Art And Culture

Voice Actors Honored

Voice Actors Honored
Voice Actors Honored

Three generations of voice actors in Iran cinema were honored in a ceremony held at the Cinema Museum in Tehran on Thursday.

The program, organized as a part of the 34th Fajr Film Festival prior to its official opening on February 1, paid tribute to 14 young and veteran voiceover artists, Honaronline reported.

Voice acting is the art of doing voice-overs or providing voices for characters in films, animations, TV and radio programs, commercials and etc.

Iranian voice actors’ performance in dubbing foreign language films into Persian is commendable. Different generations of artists have lent their voices to famous characters in the world cinema as well as local productions for over 70 years.

However, they are not commonly known by the public as they work backstage and even their names are dwarfed by the real actors or characters whose voices they dub.

Among the first group of honorees were veteran artists Iraj Rezai (best known for his voice over Deputy Dawg in the animated TV series of the same name), Changiz Jalilvand (for Sylvester Stallone in ‘Rocky’ film series), Manouchehr Esmaili (for Anthony Quinn in ‘The Message’, and Charlton Heston in ‘Ben-Hur’), Jalal Maghami (for Omar Sharif in ‘Doctor Zhivago’, Shahla Nazerian (for Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca) and Khosro Khosroshahi (for Alain Delon and Al Pacino).

Addressing the honorees, Hojatollah Ayoubi, head of Iran Cinema Organization, said, “Your voices will be in our people’s memories forever. It is never tiring to listen to your voices a thousand times. Whether you are seen or not, praised or not, you are an important part of the artistic background of the country”.

The middle-aged voice actors who were hailed included Ali-Hemmat Mumivand (for Bob in the animated series ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’), Bijan Alimohammadi (for Geoffrey Rush in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, Amir-Mohammad Samsami (for Rupert Grint in ‘Harry Potter’ film series) and Shokat Hojat (for Ishizaki in the Japanese animated series ‘Ganbare, Kickers!’).

Fariba Ramezanpour (for Sally Field in ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’), Shervin Ghetei (for Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’), Manuchehr Zendehdel (for Anthony Hopkins in ‘The Elephant Man’) and Afshin Zinoori (for Frodo Baggins in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Harry Potter’ film series) were the young voice actors commended.

 Everlasting Memories

Dubbing began in 1946 with the advent of movies and cinemas in the country. Since then, foreign movies have always been dubbed for the local viewers. Using various voice actors and adding local hints and witticisms to the original contents, dubbing played a major role in attracting people to the cinemas and developing an interest in other cultures.

Memories of the late voice actors were revived in a video clip. Artists whose everlasting voices will remain etched in people’s memory included Ahmad Rasoolzadeh (for Anthony Quinn in ‘Lion of the Desert’), Fahimeh Rastkar (for Joan Hickson in the TV series ‘Miss Marple’), Ali-Asghar Afzali (for Beegle Beagle in the animated series ‘Great Grape Ape Show’), Khosrow Shaigan (for Jack Oakie in ‘The Great Dictator’), Zhaleh Kazemi (for Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘Julie Andrews in ‘The Sound of Music’) and Ezzatollah Moghbeli (for the Iranian comedian Homayoun) among others.

At the end of the ceremony the book and DVD collection ‘100 Roles, 100 Voices’ by Amir Esbati and Aran Javidani was unveiled. The collection contains hundred everlasting voices of one hundred memorable roles in the history of Persian dubbing of great works of world cinema (about 4 minutes of each role is included in the DVDs).

The Ten-Day Fajr Film Festival is annually held February 1-11, marking the anniversary of the  1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.