies issued a joint statement on Tuesday announcing that Bakhshi will not personally be attending Sundance due to the current U.S.-Iran crisis. But they also denied recent Iranian media reports claiming that the director had pulled "Yalda" from the festival. -Variety 1/15/20

Iran Film, Theater, Music Artists, Broadcasters Boycott State TV, Festivals

An increasing number of Iranian filmmakers, performing artists, and musicians have been boycotting an annual state sponsored festival as Iran is overwhelmed by a new wave of protests during the past days. Meanwhile several presenters and actors have left the state TV in protest to the downing of a civilian passenger aircraft that claimed 176 lives and the state-controlled media's disinformation to divert attention from the revolutionary guards (IRGC) as the culprit behind the crash. 1/13/20

'We are captives': Iranian actor criticises Tehran government

One of Iran's most popular female actors has bluntly criticised the government in Tehran in a post on Instagram, telling her almost 6 million followers that "we are not citizens" but "captives". Taraneh Alidoosti - who has appeared in an Oscar-nominated film and acclaimed TV dramas - made her comments on Sunday, as Iranians took to the streets in a series of anti-regime protests. -Guardian 1/13/20

Hichkas: the fearless Iranian rapper singing for 'all the nobodies'

The rap singer articulated citizen discontent over the killings of protesters in November and his songs went viral, resonating with disgruntled Iranians. "They are screaming: who's going to forget this crime?" Asks the Iranian rap singer Hichkas (meaning "Nobody"), blasting the Iranian government for the brutal crackdown of November nationwide protests... -Massoumeh Torfeh, TRT World 1/2/20

Shahla Riahi, Actress and Iran's First Female Director, Dies at 92

Veteran Iranian theater, cinema and television actress, Shahla Riahi, who was also the county's first female director, has passed away at the age of 92. In 1956, she became the first Iranian woman to direct a feature, with Marjan. 1/1/20

'Haji Show' skewers Persian stereotypes

As political tensions rise between Iran and the U.S., art that can dismantle the Western stereotypes that cast Persians as the "terrorist other" is needed more than ever. "The Haji Show," a new Iranian-American comedy "made for America," presented by two Montclair residents, aims to do just that. -Montclair Local 12/30/19

In Iran, Women Break Boundaries in Movies

Vitre, France - At an Iranian film festival here this month, women took charge on both sides of the camera, signaling a watershed in the Islamic Republic's restricted movie industry. Five of the seven films at the inaugural New Images of Iran festival have female leads or directors. The films show unveiled heroines and take on taboo subjects... -Benoit Faucon, Wall Street Journal 12/26/19

"When the Moon Was Full" by Iranian director Narges Abyar tops at Carcassonne film festival

Iranian director Narges Abyar's acclaimed movie "When the Moon Was Full" won the grand prize at the 2nd edition of the Carcassonne International Political Film Festival in France, a public relations team for the movie announced on Sunday. The film also received the student jury award for the best film, while the best performance award was awarded to the star of the film, Elnaz Shakerdoost. 12/16/19

Iranian artists speak up against deadly crackdown of protests

Prominent Iranian artists, inside and outside the country, have reacted to the brutal crackdown of recent protests in Iran. Actors, directors, and musicians have been speaking up in support of the protesters and against the violent response by the state. Dozens of artists living inside Iran published a statement in support of protesters, saying they will not forget the young faces of the dead, who were killed and then ignored by associating them with "foreigners". -Negar Mortazavi, Independent 12/16/19

'It acts like a mafia': Iran's state TV takes control of online streaming content

A recent blocking of popular, yet unofficial, media streaming websites in Iran has caused a stir among Iranians who have been seeking these outlets for access to uncensored western movies and series. Two of the companies initially suspected of driving the blocks were Namava and Filimo - two notable Iranian video-on-demand (VOD) websites, often compared to the American media giant Netflix - which people accused of seeking to thwart the competition. -Rohollah Faghihi, Middle East Eye 12/15/19

Ana Bayat Stars In MIMI'S SUITCASE At Theatre of Yugen

Ana Bayat's critically-acclaimed one-woman show, Mimi's Suitcase, is an autobiographical journey through identity, immigration, women's rights, and involuntary displacement. With nothing but the titular suitcase, a trench coat, and a scarf, this universal coming-of-age story of resilience and humanity is a tour de force: a humorous and heartfelt portrayal of 27 characters (men and women of all ages) performed in four languages (English, Spanish, French and Persian/Farsi) 12/13/19

In Sympathy With Mourning Iranians Film Director Dariush Mehrjui Not Celebrating 80TH Birthday

Dariush Mehrjui, a prominent Iranian film director says he is not celebrating his 80th birthday today as a sign of sympathy with fellow Iranians who are mourning the victims of the November protests. "I'm sad and despondent because of the calamity that has befallen [our] people. They are in mourning; they are living in hard and unfitting conditions. In such circumstances celebrating birthdays is vain," he told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Sunday. -Radio Farda 12/9/19

Tehran prosecutor lifts ban on the film "The Paternal House"

Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad, the director of the Culture Ministry's Supervision and Evaluation Office, announced on Wednesday that the Tehran prosecutor has overturned the Tehran Public and Revolutionary Court's October decision to ban the honor killing drama "The Paternal House". 11/14/19

Italy's Sulmona Film Festival's Best Actress Award Goes To Iran'a Behdokht Valian For Role In "Tattoo"

Iranian actress Behdokht Valian was named best actress for her role in director Farhad Delaram's drama "Tattoo" at the 37th Sulmona International Film Festival in Italy, the organizers announced on Saturday. The film is about a young girl who wants to renew her driver's license but she is sent to the traffic police center for her tattoos. 11/13/19

200 Film Personalities Condemn Censorship in Iran: "Our Profession Has Been Under Attack"

More than 200 members of Iran's film industry signed an open letter dated November 2, 2019, condemning state censorship and demanding "freedom of expression and thought" in the Islamic Republic. The letter was published by Persian-language websites after the judiciary banned director Kianoush Ayari's film "The Parental House" less than a week after it was first screened in Iran. -CHRI 11/12/19

Iranian Film Artists Protest Censorship, Lack Of Protection And Suspicious Money

In one of the most explicit attacks on film censorship in Iran, more than 200 Iranian film industry activists have protested obstacles in their profession, including tight censorship, and the government's inability to stand by its licensing rules in the face of intervention by non-government authorities. 11/4/19

Iranian virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor receives prestigious WOMEX Artist Award

Internationally-acclaimed Iranian virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor has won the WOMEX 19 Artist Award for "bringing the Persian classical music tradition to the ears of people all over the world." Kalhor received the prestigious award on Sunday at the 25th jubilee edition of the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Tampere, Finland. 10/28/19

After 10 years, "The Paternal House" gets green light for screening in Iran

Veteran Iranian director Kianush Ayyari finally received the approval of cultural authorities to screen his movie "The Paternal House", which was banned in the country for about ten years due to some allegedly violent scenes. The film is about a young woman who is killed by her own father, with the aid of her younger brother nearly a century ago. 10/24/19

The screening of 'COUP 53' in Manhattan

After ten protracted, nonetheless, scrupulous years of research and interviews, and arduous scripts writing and productions, COUP 53, the historical two hour chilling thriller documentary of the British MI6 and the American CIA's bloody covert actions against IRAN, which led to the overthrow of the first and perhaps the last ever democratically elected prime minster Dr. Mohammad Mosadegh, went on SVA Theatre silver screen in Manhattan on October 18. -Davood N. Rahni 10/22/19

Iranian Actress Matin Sotudeh Summoned to Court for Red Carpet Attire: "The Reaction Shocked Me"

Iranian actress Matin Sotudeh was summoned to the Guidance Court in Tehran for her attire at the premiere of "Maskharehbaz" (English title: "A Hairy Affair") in the capital city on October 10, 2019. Sotudeh's neck-covering hijab, with her hair showing around her face and a buttoned-up, long-sleeved tunic that was tucked into belted pants, resulted in the 34-year-old film star being ordered to appear in court... -CHRI 10/22/19

Recipient of 12th Bita Prize for Persian Arts: Kayhan Kalhor

Kayhan Kalhor, born in Tehran, began his musical studies at the age of seven under Master Ahmad Mohajer. A child prodigy on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle), he was invited at the age of 13 to work in the Iranian National Radio and Television Orchestra, where he performed for five years. At 17, Kayhan began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center, the most prestigious arts organization at the time in Iran. 10/8/19

Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Harley Wallen's Eternal Code Starring Noted Iranian-American Actress Vida Ghaffari Had a Star Studded West Coast Premiere

"I was truly honored to be cast in the role of Nikita. Harley is an amazingly talented filmmaker and I had fabulous cast and crew mates to collaborate with. It was my first role as a scientist and has opened the door for me to play other scientists and academics. While I never did become an academic like my dad wanted, it's a nod to the family business if you will, which is education and I did play a super smart woman," said Ghaffari. 9/14/19

Iranian documentary "Finding Farideh" to represent Iran at Oscars

Iranian documentary "Finding Farideh" has been selected as Iran's submission to the 92nd Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category. A committee of nine cineastes picked the film on Saturday from a shortlist of 10 films including "Qasre Shirin" directed by Reza Mirkarimi, "Just 6.5" by Saeid Rustai, "Sheeple" by Hooman Seyyedi, "Lovely Trash" by Mohsen Amiryusefi, "The Warden" by Nima Javidi and "When the Moon Was Full" by Narges Abyar. 8/19/19

Iranian Superstar Banned From State TV For What Could Prove To Be Suppression Of Dissent

An award-winning Iranian movie superstar has been banned from appearing on the Islamic Republic's monopolized TV networks, apparently for protesting the arrest of a female photojournalist. Hanieh Tavassoli and several other famous actors have made public statements condemning the detention of Noushin Jafari, who is a photojournalist focusing on movie stars and celebrities. -Radio Farda 8/15/19

Second Annual MSP Iranian Film Festival: August 15-18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

MSP Film Society presents the second annual MSP Iranian Film Festival August 15-18, 2019 at the Film Society's Screen 3 at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Festival showcases acclaimed and award-winning new Iranian cinema, and presents a variety of themes, genres, and perspectives of contemporary Iran. 8/9/19

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