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Posthumous Tribute to Kiarostami in Venice

Two never-before-seen short films by Kiarostami were unveiled in the event and a documentary on the late director's works by Seifollah Samadian was also shown
Posthumous Tribute to Kiarostami in VenicePosthumous Tribute to Kiarostami in Venice

The 73rd Venice Film Festival, which opened on August 31 paid tribute to the late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami in a program after the opening ceremony.

The annual event dedicated part of its first day to the memory of Kiarostami, who passed away in July at the age of 76 in Paris, Honaronline reported.

The movie '76 Minutes and 15 Seconds With Abbas Kiarostami' directed by Seifollah Samadian was shown in the program which was attended by filmmakers, critics and festival managers from across the world to pay homage to one of the great directors in the world.

The movie was made using the photos and films Samadian had taken of Kiarostami during his many working years. They were friends for over 30 years.

Kiarostami had a reputation for themes on child protagonists as well as for documentary-style narrative films for stories that take place in rural villages.

Before the movie was screened, the festival director, Alberto Barbera, spoke about Kiarostami and how he was different with other filmmakers in style and versatility.

Kiarostami's older son, Ahmad, recalled the memory of a workshop in Morocco in 2005, where his father and famous Hollywood director Martin Scorsese were the instructors and spoke about the relationship between the two great figures.

Former head of the Cinematheque Francaise, Serge Toubiana and artistic director of Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Fermo, were among the participants who praised the work. "It is a real documentary which includes "genuine moments of Kiarostami's very special world and varied works of art." Fermo also invited the movie to attend his own festival to be held in Lyon in October.

  Never Seen Films Screened

Further, the program also unveiled two never-before-seen short films by Kiarostami. 'Take Me Home', a black and white 16-minute movie, and a part of the episodic film '24 Frames' which Kiarostami was working on while he was being treated at hospital and home before his untimely death.

Kiarostami (1940-2016) was also a film producer, screenwriter, poet, painter, illustrator, graphic designer and photographer. His other well-known films include 'Close-Up' (1990), 'Certified Copy' (2010) and 'Like Someone in Love' (2012).

He stood out at the 1999 Venice Film Festival with 'The Wind Will Carry Us', two years after scooping a Cannes Palme d'Or for 'Taste of Cherry'.

The opening ceremony was held in a somber mood, with thoughts still on the August 24 earthquake that rocked central Italy, killing 293 people.

Following the screening of Damien Chazelle's musical 'La La Land' starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, which was the festival opener, the traditional gala celebration was however cancelled in light of the quake.

The Iranian film 'Malaria' written and directed by Parviz Shahbazi is present in the Horizon Section of the festival.

The 73rd edition runs through September 10.

Financialtribune.com