Art And Culture

Cannes Winners Warmly Received

Cannes Winners Warmly ReceivedCannes Winners Warmly Received

Celebrated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, whose drama ‘The Salesman’ won two awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, along with his lead actors Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti returned home on Friday (May 27).

They were warmly welcomed by cinema officials and personalities as well as the media and the people at Imam Khomeini International Airport in south Tehran.

With the film bagging the awards for best screenplay, written by Farhadi, and best actor, Hosseini, at the 69th Cannes (May 11-22), Iran cinema added two new prestigious prizes to its collection of international awards, proving its status in the world once more, ISNA reported.

Surrounded by large crowds of people and reporters, Hosseini said, “We tried our best to be a worthy representative of Iranian cinema and thank God it happened”.

Pointing out that he is elated with the people’s happiness, he said “happiness is not just about making comedy movies; it is a positive feeling to bring joy to the people through our success and I thank God that I could fulfill my duty towards my country”.

Hosseini’s success in Cannes may bring him the opportunity to be cast in international projects. “Whatever God wills but to this date I have not had any offers and I prefer to continue my acting career in Iran,” he said.

Alidoosti, surprised by the huge reception, said, “I presumed people would welcome the film cast and crew but not to this extent. It is so humbling and I hope we are good representatives for Iran cinema.”

The fact that so many fans turned up at the airport, located 30 km southwest of Tehran, at midnight, shows their enthusiasm to laud the actors who brought glory to Iran cinema in the world.

Farhadi appreciated the crowd for “coming such a long way to welcome us” but postponed answering questions for a later time, at a press conference on Monday.

Filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, actors Amin Tarokh and Habib Rezai, managing director of Farabi Cinema Foundation Alireza Tabesh and evaluation and supervision deputy at Iran Cinema Organization Habib Ilbeigi, were among those present at the airport.

 Spanish Project Next

After winning in Cannes, Farhadi is resetting his untitled Spanish-language movie with renowned Spanish actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in advanced talks to star in the film.

Madrid-based film company El Deseo, run by Pedro and Agustin Almodovar, and French company Memento Films, by Alexandre Mallet-Guy, are on board to produce the project, which is currently underway.

Mallet-Guy, who produced Farhadi’s last two movies, ‘The Past’ and ‘The Salesman’, said that Farhadi is currently finishing the original screenplay and will visit Spain next month to scout for locations. An American actor will complete the cast.

“Shooting is expected to begin in summer or early fall next year. It is a psychological thriller with a dash of Agatha Christie in it. The script is a real page-turner,” Mallet-Guy told Variety.

The producer also said the project will weave in some moral themes as in Farhadi’s previous films.

Almodovar said the film could offer “cultural and industrial crossover which would be highly valuable in the current times. We admire very much Asghar Farhadi’s films, and have a host of similarities and common interests, speaking in film terms.”

Although Farhadi does not speak Spanish, he has proved with ‘The Past’ made in France, that he can pull off making a film in a foreign language. Indeed, ‘The Past’ competed at Cannes, earned its star Berenice Bejo the award for best actress and went on to nab a Golden Globe nomination.