Art And Culture

Amir Naderi Honored at Venice Film Festival

Claudia Potenza (L), Amir Naderi (C) and Andrea Sartoretti in the press conference at Venice Film Festival, September 5.Claudia Potenza (L), Amir Naderi (C) and Andrea Sartoretti in the press conference at Venice Film Festival, September 5.

Iranian director Amir Naderi received the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, for his significant contribution to a new era of Iranian films, on September 5.

The ceremony was held before the world premiere of his new film ‘Monte’, a joint production of Italy, France and the US, Mehr News Agency reported.

“Naderi gave fundamental impetus to the birth of Iranian cinema during the 1970s and 80s, with several masterpieces destined to leave their mark on the history of cinema,” said Alberto Barbera, director of the festival.

Born in the southern Iranian city of Abadan, Naderi, 70, made his directorial debut with ‘Goodbye Friend’ in 1971, and soon became one of the best known figures in Iran’s film industry. He entered the international spotlight with ‘Tangsir’ (1974). ‘The Runner’ (1985) and ‘Water, Wind, Soil’ (1989) both won the Golden Montgolfiere at Three Continents Festival in Nantes.

“Every film he has made clearly displays the nucleus of an identical obsession which transcends the principle of reality in order to force individuals beyond their own limits,” Barbera added.

Naderi’s first film in Italy, ‘Monte’ was screened out of competition at this year’s festival. It is set centuries ago in 1350, and tells a dramatic story of a man who makes every attempt to bring sunlight into his village, where his family is barely able to survive because of the prevailing darkness.

Italian actors Andrea Sartoretti and Claudia Potenza star in the film. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award was established 10 years ago to honor personalities who have made a significant contribution to contemporary cinema and was first presented to the late Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami, who passed away in July. The other winners include American filmmaker Brian De Palma and American actor Al Pacino.

  Upsetting Absence

“Kiarostami’s absence upsets me. We were like brothers and now it is as if the link between us is broken,” Naderi said about his fellow filmmaker.

While Kiarostami was based in Iran and made several movies in his homeland, Naderi moved to the US in the mid ’80s. “He always asked me to return to Iran but I wanted to make movies in other parts of the world as well. I love my country and was at the peak of my career then but I chose a different path,” Naderi noted.

In the US, he made ‘Sound Barrier’, which won the Roberto Rossellini Critics’ Prize at the Rome Film Festival in 2005, and ‘Vegas: Based on a True Story’, which premiered in competition at Venice in 2008.

Naderi said he is proud of Iranian cinema as it is one of the best in the world. He said that there are plenty of young talented filmmakers whose works are seen across the globe. “I am sure Iranian directors will keep on surprising the world in future too,” he added.

Venice Film Festival will run through September 10.