Art And Culture

Farhadi’s ‘Salesman’ Scoops Two Awards at Cannes 2016

Farhadi’s ‘Salesman’ Scoops Two Awards at Cannes 2016
Farhadi’s ‘Salesman’ Scoops Two Awards at Cannes 2016

The 69th annual Cannes Film Festival came to a close late Sunday (May 22) with the main competition awards ceremony where Iranian feature film ‘The Salesman’ written and directed by Asghar Farhadi won two awards, a major achievement for Iran cinema.

The film took the Best Actor award for Shahab Hosseini and also landed Farhadi the best screenplay award, making it the only double winner of the night and one of the few movies to receive such a rare honor in the history of the festival, Mehr News Agency reported.

‘The Salesman’ is a quiet suspense/thriller about a man (Hosseini) struggling with his desire for vengeance after his wife (Taraneh Alidoosti) is assaulted in their flat.

As the winner of the Best Actor award was announced, Hosseini embraced Farhadi and went up to the stage. After receiving his prize from the Hollywood actress and one of the jury members, Kirsten Dunst, Hosseini, 42, dedicated the award to his “people”.

“I thank God for bestowing me with such a night in my life. I am sure my father’s soul is watching this moment from heaven. I hope he is delighted,” he said.

Thanking the festival organizers and the respected jury, Hosseini expressed his sincere gratitude to Farhadi for “trusting me once again” and Alidoosti for “her positive energy” in the work. The words moved the Iranian actress to tears of joy.

“This award has come from my people therefore I return it to them. With all my heart and my love, I dedicate this prize to the people of my land,” he added.

The Iranian actor previously starred in ‘About Elly’ and ‘A Separation’, both directed by Farhadi, and won the Silver Bear for best performance - together with other main actors of the movie - at the Berlin Festival in 2011.

When the announcement for the winner of the best screenplay was made, Farhadi, 44, shared his joy by embracing his wife, before going on stage. Saying that he was surprised at another award for the film he said, “I am so happy as I really did not expect a second award for the film.”

 Joy for the People

Pointing out that his films are not known to be happy, he expressed joy that with the awards he could “bring joy to the Iranian people, at least to a part of them.”

Farhadi’s return to Cannes with his double prize-winning ‘The Salesman’ comes after the Iranian auteur’s Paris-set ‘The Past’ won the Best Actress award for the French/Argentinean actress Berenice Bejo in 2013.

The renowned filmmaker was crowned with the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2011 and the Oscar for best foreign film in 2012 for ‘A Separation’.

Winning the screenplay award for an Iranian production means a lot to Iran and the world because the script is based on a moral and human theme which has been selected as the winner among films of great directors of world cinema.

The influential story, expressing the values and anti-values of humanity today, convinced the jury to respect and admire the film by awarding it.

At a press conference after the ceremony, Farhadi said, “I receive this award as a tribute to Iranian cinema”. Hosseini also expressed his happiness by saying, “two awards out of seven were presented to my country and I find that wonderful”.

The top prize of the event went to the British filmmaker Ken Loach who won his second Palme d’Or for ‘I, Daniel Blake’.