Young Film Talent  Holding Flag High
Art And Culture

Young Film Talent Holding Flag High

The 31st International Tehran Short Film Festival wrapped up its work Sunday night by awarding the winners of different sections.
Although the program was only for invitees, Tehran’s Vahdat Hall saw the presence of a large crowd of fans, cineastes, and media groups as well as a number of officials to celebrate the finale of the 6-day event.
The closing ceremony started with the national anthem followed by Qur’an recitation. Next was screening of a promo video on the festival highlights, from the sessions of the selection committee to the screening of the films in the capital’s Mellat Cinema Complex, and the meetings of the jurors to select the winners.
Program host Mahsa Malek-Marzban welcoming the local and foreign guests, quoted the famous Italian merchant traveler Marco Polo as saying about Iran: “people in this land walk on the carpet and speak in verse,” and asked the audience to applaud the young talented filmmakers who spread the name of Iran in the international arena through their art.
Festival director Habib Ilbeigi emphasized the need for greater support and investment on short filmmakers. Ilbeigi, who also heads the Iran Youth Cinema Society (IYCS), said “Respect, Trust, and Support” is the policy of the society.

  Prizes Awarded
The prizes for the ‘Muslim Countries’ section were awarded to three films from Iran, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.
Jury members for this section included: French producer Claude Guisard, Swiss professor Lucie Bader, German scholar Esther Sabine Wenger, Danish director Christian Braad Thomsen, and Iranian producer Fereshteh Taerpour. Reading their statement prior to announcing the winners, Ms. Bader, on behalf of the jury, said: “There were 104 short films from 33 countries taking part in the international competition. It means that the jury could see 104 points of view. This experience was very fascinating and inspiring for all of us. Among the huge number of films, there were a variety of Iranian short films, which gave us an interesting insight into your country. We could travel through Iran, by just watching the screen; and saw how people lived, worked, struggled, loved, and died. Due to strong narration and creative language of cinematography, we considered the quality of the short films as very professional and even overwhelming. Therefore, some trophies in the international competition stay in Iran.”
The jury’s special prize for the experimental film in the international section went to ‘All the Winters I Haven’t Seen’ by Omid Khoshnazar from Iran. The film was also one of the winners of ‘Muslim Countries’ section. The other prizes were given to the fiction film ‘Scrabble’ from Switzerland and the animation ‘Father’ from Argentina.

Taerpour, appreciated the inauguration of ‘Art and Experience’ cinema group, but pointed out that the number of cinemas in this group do not match the huge number of short, documentary, animation and experimental films. Saying that “it is a pity the local TV and radio networks, ministry of education, and members of parliament do not know their value,” she added, “showing poverty, depression, failure, and social and cultural inadequacies should not be mistaken for creating a dark picture of the country; rather it helps in raising awareness.”
Her speech was warmly applauded by the audience.
The rest of the prizes in this section included: Experimental film ‘The Man Who Lost His Head’ from France, documentary ‘Leer’ from Iran, fiction film ‘Au Sol’ (Earth) from France.
The last prize in this section - the grand prize was given to two films - ‘Discipline’ from Switzerland and ‘Digital Native’ by Mahboobeh Mohammadzaki from Iran.

Tributes to two filmmakers: Farhad Mehranfar and Shahram Mokri were made via screening some clips, wherein a number of cineastes expressed their gratitude to the two directors for their efforts in making short, experimental, and documentary movies. Later, Mehranfar and Mokri received a memorial plaque from the head of Iran Cinema Organization Hojatollah Ayoubi.
Ayoubi said “In the world today where countries talk in bullets, we in Iran speak through art. Now that the public has gone back to cinema halls, I want the authorities and officials to reconcile with cinema and take it more seriously, so that we can make use of all the creativity in the country.”
A musical performance by traditional singer Alireza Ghorbani where three memorable songs were rendered by Ghorbani and his band were hailed by the gathering.
The final part of the ceremony saw the awarding for the national competition section. Before announcing the winners, Amir-Shahab Razavian, one of the jury members, on behalf of his fellow jurors, read the jury statement. His sarcastic witticism and impromptu biting words had the audience splitting in laughter.
All the winners were given cash prize and a commendation plaque.


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