Art And Culture

More Iranian Artists Support the Homeless

More Iranian Artists  Support the HomelessMore Iranian Artists  Support the Homeless

Following a philanthropic gesture by the renowned Iranian film director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad - donating her Asia Pacific Screen Award (APSA) - won for her movie titled ‘Tales’- to support homeless people, other popular artists are also putting up their awards for auction to raise funds and help in the construction of shelter for homeless.

Reza Kianian, a veteran actor, painter, sculptor and set designer is the second artist joining the trend. “I intend to sell two of my awards at an auction to be held after the Nowruz holidays. One is the Fajr International Film Festival award and the other won at the House of Cinema Festival for my role in the film ‘A House Built on Water’,” ISNA quoted him as saying.

He said the increase in the number of homeless “is a threat to society since they are prone to dangerous illnesses and drug addiction.” Pointing to the estimated 15,000 homeless in Tehran, one-third of which are women, the actor said, “Although this is a problem in most metropolises, we can take a step toward addressing the problem through such activities (funding) and lend a helping hand to the government.”

Parviz Parastui, another prominent actor, also intends to auction four awards won for the best actor in international festivals in Rome, Rabat, Jaipur and Belgrade in support of women in need of shelter. “Although many Iranians celebrate Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) by setting a ‘Haft Seen’ table, there are also people seeking a roof on their heads…This demands our attention and help,” he said.

Well-known film and TV actress, Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, said she will put on sale her Crystal Simorgh award presented to her for best actress for her role in ‘Gilaneh’ at the Fajr International Film Festival in 2005. Pointing to the humanitarian nature of the auction, she said: “I’m going to present my award to support people deprived of a home,” Honar-Online quoted her as saying.

  Call for Permanency

Niki Karimi, an actress, director, screenwriter, and photographer called for this “social movement” to be transformed into a permanent move and extended nationally and internationally in the future. She has donated all her awards to the Cinema Museum save for one she received at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film festival in Germany for directing the film ‘Final Whistle.’ Therefore, she may donate this award or her latest screenplay named ‘Night Shift’ at the auction. “In the next phases of this social movement, I can offer one of my photographs as a contribution,” she noted.

Bahman Farmanara, an acclaimed film director, screenwriter, and film producer is also supporting the timely humanitarian gesture. “Across the city, there are people for whom cold and hot weather is the same due to the lack of shelter. I’m willing to do anything to support this process,” he said, calling on on the cultural and artistic elite to join the latest charity movement.

Actors Bahram Radan, Habib Rezaei, Mahnaz Afshar, Atefeh Razavi, Hamid Jebeli, screenwriter and director Hossein Pakdel, and veteran poet, author and university lecturer Mohammad Shams Langeroodi have joined the charity entitled ‘The Eighth Seen: Sarpanah’.  The word sarpanah means shelter.

The title refers to the ‘Haft Seen’ table set by Iranians during Nowruz. ‘Haft Seen’ table includes seven items all starting with the Persian alphabet ‘seen’ (pronounced in the same way as letter S in English). Each item has a symbolic meaning and the ‘The Eighth Seen’ was added by the artists.

The auction is scheduled for spring by the Toloo Bi-Neshanha Society, a Tehran-based charity that prepares food for the homeless.