Day 28 1398 - January 18 2020
'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

Iranian Heavy Metal Band Members Escape to Norway After Receiving Prison Sentences

Nikan Khosravi and Arash Ilkhani, members of the Iranian heavy metal band Confess, have left Iran to escape prosecution and prison for their art. "We took a risk and left the country so that we could continue our work," Khosravi said in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on July 27, 2019. -CHRI 7/31/19

Cannes Film Festival, Iranian Filmmakers Condemn Sentence Against Colleague Mohammad Rasoulof

International film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, as well as two prominent Iranian directors, have condemned the prison sentence issued in Tehran against acclaimed filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof. "Today, we wish to reiterate our deep commitment to freedom of expression and our immense respect for Mohammad Rasoulof, to whom we offer our fullest support," said an unsigned statement published on the Cannes' website on July 25, 2019. "We ask for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad Rasoulof and call on festivals around the world, cinemas and all artists to do the same." -CHRI 7/29/19

Mohammad Rasoulof's Films Were Banned in Iran, Now He's Been Sentenced to Prison

The sentencing of award-winning filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof to one year in prison for the content of his films has highlighted the perilous political landscape independent artists must navigate in Iran. "Iranian cinema has won international acclaim despite stifling censorship and the ongoing persecution of artists," said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). -CHRI 7/24/19

Play in London: WELCOME TO IRAN

Ava is a twenty-something Londoner. Following the death of her estranged father, she journeys to Iran in search of his past and her extended family. Exploring the rich culture and thriving art scene of this oft misunderstood country, Ava is swept into a world of raves, raids and illicit love, all whilst negotiating family politics, Tehran traffic and the morality police. 5/29/19

Misinformed Iranian Movie Star Falls For Fake News, Lands in Trouble

A popular movie star has been targeted by hardliners on Iranian social media after she took a "fake news" post too seriously and shared it with millions of her fans. The hardliners have accused Mahnaz Afshar, also known for her charity work and sympathy for political prisoners, of encouraging violence after she shared a post that alleged a cleric had asked Iranian women to sleep with Iraqi militia based on "sighe" temporary marriage contract allowed in the Shiite sect. Members of the militia are currently in Iran presumably to help with flood relief. -Radio Farda 5/3/19

Winners Of 2019 Fajr International Film Festival Announced

The Fajr International Film Festival announced the full lineup of winners at Tehran's Vahdat Hall for their 37th year of celebrating independent, art house, alternate, fiction, documentary and animation films from across the globe. Iranian and international officials, dignitaries, filmmakers and guests attended the closing ceremony on Thursday, April 25. 4/26/19

Iranian Actress Maryam Moghaddam Asks Minister Why She Was Pulled from Film Set Based on "Order from Above"

"Mr. Minister! This is the state of the film industry you are in charge of: I was pulled from a film project on the first night of shooting based on 'an order from above' and warned that if I complained, I would face bigger problems; I would be reprimanded and arrested," she wrote in the letter published by the Persian-language "Cinema Cinema" magazine on April 14, 2019. -CHRI 4/22/19

Benefit Concert In Sunnyvale, California for Iran's Flood Victims

A unique and entertaining benefit concert featuring local artists. Proceeds from this concert will support the victims of the recent floods in Iran. The program will include performances by Naser Sheikhzadehgan, Amir Nojan, Amir Abbas Etemadi, Narges Jajarmi, Safi Rouhi and other local musicians. We are also excited to present to you vocal music by Shiraz Arts Academy Choir conducted by Amin Assadi. 4/20/19

Star Streets: Tehran to name places after contemporary artists

Tehran City Council wants to name the Iranian capital's streets after the contemporary artists who have won the hearts and minds of their nation. The city councilors approved a proposal on Tuesday to name a street in the western Shahark-e Gharb neighbourhood, home to well-off residents, after Iran's critically-acclaimed classical singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian in a bid to pay tribute to this living internationally-famous singer. 4/16/19

37th Fajr Film Festival unveils lineup for international competition

The 2019 Fajr International Film Festival has announced the lineup for International Competition (Cinema Salvation) section. The event, known as Iran's most anticipated international cinematic event, includes 109 titles from 75 countries in its screening program. Of which, 30 foreign and Iranian feature and short films are vying for the top prize. The program includes 24 foreign and 6 Iranian titles. -MNA 4/15/19

Renowned Iranian actor Jamshid Mashayekhi, star of "Kamalolmolk", dies at 85

Jamshid Mashayekhi, one of the "top five actors of Iranian cinema" who starred in such acclaimed movies as "Kamalolmolk" and "Chrysanthemum", died at Tehran's Erfan Hospital on Tuesday. He was 85. "Our father rests in perfect peace," his children Nader, Naghmeh and Sam wrote in a post published on Mashayekhi's Instagram. 4/3/19

Jafar Panahi's "3 Faces" opens in U.S. theaters

"3 Faces," a film by renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi, opens today at select theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Encino and Hartford with screenings in other cities to come. Panahi's fourth completed feature since he was officially banned from filmmaking is one of his very best. Panahi begins with a smartphone video shot by a young woman (Marziyeh Rezaei) who announces to the camera that her parents have forbidden her from realizing her dream of acting and then, by all appearances, takes her own life. 3/29/19

Tehran theater group to host Woody Allen's "Old Saybrook"

A group of Iranian actors will perform a reading of Woody Allen's "Old Saybrook" at Shahrzad Theater in Tehran on March 15. Sajjad Qatei is the director of the reading performance in which he will also play a role, and Mahmud Rashidi is the producer of the production. -Tehran Times 3/11/19

First Iranian-American Woman to Win Oscar Turns to Iran-Themed Films

The first Iranian-American woman to win an Oscar, Rayka Zehtabchi, says she wants to build on Sunday's triumph of her documentary about menstruation by producing several films with Iran-related themes. -Michael Lipin, VOA 2/27/19

IRAN: Concert Cancellations Continue in Mashhad Due to Intolerance by Religious Conservatives

A concert by the popular Persian pop band Hoorosh was canceled by judicial order an hour before show time on February 20, 2019, in the city of Firouzeh, northeastern Iran, after a powerful local ayatollah pressured the authorities. -CHRI 2/24/19

Hollywood's Leonardo DiCaprio Comes To The Defense Of Detained Environmentalists In Iran

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has voiced his support for eight environmentalists jailed Iran for more than a year on ambiguous charges of "spying". In a tweet on February 6, DiCaprio calls for support for the detainees who went on trial last month, some facing serious charges, which could lead to death penalty. One of the conservationists died in suspicious circumstances in prison days after his arrest last in January 2018. -Radio Farda 2/7/19

"The Night When the Moon Was Full": A film about true love story of a terrorist

The 37th Fajr Film Festival has premiered director Narges Abyar's latest drama "The Night When the Moon Was Full" about a true love story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, a member of the Jundallah terrorist group. The film tells the story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, the younger brother of Abdul-Malik Rigi, the founder and leader of the Jundallah terrorist group in southeastern Iran, who marries Faezeh Mansuri, a woman from Tehran. 2/5/19

Famed Iranian Playwright Mohammad Rahmanian Charged for Allegedly Featuring Female Soloist

Prominent Iranian theater director and playwright Mohammad Rahmanian has been charged with "propaganda against the state" based on a complaint by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for allegedly featuring a female soloist in his play. He was also detained and released later that day after responding to a summons to appear at a court in Tehran on January 6, 2018, to answer questions about the play, "Old Songs: Paykan Javanan." 1/13/19

The first annual Iranian Film Festival New York: Jan 10-15, 2019

1st IrFFNY presents a selection of acclaimed and award-winning films from one of the world's most vital and distinguished national cinemas. The festival aims to unite two strands of Iranian moviemaking - the classic art-house Iranian cinema beloved by cinephiles around the world, and new cutting-edge works that showcase the adventurousness and daring nature of younger Iranian directors. 1/10/19

Iranian Pop Singer Gagged, Under Fire Over Antiwar Video

Iran's Culture Ministry says it is considering action against an Iranian pop singer and his recording company amid accusations that Mehdi Yarrahi sullied the "martyrs" and ideals of past conflicts. The ministry last week dismissed reports that it had already blacklisted Yarrahi, saying it was awaiting a response from the company that produced the clip in question for the song Torn Rock. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 1/8/19

CLOSING THE CIRCLE OF LOVE FOR MUSIC: Inspiring Story of An Iranian Son, Unveiling the Voice of Mother

I went to see the first performance of 'Maman Shamsi Love Songs', a musical performance by Ziba Shirazi, Mehrdad Arabi, an internationally acclaimed master of Persian music, and faculty of ethnomusicology department at UCLA and Hamed Poursaee, a composer and classical guitarist in Los Angeles. While I knew my good friend and well-loved artist of the City of Angels Iranian community, Ziba Shirazi, would be the main singer in the musical, I did not know what to expect. -Elahe Amani 1/3/19

Iranian director stages puppet show to satisfy children's curiosity about baby making

Director Mohammad Aqebati is staging a puppet show at Tehran's Honar Hall to placate children's natural curiosity about the mystery of baby making. Speaking to the Persian service of MNA, Aqebati said that he has consulted the Rah Society, a non-governmental organization providing safe sex education, to stage the play "Where Do We Come From?". -Tehran Times 12/10/18

Iranian animation 'Watch Me!' goes to Oxford Film Festival in Ohio, US

Iranian short animated piece 'Watch Me!', directed by Reza Mehranfar, has made it into the screening program of 16th Oxford International Film Festival in Ohio, United States. The short animated piece is about a little boy who lives in fear and anxiety, which has no meaning to others around him and thus, is always ignored. -Mehr 12/7/18

Why Iran creates some of the world's best films

Four Iranian films made it into the top 100 in BBC Culture's recent poll to find the greatest foreign-language films. Hamid Dabashi celebrates the country's outstanding cinematic moments. -Hamid Dabashi, BBC 11/19/18

Iranian Celebrities Launch Petition, Condemn U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

A large number of Iranian celebrities has launched #SanctionsTargetMe, a movement that takes aim at the sanctions reimposed by the United States on Iran. The campaign also warns that Iranian people's access to life-saving medication and medical supplies has been seriously jeopardized, said the organizers among them are veteran actors Reza Kianian and Parviz Parastui. 11/10/18

Iranian Farmer Mahmud Mansuri wins Emerging Talent Award at Wildscreen Festival

Iranian farmer Mahmud Mansuri has won the Icon Films Emerging Talent Award at the Wildscreen Festival in Bristol in the southwest of England. He won the award for his collaboration in "In the Realm of the Spider-tailed Viper", a documentary film directed by Iranian Fathollah Amiri about the spider-tailed viper that lives in the western Iranian province of Ilam. 10/24/18

Iranian short 'Run, Rostam, Run' to vie at St. Louis Film Festival

Iran's short animated piece 'Run, Rostam, Run' by Hossein Molayemi has been accepted into St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF). 'Run, Rostam, Run' is a 2D animated piece depicting the Persian national hero Rostam who must travel to the future to Tehran in order to make up for what he has done to his son. Once he gets to Tehran, he doesn't know whether to choose the legal or illegal way to achieve his objective. 10/10/18

Recipient of 11th Bita Prize for Persian Arts: Parissa

We are very pleased to announce the recipient of the 11th Bita Prize for Persian Arts is the acclaimed singer Parissa, for a life dedicated to preserving the best of Iranian classical music and elevating the role of women in this tradition. 10/2/18

Mullahs' Messengers Say Iran's Oscar Choice Long On Art, Short On Politics

State media and a hard-line daily with ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have suggested that the Farabi Cinema Foundation's selection of Vahid Jalilvand's award-winning drama No Date, No Signature to compete in the best foreign-language film category at the 2019 Academy Awards was a mistake, because its bleak portrayal of Iranian life risks playing into the hands of the clerically dominated leadership's biggest critics. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 9/19/18

Play on Persian poet Sadi to go on stage in Vancouver, Canada

"Sadi - A Traveler From the Town of Love," A play on Persian poet Sadi (C. 1213-1291), famous worldwide for his masterpieces Bustan (The Orchard) and Gulistan (The Rose Garden), will go on stage the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver, Canada on September 22. 9/17/18

Vancouver Film Festival to screen 7 titles from Iran

The screening program for Iranian titles at the 37th Vancouver International Film Festival includes: '3 Faces' by Jafar Panahi, 'Dressage' by Pouya Badkoubeh, 'Exit Toll' by Mohammad Najarian Dariani, 'Hat-Trick' by Ramtin Lavafi, 'Hendi and Hormoz' by Abbas Amini, 'The Load' a Serbia/France/Croatia/Iran/Qatar co-production, and 'My Clayey Conception' by Zanyar Muhammadineko. 9/13/18

Theater Artists Arrested In Iran Over Shakespeare Production

Authorities in Iran have detained two artists in connection with a production of Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shahram Karami, an Iranian cultural official, told the state news agency IRNA on September 10 that the judiciary had ordered the director of the play, Maryam Kazemi, and the manager of the theater staging it, Saeed Assadi, to be taken into custody. 9/10/18

Top 6 Finalists of the Farhang Short Film Festival Announced

The Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival is pleased to announce the six talented finalists competing for three cash prizes at the tenth annual film festival. All six films will be screened on September 29, with the top three winners announced and awarded. 9/6/18

Iranian Musician Kayhan Kalhor wins Isaac Stern Human Spirit Award

Four-time Iranian Grammy Award nominee Kayhan Kalhor was one of the two winners of the Isaac Stern Human Spirit Award at the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, the organizers announced last Tuesday. 9/1/18

Thousands bid farewell to legendary Iranian actor Ezzatollah Entezami

Friends and fans joined Ezzatollah Entezami's family in the courtyard of Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Saturday to attend the funeral of the legendary actor who died on Friday at the age of 94. Entezami was one of Iran's golden generation of actors such as Davud Rashidi, Mohammad-Ali Keshavarz, Ali Nasirian and Jamshid Mashyekhi, who began his career in acting with traditional Iranian performances. 8/20/18

Iranian Film Festival, San Francisco: September 22-23, 2018

Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran, which showcases independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians from around the world, will present 48 films at its 11th annual event September 22-23, 2018. The films range from fiction, documentary, animation, short....to music video. 8/13/18

Celebration of Iranian Cinema at UCI-2018

Join us for the 3rd Annual CELEBRATION OF IRANIAN CINEMA in Orange County at the University of California, Irvine September 15-16, 2018. In collaboration with the Jordan Center for Persian Studies, UCI. Special thanks to our co presenter: The UCLA Film & Televisions Archives. 8/6/18

Three Iranian Cineastes Among Invitees To Join Film Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has picked three Iranian cineastes to join the organization as the Academy has invited 928 new members from 59 countries. "Sara and Aida," and "The Salesman" cinematographer Hossein Jafarian, as well as Ali Asgari and Farnush Samadi, the co-directors of "The Silence" and "The Gaze" are the invitees from Iran this year, the Academy announced in a statement published on June 25. 6/26/18

Iranian Poet Sentenced and Fined For Posting Photo of Man Injured by Police

Posting a photo of a man injured by police to his Instagram account has cost Iranian poet and filmmaker Baktash Abtin three months of community service at the State Welfare Organization of Iran and five million tomans ($1,182 USD). 6/11/18

107 Iranian Film Personalities Urge Rouhani to Lift State Ban on Pre-Revolution Actor Behrouz Vossoughi

More than 100 Iranian artists and movie industry personalities have urged President Hassan Rouhani to lift the state ban on Behrouz Vossoughi, a well-known actor who has been living in exile for nearly four decades. The prominent Iranian celebrities who signed the letter include Jafar Panahi, actor Parviz Parastui, actress Leila Hatami, actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, director Mohammad Rasoulof, director Kianoush Ayari and director Tahmineh Milani. 6/3/18

Visions of Iran: Film festival tells stories from a country of contradictions

While most of the films shown at Cologne's Visions of Iran film festival were created by filmmakers born after the Islamic Revolution, it also features the final work of Iran's late cinematic master, Abbas Kiarostami. -DW 5/31/18

Iranian Actors Boycott President's Iftar Ceremony

Several famous Iranian actors and actresses say they will not attend the president's iftar (breaking fast) ceremony that will take place on Wednesday, May 30. Using the Farsi hashtag "we do not go to Iftar", the protesting movie stars said on their social media pages that they will reject Hassan Rouhani's invitation due to political, social, and economic crisis that the country is facing. 5/30/18

Iranian hard rock singer Arian Naini gets green light for "Loneliness Border"

The Iranian hard rock singer Arian Naini got the nod for the first time from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to release a music video, Persian media reported on Monday. Kian Hejazi is the producer of the video, which has been directed by Saba Moqaddami. 5/29/18

A Superstar's Funeral In Tehran Turns Into Angry Protests Against Iranian Authorities

Paying homage to a pre-revolution superstar in Tehran turned into a large and noisy protest against the ruling establishment on Sunday, May 27. Nasser Malek Motiee, 88, passed away on Friday evening of kidney failure in a hospital in the capital city. 5/28/18

Legendary Iranian Actor Nasser Malakmotiei dies at 88

Iranian actor Nasser Malakmotiei who appeared in over 100 movies and TV series, in most of which he played the roles of virile characters, died at Tehran's Aatieh Hospital on Friday night, he was 88. He was suffering from a kidney disorder, Persian media outlets announced. 5/27/18

Vida Ghaffari is the First Iranian-American to be inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame

On Saturday, May 19th, actress Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Jimmy Kimmel Live) and many celebrities and luminaries in the martial arts world were inducted into the prestigious USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at their gala at the Doubletree Hilton in Los Angeles. Ghaffari was bestowed with the Trailblazer Award. She is the first person of Iranian descent to be inducted. 5/23/18

Kazakhstan's Yeslyamova, Iran's Panahi Among Winners At Cannes Film Festival

At the awards ceremony on May 19, the prize for best screenplay was split between Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi's script for Three Faces and Italian director Alice Rohrwacher's Happy as Lazzaro. The film by Panahi, who is banned from leaving Iran, premiered to a standing ovation at the festival where it was screened on May 12. 5/21/18

NYC's Premier Farsi Funk Band, Mitra Sumara, Announces New Album TAHDIG

Mitra Sumara, New York City's only Farsi Funk group, is proud to announce their debut album Tahdig, set for release on June 8, 2018 on Persian Cardinal Recordings. This international party band revives the vibrant Persian pop and funk music silenced by the Iranian Revolution. The popular music of Iran in the 60s and 70s combined disco, funk, and Latin beats with Middle Eastern melodies and poetic lyrics. Mitra Sumara interprets hits by Iran's beloved singers such as Googoosh, Soli, Leila Forouhar, and remakes intoxicating Southern Iranian Bandari beat tunes. 5/18/18

Banned Iranian Director Jafar Panahi Gets Standing Ovation At Cannes Film Festival

A new film by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who is banned from leaving Iran, has premiered to a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. Panahi's children and the cast of his film Three Faces were welcomed with thunderous applause as they arrived for the gala screening late on May 12, where one seat was left symbolically empty for the dissident director. 5/13/18

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