On Monday February 4, The Iranian Cultural Association of Washington DC sponsored a screening of Ardeshir Mohasses; The Rebellious Artist. The film was well-received by members and non-members alike. The distinguished audience included Taghi Mokhtar (filmmaker, film critic and editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine, Iranian in Washington DC), Dr. Mohammad Borghei (sociologist), Dr. Hadi Bahar (physician and author), and Shohreh Assemi (actress, writer and TV producer).
Dad hall, UCLA
Three weeks later, a screening of the film was sponsored in Dad Hall at UCLA by the Near Eastern Studies Center. Dr. Nayereh Towhidi introduced the program and then Majid Roshangar (editor of The Persian Book Review), who has published several collections of the drawings of Ardeshir Mohasses in Iran and the USA, talked about the art of Mohasses. This was followed by a brief talk by Abbas Towfigh (one of the founders of Towfigh magazine in Iran) about the history of caricatures in Iran. The film was then screened, after which Bahman Maghsoudlou took to the podium to address the audience's questions and then sat for a book signing. Although it was the same day as the Academy Awards ceremony, the hall was almost full and the reaction was uniformly very good. Other distinguished Iranians present were Farhang Farrahi, Abbas Pahlavan, Nader Saleh, Ghafour Mirzai, Sohrab Akhavan, Darya Ashouri, Kazem Alamdari, Reza Moini and Dr. Ardeshir Babknia. Also Danish Saroee and Farzad Hasani two gifted photographer took great pictures of the session that remains for good.
Franks theatre - Palm Beach International Film Festival
Finally, the film had its official world premiere at the 18th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival on April 8 at the Frank Theatres.
New York University, New York
After four years of hard work and research, including interviews with teachers, editors, friends, scholars, classmates, critics, associates and historians, and going through thousands of cartoons, paintings, sketches, magazines, articles and books in various parts of the world, producer/director Bahman Maghsoudlou's new one-hour film about the life and work of Ardeshir Mohasses (1938-2008) is finished.
The Association of North American Ethnic Journalist & Writers sponsored the premiere of the film in Toronto on November 2. After an introduction by Mr. Bahman Roudgarnia, Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist was screened. Mr. Maghsoudlou followed up with a few comments and then answered questions from the audience. Among the enthusiastic attendees were such distinguished Iranian faces as Aydin Aghdashlou (Artist), Ghollam-Hossein Nami (Sculptor/Artist), Sirak Melkonian (Artist), Nasrin Almasi (Writer), Freshteh Mowlavi (Writer), Bahram Bahrami (Writer/Poet/Literary critic), Hassan Zerehi (Editor-in-Chief, Shahrvand Magazine), Shahram Binesh (Editor-in-Chief, Iran Star Magazine), Farah Taheri (Writer), Mohammad Tajdolati (Journalist), and many more. Click here for footage of the Toronto screening:
On November 16, New York University sponsored one free screening for its students, faculty and
Friends of Ardeshir Mohasses at the Cantor Film Center, The full house received the film very well and another Q&A period was held with Mr. Maghsoudlou.
Florida inter University, Miami
The film had a third screening held in Miami on December 1 at Florida International University, sponsored by the Iranian Cultural Society. Enthusiasm for the film was in evidence once again at this screening, perhaps even more than before, as the discussion that followed continued until midnight. Dr Naser Eftekhari, one of the founders of the Cultural Society, made his fifth introduction of Mr. Maghsoudlou during almost thirty years of Kanun.
Ardeshir Mohasses: The Rebellious Artist will be shown in Washington DC on February 4 and at UCLA on February 24, following which it will be screened at various film festivals around the world and released on DVD in fall of 2013. Voice of America (VOA) conducted an interview with Mr. Maghsoudlou on November 26 on the program Shabahang, which can be seen at the link below:
For more information about the film, go to our website:
Shahrvand Magazine reports of Toronto screening:
The Third Edition of IBAFF (www.IBAFF.com), International Film Festival was held March 5th through 10th in Murcia, Spain.
Bahman Maghsoudlou served as the president and lone non-Spanish member of the jury, alongside a group of notables of the Spanish film scene, including professor and film scholar/critic Alberto Elena.
The Festival was inaugurated in 2010, and was named for Ibn Arabi, the philosopher, thinker and Andalusian Sufi mystic who was born in Murcia in 1165 (d: Damascus, 1240), whose work inspired the festival's abiding theme of Travel and Creation. This year's festival was another resounding success under the leadership of festival Director Marta Lopez Briones and festival President Mahmoud Reza Sani.
In the previous year, the Italian master of cinematography Vittorio Storaro and acclaimed Iranian director Majid Majidi were guests at the festival. This year Abbas Kia-Rostami, another great Iranian filmmaker, also renowned as a poet and photographer, conducted a workshop over a period of ten days in which he shared his experiences behind the camera with thirty-five young participants from many different countries.
At the end of the workshop, the trio of jurors – Mr. Maghsoudlou, Mr. Isaki Lacuesta (a young Spanish director who received the Golden Shell Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival 2011 for his film The Double Steps) and Mr. Elena, who authored a book on Mr. Kia-Rostami – selected five of the thirty-five completed films for the next edition of the film festival in 2013.
The Official Section had three competition sections: features, shorts and documentaries. The seven films represented selections from Iran, Spain, Serbia, Argentina, Germany, Uruguay and one Spanish-Filipino co-production. The Serbian entry, Predrag Velinovic's Motel Nana, received the Best Film Prize, while the Special Diploma went to Ignacio Oliva's Nobody's Rose from Spain.
Aside from the Official Section, this year's IBAFF also consisted of the following:
Festival Showcase- Award-winning films from kindred festivals to IBAFF. This year featured films from the International Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage and the Punto de Vista Navarra Festival.
An Honorary Award Retrospective for Abbas Kia-Rostami.
The Film School Section- A new educational section designed to pass on knowledge to the next generation of filmmakers, this inaugural year featured films about the problems of contemporary youth assembled by the Hamburg Media School.
Cinema Scene, Film Panorama- A section dedicated to independent Spanish films that are pushing the envelope, including ones that cannot get screenings elsewhere.
Off Section- A non-competitive section offering films of strong thematic or stylistic value that, similar to those in Panorama, have not found any other showcase.
Small Screen- A special section dedicated to animated films for very young children, centered on the idea of teaching them to think about the way they watch things.
The festival also had a number of special events, including a symposium entitled 'Ibn Arabi of Murcia,' all about the philosopher whose work inspired the theme of Travel and Creation, and a concert of classical Flamenco by celebrated singer and composer Mayte Martín.
Thirty-seven years ago at 5PM on Thursday, February 27, 1975 (5 Shanbeh, 8 Esfand, 1353) at the Central Palace for Young Adults, the fourth Forough Farrokhzad awards ceremony was held. This group of awards, meant to honor greatness in all aspects of the arts, was conceived and established by the Farrokhzad family in memory of Forough Farrokhzad, a great Iranian poet and filmmaker, who died tragically in a car accident in Tehran on February 13, 1967 at the age of thirty-two. The ceremony was hosted by Fereidoon Farrokhzad, a multi-dimensional artist in his own right, who gave out the awards on behalf of a jury of twenty writers, artists, and other intellectuals in front of an audience of about three hundred attendees.
The winners that year were:
- Theatre: Ali Nassirian and Mohammad Ali Keshavarz
- Literature: Ahmad Mahmoud and Simin Daneshvar
- Painting: Hossein Zendehrudi
- Literary Translation: Mohammad Ghazi
- Research: Iraj Afshar
- Music: Fereidoon Shahbazian
- Cinema & Theatre: Bahman Maghsoudlou
- Cinema: Sohrab Shahid-Saless
- Foreign Artist: Marlon Brando
After the presentations, Fereidoon Farrokhzad spoke briefly, and then Yadollah Royai, another Iranian poet who was a close friend of Forough Farrokhzad, read a poem that the two of them had written together.
Forough Farrokhzad Award Winners on 1973
Forough Farrokhzad Award Winners on 1974
Iranian film has been around almost as long as the Academy Awards, with the first feature film made in Iran, Abi & Rabi, a silent film by a Russian immigrant named Ovanes Oganians (1897-1961), appearing in 1930. And yet it has taken this long for the Academy to reward an Iranian film.
On March 26, 2012, Asghar Farhadi's A Separation received the Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category, giving Iranians all over the world cause to celebrate. But history was actually made twice that night, as it also marked the first time that an Iranian film was up for two awards. A Separation was also nominated for Best Screenplay, a prize that ultimately went to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris.
Iran has had two prior nominations to celebrate, 1998's Best Foreign Film nomination for Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven and the 2003 nomination of Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo for Best Supporting Actress in Vadim Perelman's House of Sand and Fog.
Iran has had plenty of other prior nominations to celebrate:
- 1997: Habib Zargarpour, Best Effects, Visual Effects, for Twister (D: Jan de Bont)
- 1998: Hossein Amini (grandson of former Prime Minister Ali Amini), Best Adapted Sceenplay, The Wings of a Dove (D: Iain Softley)
- 1999: Majid Majidi, Best Foreign Film, Children of Heaven
- 2000: Mehdi Norowzian (London-based Iranian filmmaker), Best Short Film (Live Action), Killing Joe
- 2001: Habib Zargarpour gets second nomination, Best Effects, Visual Effects, The Perfect Storm (D: Wolfgang Petersen)
- 2004: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Best Supporting Actress, House of Sand and Fog (D: Vadim Perelman)
- 2007: Kami Asgar, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Apocalypto (D: Mel Gibson)
- 2008: Marjane Satrapi, Best Animated Feature Film, Persepolis (D: Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud)
As prestigious as all of these nominations are, it is good to finally have an Iranian film win the prize, and such a major prize at that.
Mr. Farhadi is no doubt feeling particular pride in this achievement. His previous film, About Elly, was Iran's official entry into the 2009 Academy Awards but was not ultimately nominated. Thankfully he did not have to wait too long to be justifiably celebrated. A Separation has proved to be a remarkable commercial success both inside and outside of Iran, and, aside from its historic win at the Oscars, has also garnered more than fifty prestigious international prizes, from Berlinale to the Golden Globes. We are happy to congratulate Mr. Farhadi and the Iranian people for this historic milestone, and doubly so that such a worthy and well-made film was chosen for the honor.
The film world has lost another great filmmaker, this time from Greece, Theodoros
Angelopoulos was a master of extremely long, sinuous sequence shots, which he used
to explore themes of Greek cultural identity. He was born April 17, 1935 in Athens.
He began to study law but was interrupted by his military service, which also seemed
to change his focus since it was after that that he began to look into filmmaking. His
first films were made in the wake of the 1967 coup that plunged Greece into military
Angelopoulos was killed on January 24 when he was struck by a motorcycle near the set
of his new film in Pireaus. He was taken to the hospital and treated but died soon after of
trauma from his injuries.
I was always a fan of this filmmaker's unique style and have been infatuated with his
themes of exile and return.
I will never forget the day that Sydney Pollack, a great American director and a good
friend who recommended me for membership in the Academy of Arts and Sciences
and who himself left us too early a number of years ago, came into my office and
said, 'Bahman, please give me some Angelopoulos films to watch. I've heard that his
camerawork is amazing.' I gave him copies of everything I had in my collection and
when he came back, he couldn't say enough about how impressed he had been by
Angelopoulos's visionary technique.
It's a sad day. It's 9/11, the day on which horrific events took place. I remember driving
to my office in the morning, listening to the news on the radio, when the traffic reporter
suddenly said, "We have just received a report that a small plane has smashed into the
windows of the twin towers. We will be heading south to give you more info…" The rest
is history and the devilish acts committed that day tarnished the history of mankind.
Cliff Robertson died last night, Saturday, September 10th, on Long Island, New York.
He acted in more than fifty films over a span of fifty years. I will never forget "The Best
Man" (1962), directed by Franklin Schaffner and written by the great Gore Vidal. I am
fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview both Schaffner and Robertson many
Robertson won the Best Actor Oscar in 1968 for "Charly," as a developmentally-
challenged man who becomes a genius. His astonishing performance was the kind that
made denying him the Oscar impossible for Academy members.
Later, in 1971, Robertson produced, directed, co-wrote and starred in "J. W. Coop," a
film about rodeo rider who is released from prison after ten years and tries to adjust to
a new way of life without success. The dark, metaphoric film was praised widely and
received well by critics, as was Robertson's direction, but failed commercially. "J. W.
Coop" was screened at the Tehran International Film Festival in 1972 and I met with Mr,
Robertson after his press conference and later again in his hotel lobby for an interview.
Robertson was pleasant, charming, humble and respectful. He also had a reputation as
a non-conformist, a reputation borne out by the fact that he turned down the potentially
career-boosting role of Dirty Harry in order to make more introspective films such as "J.
IFVC is proud to announce the Pathfinder Home Entertainment DVD release on July 26,
2011 of the fourth and latest film in our Renowned Iranian Artists series, Iran Darroudi:
The Painter of Ethereal Moments, produced and directed by Bahman Maghsoudlou. This
film was produced over a period of seven years with the complete cooperation of the
artist herself. The film had its public premiere in Stockholm, Sweden in October of 2009,
and has since been screened to tremendous acclaim from audiences at special events in
Paris, London, Berlin, Toronto, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami and Washington, D.C, as
well as both Fairleigh Dickinson and Yale Universities. Earlier this year it was selected
for Leipzig Film Festival and the second edition of the Ibn Arabí Film Festival in Murcia,
Spain. The critical response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive, both online
and in print.
With this film, The director has tried to show the various sides of a complex artist, a
creative individual who has spent much time in both the east and the west and been duly
influenced by both, and to examine how a female artist has managed to survive two
different regimes in Iran.
In addition, the DVD will contain as an extra Maghsoudlou's 1972 short film Ardeshir
Mohasses & His Caricatures, also making its DVD debut. Mr. Maghsoudlou is currently
working on an updated and expanded version of this landmark film.
The DVD is available for $25 from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Blockbuster, and
IFVC.com. It will also be available for rental from Netflix.
Photo by Adom Saboonchian
On Friday evening of May 20th at 7 pm, Kanoon Iran, The Center for Preservation of Iranian Culture and Art in London, had another program with Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou. The subject was the history of film festivals and the Iranian short film's current role in them.
The program began with Dr. Ghassemi, the director and founder of the Kanoon, seizing the opportunity to honor the eminent scholar Iraj Afshar, who had passed away a few weeks earlier, and then introducing Mr. Maghsoudlou as his guest for the third time at the Central Library, Kensington Town Hall in London.
Photo by Adom Saboonchian
The auditorium was filled to capacity; even with the addition of extra chairs and the willingness of some attendees to sit on the floor, they still had to turn away people at the door. Later Dr. Ghassemi said that of the almost thirty years of monthly programs by eminent Iranians from around the world, the night was the second most crowded in its history.
Photo by Adom Saboonchian
Maghsoudlou spoke briefly about the history of film festivals, from initial events to their development as a world scene. He then spoke about the first Iranian shorts to be featured in festivals, all three by Feri (Mostafa) Farzaneh, a graduate of the IDHEC Film School (1957) in Paris, who received prizes for all three of his first short films: Iranian Miniatures (Venice, 1959), Cyrus the Great (Cannes, 1961) and The Woman and Animal (Locarno, 1962).
This opened the door to more short films by Iranian filmmakers participating in international festivals, notably works by Ibrahim Golestan, Forough Farrokhzad, Ahmad Faroughi Qajar, Hajir Daryush, Houshang Shafti, and Khosrow Sinai in the '60s, and Sohrab Shahid Saless, Abbas Kia-Rostami, Manouchehr Tayyab, Naser Taghvai, Parviz Kimiavi, Amir Naderi, Ali Akbar Sadeghi, Mohammad Reza Aslani and Kamran Shirdel in the '70s.
Maghsoudlou told of how he was founder and curator of the first Iranian film festival at the Bombay Cinema in New York in 1980-1981, which showed both short and feature films from Iranian filmmakers. The festival was so successful that Andrew Sarris, the great film critic, wrote about it in his weekly film criticism in the Village Voice (September 1981, December 1981). It was also written up in Variety, among other notable magazines.
Maghsoudlou then spoke about the second Iranian film festival he had established in New York, the International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran, founded with the Ziba Foundation in 2007. (Click www.nyisff.com) There then followed a screening of the five films that had garnered awards at that festival: Shahrokh Babhrololumi's The Season of Soil (Gold Prize), Hamy Ramezan's Just Waiting (Best Fiction), Naser Zeraati's Underneath My Father's House (Best Documentary), Hassan Solhjoo's Fish Talking (Special Jury Prize), and Alireza Darvish's What If Spring Does Not Come? (Special Jury Prize).
Photo by Adom Saboonchian
The screening continued with a showing of Bahman Ghobadi's Life in Fog, a 1998 IFVC production that set a record by winning prizes at more than fifteen international film festivals, the most in the history of Iranian cinema.
After an enthusiastic response from the audience, Dr. Maghsoudlou talked briefly about how this small group of filmmakers along with a number of their colleagues had established the basis of Iranian cinema that, after the revolution in the '80s and the 90s, has resulted in a flourish of Iranian cinema at all film festivals.
Photo by Adom Saboonchian
As per tradition, a question and answer period followed and the audience was served tea, coffee and pastry provided by Kanoon Iran. Interestingly enough, the usual group of monthly members who attend this gathering at the library were joined by many new and young faces on this particular evening. Among the distinguished attendees were Dr. Esmail Khoei, Masoud Behnoud, Effat Mahbaz, Dr. Sabetian, and many journalists and reporters.
Four reports on this event, from Kayhan, a weekly newspaper in London, and Roozonline.com, are below:
Andrew Sarris, Village Voice, September 23-29, 1981
Andrew Sarris, Village Voice, December, 23-29, 1981
Variety, Wednesday, September 9, 1981
Kayhan London, Thursday June 2, 2011, Lecture by Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou
Kayhan London, Thursday June 2, 2011, Honoring Iraj Afshar
Roozonline, Goftegu, Thursday June 16, 2011
Roozonline, Sharh, Thursday June 16, 2011
From Right: Hazhir Daryush ,Siamak Pourzand ,Samuel Khachikian ,Iraj Jamshidi and Bahman Maghsoudlou talking about problems in Iranian Cinema.
I deeply regret to announce the passing of one of Iran’s most important defenders of freedom of expression, Mr. Siamak Pourzand. Mr. Pourzand died in his home in Tehran. He was 80.
Mr. Pourzand was always at the center of anything related to art or cinema in Iran, subjects he never failed to engage with the utmost love and passion. He worked in his homeland for more than fifty years as a reporter, writer, artistic consultant, critic and editor-in-chief of various film magazines. He was a key player, in one way or another, in the founding of all of Iran’s earlier film festivals. As such, he was one of the most influential figures in Iran’s cinematic history.
His fierce, brave, outspoken dedication to freedom of expression, both in the arts and, in his capacity as a journalist, the press, did not come without a price. In 2001, Mr. Pourzand was arrested and sentenced to eleven years in prison. He spent many years under house arrest and was forbidden to leave Iran, which left him alone and away from his wife, Ms. Mehrangiz Kar, a lawyer and human rights activist living in exile in the US, who has also spent time in prison in Iran for her rights work.
I had the privilege of knowing Mr. Pourzand and calling him my close friend for more than forty years, since the days when I was just a young film critic starting out. His dedication to principle was matched only by his loyalty to his friends and loved ones, for whom he would sacrifice anything. He was generous, intelligent, hardworking, innovative and always positive. News of his death has devastated me, but I find some comfort in the fact that I was able to remain in constant touch with him throughout the years. His life and his work will never be forgotten. My sincerest condolences go out to our friends, colleagues and especially to my close friend, Mehrangiz Kar, and their three daughters, Lili, Azadeh and Banafsheh.
Interview with Radio Farda on May 8, 2011 about Mr. Siamak Pourzand
The Iranian Cultural Association of Washington, D.C. sponsored a screening of Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments on one of its regular Monday meeting nights on April 4 at 8PM.
Ms. Pativash Moghadam opened the evening by speaking briefly about Kanoon. Mr. Bahram Zandi, who was responsible for selecting the film, read a short biography of Mr. Bahman Maghsoudlou, the director and producer, and then Maghsoudlou himself gave a few words of introduction, during which he thanked the Association and mentioned that it was his birthday and that he was happy to spend it in such worthy company.
The audience, which included such notable figures as Ms. Nazi Azima (writer/translator), Ms. Shohreh Assemi (actress/TV producer), Dr. Mohammad Borghei (writer), Dr. Hadi Bahar, and Mr. Taghi Mokhtar (writer/journalist), responded very enthusiastically to the film during the Q&A that followed.
The Iranian Cultural Association of Washington, D.C. is the oldest of its kind in the USA. It began holding programs in 1982 and has conducted its Monday night meetings every week for almost thirty years now. Mr. Maghsoudlou has been the special guest at these programs five times over the years, discussing his film and literary work.
Iranian Magazine, the weekly magazine in Washington, D.C., which has been in publication for the past fifteen years under the auspice of Editor-in-Chief Taghi Mokhtar, has published a piece about that night, which can be read below:
Iranian Magazine, Washington DC
Photos by: Babak Alipour
Bahman Maghsoudlou is now a member of the PEN American Center, the US branch
of the celebrated collective of writers known as International PEN, a worldwide
organization founded in the wake of World War I as a way of combating the various
divisions that the world was then experiencing in regard to ethnicity and border.
International PEN is dedicated to the idea that a strong, open literature is one of the
key components of a free society and has therefore dedicated itself and the efforts of its
assorted branches, including PEN American Center, to the strenuous defense of writers
everywhere against censorship.
Photos by: Babak Alipour
Mr. Maghsoudlou is the author of a number of books, including Love and Liberty in
Cinema and This Side of the Mind and the Other Side of the Pupil, both in his native
Farsi, and three books in English, Iranian Cinema, Amir Naderi, and his latest, Grass:
Untold Stories, which was also released in Iran this past January by Hermes Press
under the title Araf. In 1975, he was given the prestigious Forogh Farrokhzad Award in
literature for his writings on both cinema and theater.
Those wishing to know more about the PEN American Center can visit http://www.pen.org/ to see the organization’s website.
The Association of the World Study of Zoroastrianism held a special two-part program at the Cultural Center for Zoroastrianism from 6:30PM to 11PM entitled ‘Esfandgân: journée de la femme,’ a celebration of women in the arts. The program included a screening of Bahman Maghsoudlou’s feature-length documentary Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments. Following an introduction by Ms. Vanecha Roudbaraki and Yassaman Shahrokh in which they spoke about the program and the Center, which began operation in 2010, a recorded message from Iran Darroudi was shown. Ms. Darroudi was unable to attend the program in person owing to unforeseen circumstances. After the screening, the enthusiastic audience participated in a Q&A with Mr. Maghsoudlou, and then dinner was served.
The second portion of the program was a fine arts presentation by five female performers, each representing a different nation: Irina Kataeva (Russia), Vanecha Roudbaraki (Iran), Evdokija Danajloska (Macedonia), Sona Khochafian (Armenia) and Clara Ponty (France/USA). All performances were beautiful and well-received.
The full house of 150 enjoyed the proceedings immensely. Among the attendees were such notable figures as Mr. Shahrokh Golestan, Houshang Assadi, Mohammad Haghighat, Ali Abbassi, and Iraj Adibzadeh. This was the second screening of the film in Paris. The Association Socioculturelle des Iraniens en France previously screened the film on June 27 at their center.
Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments, Bahman Maghsoudlou’s latest feature-
length documentary, was selected for the second edition of the Ibn Arabí Film Festival,
which was held from January 31st to February 5th, 2011 in the city of Murcia.
Mr. Maghsoudlou was in attendance as a special guest of the festival, which also included
a ceremony on February 4th for the presentation of the second Ibn Arabí Honorary Award
to Oscar-winning director of photography Vittorio Storaro. The award was presented to
Mr. Storaro by acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi, who was given the award in
the festival’s inaugural year.
Pathfinder Pictures will release Iran Darroudi on DVD internationally this summer. Mr.
Maghsoudlou’s first documentary, the widely acclaimed short Ardeshir Mohasses & His
Caricatures, will be included as an extra on the DVD.
For more information click to the site of the festival www.ibaff.com
Bahman Maghsoudlou and Hassan Fayyad
On Sunday, December 12, 2010, at 6:30 PM, the Film Society of Los Angeles, as part of its 100th program, presented Bahman Maghsoudlou’s Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments.
Mr. Hassan Fayyad, the president of the Film Society, opened the night with a short introduction celebrating the seven years during which he has arranged one hundred programs and how this task was achieved.
Then a message from Ms. Iran Darroudi was broadcast from Tehran. She could not come to LA but happily welcomed the enthusiastic audience and thanked them for their presence at a screening of the first feature documentary about her life and works. Ms. Sholeh Shams, the editor-in-chief of Rahavard magazine, followed that with a talk about the artist, after which Ms. Sara Abedin read a biography of the film’s director/producer, Bahman Maghsoudlou. Mr. Maghsoudlou then came to the podium and spoke for a few minutes before the screening.
Not only was a full house in attendance, for the first time the management of the Film Society had to add almost 50 seats to its capacity to accommodate the crowd that came to see the film. And even then, some audience members were forced to stand.
After the screening, which ended to tremendous applause, Mr. Maghsoudlou participated in a Q&A session along with Mr. Fayyad for almost an hour.
Most of the premier journalists, writers and artists who live in Los Angeles were in attendance, including Mr. Farhang Farrahi, Mr. Ali Limounadi, Ms. Homa Sarshar, Mr. Kikhosro Behrozi, Ms. Homa Partovi, Mr. Mehdi Zokaei, Dr.Komran Jabbari, Dr. Ata Montazeri, Mr. Yousef Shahab, Parviz Nazerian, Dr. Nasser Engheta, Mr. Hassan Khayyatbashi, Mr. Majid Rowshangar ,Mr. Afshin Javadi , Majid Niroumand ,Mr. Bahman Fathi, Mr. Habashi ,Mr.Nader Saleh Ms.Sholeh Shams,Ms.Pari Amini ,Ms. Simin Tabatabai Mr. Hossein Hejazi Mr. Majid Naficy ,Ms. Helen Afshan and many more.
Mr. Maghsoudlou has been a guest speaker and has presented his films at the Film Society numerous times during the last seven years since its inception. His last presentation was on Sunday, January 24th, 2010 in its 91st program, when he gave a lecture/book signing for his latest book Grass: Untold Stories, including a screening of an unforgettable, newly digitized print of the film Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, the subject of the book.
A reporter from Voice of America covered the night, interviewing Mr. Maghsoudlou at the end of the program and using that and footage shot of the event to produce a ten-minute segment that was aired two weeks later as part of the programs Shabahang and Zane Emruz.
Photos by: Simin Tabatabi
Photos by Daryoush Zandi
As a part of the Mehregan program, sponsored by the Foundation of Iranians of Connecticut, Bahman Maghsoudlou’s feature documentary about the life and art of Iran Darroudi was screened at Yale University on October 10. Dr. Khodadoust, the president of the Foundation, spoke about culture and how Iranians have maintained theirs throughout a thousand years of history. After presenting the program’s scholarship to five outstanding students, Dr. Ali Jafarian introduced Mr. Maghsoudlou, who himself spoke about the greatness of Iranian culture and then detailed how the film was produced during a seven year period from 2002 to 2009, to enthusiastic reaction by the audience.
After a Q&A and brief analysis of the film by the director, a select group from the audience had dinner with their guest.
A week later, on Sunday, October 17, 2010, The Persian Cultural & Humanitarian Association (PCHA) presented a screening of the film at Fairleigh Dickinson University for its members. The film was very well-received and Mr. Maghsoudlou gave a talk about the film and art of Ms. Darroudi.
Dr. Maghsoudlou began his lecture before the full capacity crowd by dedicating the night to his old friend Ramin Mowlai, a distinguished Iranian cinematographer who had passed away few months earlier. He then spoke briefly about this multi-dimensional artist who had been a major cinematographer in the German film industry.
This program concluded with a lengthy Q&A session.
Photos by Daryoush Zandi
On Sunday, September 26, 2010, the latest feature documentary by producer/director Bahman Maghsoudlou was screened at the House of Literature in Berlin in Germany. Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments, the fourth in a series of films about renowned Iranian artists, was presented by Mr. Maghsoudlou. The Cultural Foundation of Dehkhoda sponsored the program.
After the presentation and a lengthy Q&A session, the audience presented the director with flowers and a dinner was held. The audience was populated by a number of prominent artists, including poet/writer Jalal Sarfaraz, painter Akbar Behkalam, painter/filmmaker Daryush Shokof, filmmaker/actor Farhad Payar, and photographer/editor Daryush Zandi. Also in attendance was Ms. Brigitte Bricout, a prominent art curator, who spoke highly about the film and has selected it for two museums in Germany.
Mr. Jalal Sarfaraz and Mr.Akbar Behkalam at the screening
Mr. Afshin Akhavan of the Cultural Foundation of Dehkhoda and a team of young associates did a tremendous job managing the event, coordinating ticket sales, arranging the screening, and giving Mr. Maghsoudlou a wonderful introduction.
This was Maghsoudlou’s third presentation at the House of Literature. The two previous presentations were for a screening of his feature documentary Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist and a talk and signing for his book Grass: Untold Stories.
Photos by Parviz Jahed
On Friday, June 25th at 7PM, Anjoman Sokhan and Kanoon Iran: The Center for Preservation of Iranian Culture and Art, as part of their longstanding program held on the final Friday of each month for the last quarter of a century, jointly sponsored a screening of Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments, the latest feature documentary by Bahman Maghsoudlou, at the Central Library, Kensington Town Hall in London. After an introduction by Dr. Reza Ghassemi, the founder of Kanoon Iran, Saba Ansari from Anjoman Sokhan read a short biography of Maghsoudlou, who then made some opening remarks before the screening. Mr. Maghsoudlou had previously presented his film work at two individual events, each sponsored by one of the organizations respectively, but this was the first event to which he had been invited by both organizations simultaneously.
Photos by Parviz Jahed
The almost full house gave the film a very enthusiastic reception, and the screening was followed, as per tradition, by a question and answer period and the audience being served tea, coffee and pastry provided by Kanoon Iran and Anjoman Sokhan. Interestingly enough, the usual monthly members who attended this gathering at the library were joined by many new and young faces. Among the distinguished attendees were Hedayat Matin-Daftari, Lo’bat Vala, Farrokh Negahdar, Masoud Behnoud, Effat Mahbaz, Dr. Sabetian, and many journalists and reporters.
Photos by Nazanin Ezdiari
The same program was presented on Sunday, June 27th at 7PM, sponsored by Association Socioculturelle des Iraniens en France, but this time the painter herself, who lives in Paris, was in attendance.
Mr. Kazem Izadi, the director of the society, introduced both the program and Ms. Darroudi, and then Mr. Ebrahim Makki, the distinguished playwright, introduced the director before the film began.
After the screening, Mr. Maghsoudlou and Ms. Darroudi participated in a long Q&A with an eager audience who wanted to thank the director and express their love for the film. Among the distinguished attendees were Fereydoun Keshavars Sadr, Ali Abbasi, Soroush Habibi, Atefeh Gorgin, Maryam Katouzian and Foad Roostaee.
Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments, the most recent feature-length documentary by Bahman Maghsoudlou, was screened at the Paria Foundation, a cultural center in Toronto, at 6PM on Sunday, April 25. Mr. Hassan Zerehi, the editor-in-chief of Shahrvand magazine, the sponsor of the program, spoke at the beginning and introduced the producer/director of the film, Mr. Maghsoudlou.
After the introduction, the film was screened before a full audience. This was followed by a break for coffee and tea, after which Mr. Maghsoudlou participated in an hour-long Q&A session.
This was the third April in a row that Mr. Maghsoudlou has appeared in Toronto through the sponsorship of Shahrvand, one of the most prestigious cultural magazines in North America. Previous engagements were centered around Mr. Maghsoudlou’s documentary Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist in 2008 and a lecture on Mr. Maghsoudlou’s new book Grass: Untold Stories that included a screening of the documentary that inspired the book, Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, in 2009.
Mr. Hassan Zerehi and Maghsoudlou
The 2010 audience enjoyed the Darroudi film tremendously. In attendance were Dr. Reza Baraheni, the distinguished Iranian poet, writer and literary critic, Amid Naeini one of the most important Iranian journalist/writer and three famous Iranian artists: Sirak Melkonian, the sculptor Gholam-Hossein Nami, and Aydin Aghdashlou, who is also a writer and critic.
This documentary was seven years in the making. It is currently on the festival circuit and being shown at cultural centers throughout the world. It will be available on DVD next year.
Ekran, a monthly arts and culture program on BBC Persian Television, had a special segment on the Academy Awards this month. Bahman Maghsoudlou, film historian and critic, was interviewed for this segment in February 2010 to discuss expectations for winners and losers as well as who he believed would get the prizes.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doubled the number of movies nominated for Best Picture this year to ten in order to boost sagging ratings for the Oscar broadcast. The last time there were ten films in the running was 1943, the year that Casablanca won Best Film.
The ceremony was held on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, and for the first time there were two hosts: Steve Martin, in his third time as the Oscar emcee, was joined by first-timer Alec Baldwin.
The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, received six prizes out of the nine for which it was nominated, and Avatar, directed by James Cameron, thought by many to be a shoo-in for many prizes, unexpectedly received only three.
Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to receive an Oscar for Best Director. Three women have previously been nominated, but none received the award.
There was also a bit of drama at work in the fact that, for the first time, two of the films in the top running were directed by, respectively, an ex-husband and wife. Cameron and Bigelow were married for almost two years, two decades previous. In the competition between these two, history would have been made either way: as already stated, Bigelow’s win was the first for a female director, and, had Avatar won, it would have been the first science fiction film to take home the top prize. And, of course, there was additional interest in watching two such disparate films going head to head, one the new top-grossing blockbuster of all time ($2.5 billion to date, breaking Cameron’s own previous record of $700 million with Titanic, for which he took home both top prizes), the other a small independent production that has so far made about $16 million.
Jeff Bridges’ fifth nomination turned into his first win when he was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor for Crazy Heart, while Sandra Bullock took home the Best Actress prize for The Blind Side.
The night’s most unexpected Oscar came in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Germany’s award-winning The White Ribbon, the dark metaphoric masterpiece that took the top prizes at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and this year’s Golden Globes was widely expected to win here as well, but instead the prize was given to an Argentinean film, The Secret in Their Eyes by Juan Jose Campanella.
The following day on its March 11 program, Ekran revisited Maghsoudlou to analyze the academy presentation, why Avatar lost to The Hurt Locker and other issues regarding this year’s ceremony.
It is important to note that the audience of this year’s broadcast rose 14% from 36 million to 41 million households.
Bahman Maghsoudlou gave a lecture about his new book Grass: Untold Stories at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey on Sunday, February 21, 2010. The program, sponsored by the Persian Cultural & Humanitarian Association (PCHA), was free and held at the Weiner Library from 3 to 7PM
After an introduction by Mrs. Faranak Zamani on behalf of PCHA, Dr. Maghsoudlou spoke about the adventurous lives of Merian C. Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison before the trio went to Iran, continuing his lecture during a screening of the film Grass.
After a Q&A session, refreshments were served, during which copies of the book were sold and signed by the author.
Five days later at 6PM on Friday, February 26, a similar program was held at the Iranian Association of Boston Foundation Center. Mrs. Soheila Shafai introduced the author.
On Sunday, January 24th at 6:30PM, the Film Society of Los Angeles in its 91st program, presented a lecture/book signing by Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou for his latest book Grass: Untold Stories, including a screening of an unforgettable, newly digitized print of the film Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, the subject of the book.
Grass: Untold Stories, published by Mazda Publishers Inc., is the extraordinary story of the adventures of three American explorers, leading up to the making of the documentary movie Grass, filmed and produced by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison among the Bakhtiari tribe of southwest Iran in 1924. The film is a vivid record of the almost insurmountable difficulties that faced the tribe when they migrated twice yearly in their search for green pasture. The two male filmmakers were later to gain fame as the creators of King Kong.
Mr. Hassan Fayyad, a writer, literary translator and filmmaker, and founder of the Film Society of Los Angeles, opened the night’s program, and then Mr. Parviz Nazerian, the distinguished Iranian film critic, writer and filmmaker, introduced Mr. Maghsoudlou.
Photos by Onik Shabani
Last year, Shabahang, a very successful program on Voice of America Television based in Washington DC, aired a long interview with Bahman Maghsoudlou about his newly published book, Grass: Untold Stories. After more than six months during which the book received excellent reviews and established itself as the one and only academic source about one the of best feature documentaries in the history of motion pictures, Mr. Behnood Mokri at VOA Persian Television conducted a follow-up interview with the author on his program on January 23, 2010. This program is available on YouTube for those who missed the broadcast.
Part 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXtGLx2Y0co
Part 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIOHtd45hQk
On Saturday, January 23, at 2PM, the Chapman University Center for Global Education, the Iranica Institute of Irvine, California, and Mazda Publishers Inc., sponsored a lecture and book signing for Grass: Untold Stories by Bahman Maghsoudlou. The presentation, entirely in English, also included a screening of the feature documentary, Grass: A Nation’s Battle For Life, the subject of the book, and the trailer for the great classic film King Kong (1933) by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack, co-creators, along with Marguerite Harrison, of Grass. The entire event was held at the state-of-the-art auditorium of the Dodge College of Film & Media Arts of Chapman University.
The program began with a welcoming speech by Dr. James Coyle, the Dean of the Center for Global Education, followed by Dr. Komran Jabbari, the president of Mazda Publishers, introducing Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou. After a short introduction by the author, the King Kong trailer was shown, followed by Grass. Mr. Maghsoudlou spoke during the screening of this unique silent masterpiece, explaining the details of how the film was shot. This was followed by a Q&A with the audience.
In the wake of the interview with Bahman Maghsoudlou about his latest book Grass: Untold Stories aired by Ekran on BBC Persian Television in December 2007, the buzz and attention drawn towards both the book and the magnificent silent film, Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, that is its subject was such that BBC World News decided to run a follow-up story. Tom Brook delivered a great piece on January 7th from New York on air. In this 8-minute segment, Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou, joined by Mr. Richard Pena, film professor at Columbia University and head of the New York Film Festival, spoke about the film and its historic and artistic value. This piece is up on YouTube for those who missed the broadcast.
Grass: Untold Stories is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, IFVC.com and at fine bookstores.
Bahman Maghsoudlou - BBC Persian Television/Grass:Untold Story - Jan 07 2010
Bahman Maghsoudlou - VOA - Grass:Untold Story 2009 - Part 2
Bahman Maghsoudlou - VOA - Grass:Untold Story 2009 - Part 3
A lecture by Hadi Hazavehie, noted painter and museum curator, was held on Saturday, November 21, 2009 at the Kensington Central Library in London, organized as part of a special program by Anjoman Sokhan and Kanoon Iran. Due to it being the first anniversary of the death of Ardeshir Mohasses, the famous Iranian caricaturist, the program also included a screening of Ardeshir Mohasses and His Caricatures, the short documentary by Bahman Maghsoudlou who produced and directed this film in Tehran at his house in 1972. It remains the only film about the famous artist to date.
Masoud Behnoud, the distinguished Iranian writer and journalist, also spoke about Mohasses and his roots.
Maghsoudlou has recently announced his decision to recut the film, expanding it to feature length by using new footage of the artist’s life and work, including footage taken of Mohasses in his studio in New York not long before his death. Maghsoudlou plans to finish this long documentary by next October in time for screening on the second anniversary of the artist’s passing.
After almost seven years of production, Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments, the fourth feature-length documentary in the Renowned Iranian Artists series, had its official premiere at Stockholm on October 30, 2009. This film is a both a biographical and analytical look at Iran Darroudi, the famous Iranian artist. Bahman Maghsoudlou, the director and producer, has tried to convey how the mysticism of the east and surrealism of the west come together in her paintings and how a female artist has survived in environments hostile to women. The film premiered to a full house, which received it enthusiastically.
At the same program, another feature documentary was screened. In fact, it was one of the first documentaries ever made. Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life was made in Iran in 1924 by Merian C. Cooper, Marguerite Harrison and Ernest Schoedsack, and Mr. Maghsoudlou, author of the book Grass: Untold Stories, gave a lecture and answered all questions regarding both films after the screening. The evening concluded with a book signing during which drinks and pastries were served.
The same program was repeated two days later on Sunday, November 1 in Goteborg at the Folktshus Center in Hammarkullen. Mr. Naser Zeraati, an Iranian writer/filmmaker and president of Bokarthus in Goteborg, was the host and sponsor along with ABF of Sweden and Mr. Alireza Mojallal in Stockholm.
A previous version of Iran Darroudi: The Painter of Ethereal Moments had been screened earlier this year in Miami on April 4 at the Iranian Cultural Society of Miami and a week later on April 10 at MIT in Boston, both screenings presented by Bahman Maghsoudlou. While well received at both of these screenings, a few minor changes were deemed necessary and the subsequent final version was the one premiered in Sweden.
The film will be entered into 2010’s prestigious international film festival circuit and will be on DVD by the end of that same year.
Photos by Ardeshir Seradj
On Friday, September 25th, Kanoon Iran, The Center for Preservation of Iranian Culture and Art, as part of their longstanding program held on the last Friday of each month for the last quarter of the century, sponsored a lecture at the Central Library, Kensington Town Hall in London by author/filmmaker Bahman Maghsoudlou about his latest book Grass: Untold Stories. After an introduction by Dr. Reza Ghassemi, the founder of Kanoon Iran, the great documentary Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life was screened, following which Mr. Maghsoudlou spoke at length about the film and its importance in the history of world cinema and then lead the audience in a Q&A.
The program was well received by the almost full house and was followed, as per tradition, by the audience being served tea, coffee and pastry provided by Kanoon Iran.
Photos by Parviz Jahed
The Cultural Foundation of Dehkhoda sponsored a special program to present a screening of the film Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life and a lecture about the film by Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou, author of Grass: Untold Stories on Friday, June 5th at its center in Berlin, Germany.
Mr. Maghsoudlou, at the beginning of his lecture to a full capacity crowd, dedicated the night to his old friend Ramin Mowlai, a distinguished Iranian cinematographer who had passed away few months earlier. He spoke briefly about this multi-dimensional artist who had been a major cinematographer in the German film industry.
This program concluded with a lengthy Q&A session.
BBC Persian Television recently acquired the TV rights to Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist, the unique documentary about the outstanding Iranian writer. This marks their third acquisition from IFVC, having previously obtained the rights of Life in Fog by Bahman Ghobadi and the documentary Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet of Liberty. All three documentaries were produced by Bahman Maghsoudlou, who also served as director of Ahmad Mahmoud. Shahrokh Golestan and Mehdi Jami, critics for the BBC, had both had praiseworthy things to say about Ahmad Mahmoud when it was making the rounds at festivals and screenings in London and Paris, and we are happy that BBC viewers will now get a chance to see the acclaimed film for themselves.
The Iranian American Medical Association (IAMA) held its 16th annual meeting in Boston over the Memorial Day weekend. In a special program for this event, Bahman Maghsoudlou appeared as a guest lecturer and screened five short films: The Door by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, The Footsteps of Water by Alireza Darvish, The Season of Soil by Shahrokh Bahrololoumi, Olympics in the Camp by Majid Majidi and smoQing by Daryush Shokof. All five of these films had been shown at the International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran in New York in 2007.
At the end of the presentation Dr. Gandchi, the president of IAMA, presented a special gift, a designer penholder for his desk, to Dr. Maghsoudlou, “for his establishment of the movie session and editorial commentary at IAMA.”
On Sunday, May 3rd, Bahman Maghsoudlou introduced two films to the members of the Foundation of Iranians of Connecticut at Yale University. After an introduction by Dr. Ali Jafarian, the president of the Foundation, who had invited Dr. Maghsoudlou to lecture, two films were screened. The first was Persian Tree, a short film by Hassan Naghashi about the history of Iran that has been awarded at a number of important film festivals, and the second was Silence of the Sea, a feature film by Vahid Mousaian that was produced by Bahman Maghsoudlou and Rouhollah Baradari.
The Daricheh Foundation, with the collaboration of Toronto-based magazine Shahrvand, sponsored a screening of the feature documentary Grass: A Nation’s Battle For Life and a book-signing for Bahman Maghsoudlou’s new book Grass: Untold Stories on Saturday April 25 at the Paria Cultural Center in Toronto. The film was made by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison in 1924 in southwest Iran and portrays the migration of a tribe called the Bakhtiari. It was released in the USA by Paramount and was the first feature-length film to be shot in Iran. The film is 71 minutes long and has been selected as the second best feature documentary by film critics and film historians after 1921’s Nanook of the North by Robert Flaherty. Grass, which was selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, now contains an extra facet of poignancy in as much as it depicts a way of life that no longer exists in Iran.
After a short introduction by Mr. Bahram Bahrami of the Daricheh Foundation, the film was screened. Then Bahman Maghsoudlou, spoke about his newly published book, Grass: Untold Stories, a chronicle of how the film was made and the adventures that led up to it, followed by an hour-plus Q&A with the eager audience.
Copies of the book, recently published by Mazda Publishing of Los Angeles, and the DVD of Grass released under The Milestone Collection were available for sale after the presentation and were all sold out by the end.
During his talk, Maghsoudlou also thanked Mr. Hassan Zerehi, the editor-in-chief of the prestigious Shahrvand, for the magazine’s support of the program, and also Iran Star, another weekly magazine in Toronto, for the support they have given him over the years.
Behind the scene of Seven Servants
After years of anticipation, one of the final films of superstar Anthony Quinn, Seven Servants, made in 1996 and destined to become a cult film, was released on DVD by Pathfinder Pictures, a Los Angeles-based company. This surrealistic fantasy film was produced by Bahman Maghsoudlou and Stefan Jonas in Germany. David Warner, Alexandra Stewart, Audra MacDonald and Sonja Kirshberger made up the all-star supporting cast. The fabulous music by Gato Barbieri was another major element of the film. Its main theme was released on CD by Sony a few years back and the complete score will soon be released as well. Seven Servants is a production of Das Werk in association with International Film & Video Center (IFVC).
Also released by Pathfinder the same day was Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist, the feature documentary directed and produced by Bahman Maghsoudlou about the famous Iranian writer. Shot in Iran in 2002 and released in 2004, it has received critical acclaim and has been selected for various film festivals.
Included as a special bonus feature on the Ahmad Mahmoud DVD is Bahman Ghobadi’s landmark short documentary Life in Fog. The film was produced by IFVC in 1999 and went on to receive fifteen international prizes from the most prestigious film festivals around the world, the most of any short documentary film from Iran.
The long-awaited North American DVD release of Daryush Shokof’s Seven Servants, starring the great Anthony Quinn, is finally coming about on March 4, 2009, thanks to Pathfinder Pictures. The film was a darling of film festivals in 1996. Its terrific cast also includes David Warner, Alexander Stewart and Audra McDonald, and its score was composed by the great jazz musician Gato Barbieri.
On Wednesday, February 11, by invitation of the Near Eastern Department of Princeton University. Mr. Bahman Maghsoudlou appeared at an event honoring the great caricaturist Ardeshir Mohasses. The short documentary film that Mr. Maghsoudlou made about him in 1972, which remained the only film about Mohasses up until he died in 2008, was screened, and afterwards Mr. Maghsoudlou delivered a short speech and answered questions from the audience.
With the invitation of the Iranian Association of Boston, two IFVC productions, Ardeshir Mohasses & His Caricatures and Silence of the Sea, were screened at their center in Boston. Mr. Bahman Maghsoudlou, the president of IFVC, delivered a lecture and participated in a Q&A after the screening.
Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist and Ardeshir Mohasses & His Caricatures, two documentaries produced and directed by Bahman Maghsoudlou, were screened in three cities in Sweden. The films were shown at the Folkets Hus Center in Hammarkullen, Gothenburg on October 31, at the Iranian Swedish Center in Malmo on November 1, and at Kanune Film in Stockholm on November 2. Both films were well received in all three cities and Mr. Maghsoudlou participated in a Q&A after each session. Mr. Naser Zeraati, an Iranian writer/filmmaker and president of Bokarthus in Gothenburg, was the host and sponsor along with ABF of Sweden and Kanune Film in Stockholm.
Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist will be released on DVD in North America by Pathfinder Pictures on March 24, 2009. It will be available for purchase at Amazon.com and IFVC.com, as well as other online DVD retailers.
Three IFVC productions are now available in DVD in North America for the first time. Pathfinder Pictures is now offering Amir Naderi’s Manhattan by Numbers, Vahid Mousaian’s Silence of the Sea and the documentary Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet of Libert, about this most important of contemporary Iranian poets. Shamlou is the first in a series of documentaries about luminaries in the Iranian arts. The second, Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist will have its DVD release in January of 2009. Further IFVC productions are also due to be released by Pathfinder. All three films in current release can be found at most major outlets or ordered directly through ifvc.com
Silence of the Sea, the highly acclaimed film by Vahid Mousaian, was screened in Washington at Kanoone Iranian. Producer Bahman Maghsoudlou was a guest speaker at the event and participated in a Q&A with the audience after a short lecture. Kanoon also screened another film by Maghsoudlou, Ardeshir Mohasses & His Caricatures, the following week on November 24.
IFVC is proud to announce that Bahman Maghsoudlou’s new book, Grass: Untold Stories, has been released by Mazda Publishing. This is the stirring tale of the lives of three American explorers and film pioneers, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack, creators of King Kong, and Marguerite Harrison, a journalist for the Baltimore Sun, who traveled to southern Iran in 1924 to film a tribe on its migration, creating one of the first documentaries in the process. Copies can be ordered from any book store, Mazda at
or directly from ifvc.com.
Mazda Publisher has announced that the hardcover edition of Grass: Untold Stories by Bahman Maghsoudlou will be out before the end of the year. This is the second book by the author in English. His first book was Iranian Cinema, which included an introduction by Andrew Sarris and was published by New York University in 1987. It was the first book in English about Iranian cinema and is currently out of print.
Grass: Untold Stories details the exciting lives of three American explorers, Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack, later the masterminds behind the classic King Kong, and Marguerite Harrison, a journalist and spy, and the various international experiences that they had both individually and together, culminating in a historic trip among the nomads of Southern Iran from which resulted one of the first ever documentaries: Grass.
Further details about the release of this book can be found at the following link:
IFVC and the Ziba Foundation, the two organizations responsible for the first New York International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran, have collectively decided, based on the success of the first festival, that it should become a bi-annual event. Preparations will be made early next year to begin inviting submissions for the next festival, likely to be held in fall of 2009.
The first festival was held at the Asia Society from October 19th to 21st, 2007. Through a combination of films made by Iranian filmmakers on any subject and films made by non-Iranians on Iranian subjects, the festival seeks to shine a light on what is still a very misunderstood culture in the western world.
For more information, please visit www.nyisff.com
After several months of negotiations, Pathfinder Picture signed a contract with IFVC for release of six of its productions. Pathfinder, based in Venice, California, has released more than two hundred films on DVD in North America, both foreign and domestic productions. The first new releases, to debut in October, will be Manhattan by Numbers, the first American film by acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Amir Naderi, and Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet of Liberty, the first in a documentary series on great artists. Subsequent releases will include Silence of the Sea by Vahid Mousaian and Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist, the second in the Artists series, in December. Life in Fog by Bahman Ghobadi will be released early next year.
For more information, please visit www.pathfinderpictures.com
The First Documentary Voices Pulling Film Festival was held in Dubai from July 4th to 9th. Anisa Mehdi, a distinguished journalist and both a producer and director of films, is the artistic director, and Mahshid Zamani is managing director of this newborn festival. More than thirty filmmakers were invited and participated in this four-day event. Among them were Niki Karimi, Jafar Panahi, and Kamran Shirdel from Iran; Amer Alzuhair from Kuwait; Philip Bajjaly and Hadi Zaccak from Lebanon; and Danny Schechter and Bahman Maghsoudlou from the USA. The latter two also served on the jury
Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet of Liberty, by Bahman Maghsoudlou, the first book from a series about how IFVC films are made, was published by the Ketab Corporation in Los Angeles on July 1st.
Bahman Maghsoudlou, the producer of this feature documentary, dedicated this book to his younger brother Behrouz Maghsoudlou, who passed away during the printing of this book. The book is in two languages, English and Persian, and is 162 pages long. The book includes the film’s full credits, a section entitled ‘Ahmad Shamlou: The Poet,’ a chronology of Ahmad Shamlou’s life and work, a full transcription of the film, the copyright, and Ahmad Shamlou’s letter to the author before his death. In this historical letter Shamlou writes:
… Dear friend, regarding the film, you naturally should have all the authority. You are not merely an expert in this field and aware of all technical and non-technical issues. It also is enough for me to enjoy affection and love. At the same time, the truth is that you will be responsible for whatever good or bad will come out of this work and, thus, you will use all your expertise to make the work as best as you can…
The author has written extensively and vividly about how this documentary was created from beginning to end, detailing the entire process of the film’s production.
The next book in this series, also by Bahman Maghsoudlou, will be Manhattan by Numbers, a similarly detailed account of the making of Amer Naderi’s first US feature, as well as an overview of Naderi’s cinema. Maghsoudlou was executive producer of Manhattan by Numbers.
Pathfinder Pictures will release the DVD of Shamlou and other IFVC productions before the end of the year.
The first major retrospective in the United States of legendary artist Ardeshir Mohasses was exhibited at the Asia Society from May 23rd through August 3rd under the title ‘Art and Satire in Iran.’ This unique exhibition brought together seventy rarely seen ink drawings from pre-and post-Revolutionary Iran. Ardeshir Mohasses (born in 1938 in Rasht, Iran) is a self-taught graphic artist who moved to New York in 1978. His philosophical sense of humor created unique insights into modern Iranian history. His caricatures and works have been reproduced in a variety of distinguished graphic magazines and newspapers throughout the world, including the New York Times. Mohasses’s works also have been exhibited in international museums and galleries in Iran, Europe, Asia and America. Acclaimed Iranian artists Shirin Neshat and Nicky Nodjoumi, co-curators of the exhibition, were joined by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a collector of the artist, to discuss the life and art of Mohasses on June 10th. Then Shirin Neshat introduced Dr. Bahman Maghsoudlou, and his short documentary, Ardeshir Mohasses and His Caricatures, was screened. Mohasses’s presence in the film helped fill the gap that his absence at the hall had created, and clearly pleased the audience full of fans.
Bahman Maghsoudlou wrote, directed and produced Ardeshir Mohasses and His Caricatures all by himself in his home in Tehran in 1972. The film was shown on National Iranian Television at the time and went to various film festivals. In 1996 it was selected as one of the best short films made before the revolution by the Leipzig Film Festival. This is the only film about Mohasses in existence in which the artist has appeared, since he does not like being filmed. Maghsoudlou is working on a new updated version of the film.
The first Sinfronteras Festival International de Cine was held in Medellin, Colombia from May 28th to June 8th. The festival’s aim is to promote understanding of social subjects through contemporary films, with a different subject highlighted each year. This year’s theme was children and their treatment in the movies. Twenty-five movies from different countries along with a variety of documentaries were shown in seven movie houses, universities, museums and other cultural centers.
Bahman Maghsoudlou, the Iranian film director, producer and historian, was among the distinguished guests. He delivered a lecture at the Medellin Modern Art Museum on June 4th for a full house of students and cineastes about the way children have been used in Iranian films. His lecture was well received and was followed by a Q&A about Iranian cinema that lasted until midnight.
Richard Pena, director of the New York Film Festival, and Adriana Fresquest, the Argentinean-Brazilian director of the “Cinema to Learn and Unlearn” project of the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro were the other lecturers. Two Iranian films were screened at the festival: Life in Fog by Bahman Ghobadi, a production of IFVC, and Buddha Exploded in Shame by Hanna Makhmalbaf, a House of Makhmalbaf Production.
The Iranian American Medical Association (IAMA) held its 15th annual meeting in Washington, DC over the Memorial Day weekend. In a special program for this event,
Bahman Maghsoudlou appeared as a guest lecturer and screened three short films: Interview by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Persian Tree by Hassan Naghashi, and Life in Fog by Bahman Ghobadi.
After the enthusiastically-received screening, Mr. Maghsoudlou participated in a rousing Q&A debate.
Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist, a feature documentary about the life and works of the essential Iranian author, was screened in Toronto on Saturday, May 17th to a full house at the Parya Foundation. The event was dedicated to Behrouz Maghsoudlou, one of the producers of the film, who passed away on April 15th in Tehran from a heart attack. Shahrvand, one of the most influential magazines in North America, sponsored the event. At the beginning, Mr. Hassan Zerrehi, the chief editor of Shahrvand, introduced Bahman Maghsoudlou, the director and producer of the film. Mr. Maghsoudlou requested one minute’s silence to honor his younger brother in the wake of his sudden death, and then talked about him briefly. Thefilm was then screened for the eager audience, who took to it whole-heartedly. After the screening, Mr. Maghsoudlou gave a short lecture about Iranian pictorial culture through history, and then led a Q&A for more than an hour.
Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist has been selected for various film festivals and has been shown at various film and cultural centers throughout Europe and America.
This film will be released on DVD by Pathfinder Pictures before the end of the year.
Silence of the Sea, a poignant study of displacement and one of the most successful Iranian films of the new millennium, finally received a theatrical release in Los Angeles at the Vine Theater on April 25th.
The film, written and directed by talented Iranian filmmaker Vahid Mousaian, has been selected for more than thirty international film festivals, among them Manheim and Sundance, and has received six international awards. The film has garnered praise from a number of the most notable film publications from around the world, including Variety, in which Robert Kohler, in a long article, called the film “high-end Iranian work” and “exquisitely directed.” Scott Foundas wrote in LA Weekly that “Mousaian has a sensitive approach.”
Silence of the Sea was produced by Bahman Maghsoudlou (IFVC) and Rouhollah Baradari (Tuba Film), and was shot in Sweden and Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf.
IFVC is deeply saddened to announce that Behrouz Maghsoudlou, architect, producer and Vice President of IFVC, passed away suddenly in Tehran of a heart attack in April. Behrouz, younger brother of President Bahman Maghsoudlou, was a part of the IFVC wing of film production from the very beginning.
Behrouz was born in Kashan, Iran in 1948. He graduated from Tehran’s Melli University in 1975 with a Master’s degree. He was an experienced graphic architectural designer, having worked in the field since his graduation. In addition to architecture, he also had a longtime interest in film, an interest he pursued in a couple of different ways. He acted a few times, most notably as a school superintendent in The Runner by Amir Naderi in 1985. He also produced seven short films with Mr. Bahman Ghobadi, including Like Mother (1996, Winner, First Prize, Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia), A Soldier Called Amin (1997, Winner, First Prize, Rosario International Film Festival, Argentina; Silver Prize, Denmark International Film Festival), and Life in Fog, winner of fifteen international awards, and the single most awarded short documentary in the history of Iranian cinema.
The Other Side of the Broken Wall, his first outing as a writer and director, made its US debut last year at the First Annual International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran.
Behrouz’s artistic spirit and great heart will be remembered by all who knew him.
On November 2, 2007, Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist was screened at Wien Technical University in Austria . The Iranian Cultural Society of Austria, which arranged the event, invited the filmmaker Bahman Maghsoudlou to attend. The event also included a screening of Mojgan Roudbarani’s film about Mahin Oskui. After the films were shown there was a question and answer period. Among the audience, which fully packed the auditorium, was renowned Iranian filmmaker Houchang Allahyari, who has been living and making films in Wien for almost the past fifty years.
On September 15, 2007, Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist was screened at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sponsored by the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina (ICSNC) and the Persian Cultural Society (PCS). It was presented by director/producer Bahman Maghsoudlou and was very well received by the attendees.
This long documentary has been selected for various international film festivals and also has been screened at numerous art and cultural centers and universities throughout the world.
The first annual International Short Film Festival: Independent Films on Iran was held at the Asia Society on Park Avenue in Manhattan from October 19 to 21. Attendance met expectations, with several of the programs being sold out, and the audience reaction was uniformly enthusiastic. The festival showed a total of sixty films from nine different countries, as selected by a committee made of festival founder Bahman Maghsoudlou, filmmaker Ghasem Ebrahimian and filmmaker Farhad Zamani. The roster was comprised of twenty films shown in competition, two out of competition, seventeen past award winners, a retrospective of five films by Kamran Shirdel, seven films from the Makhmalbaf Film House, three films from Afghanistan, and six films from Tajikistan. There was also a panel discussion on Iranian short films with Mr. Maghsoudlou, critic Godfrey Cheshire (also a member of the international jury) and author/critic Mohmmad Abdi.
On the final day, awards were presented to a handful of notable films, although all of the films presented were of considerable quality. The following were the award winners, as decided by our three-member international jury: Richard Pena, Milton Ginsberg and Godfrey Cheshire:
- Gold Prize (Trophy, Diploma and $3000.00):
The Season of Soil (D: Shahrokh Babhrololumi)
- Best Fiction (Trophy, Diploma and $2000.00):
Just Waiting (D: Hamy Ramezan)
- Best Documentary (Trophy, Diploma and $2000.00):
Underneath My Father’s House (D: Naser Zeraati)
- Special Jury Prize (split decision):
Fish Talking (D: Hassan Solhjou)($1000.00 from PCHA);
What If Spring Does Not Come? (D: Alireza Darvish)($1000.00 from IFVC)
- ZIBA Prize (Trophy and $1000.00):
Bistoon & Its Secrets (D: Katayoun Afrooz)
- Audience Award: Security (D: Matthew Linnell)
The Season of Soil rode a particularly difficult path to the Gold Prize. A print of a different film by director Shahrokh Babhrololumi was accidentally sent at first. The director, unable to obtain permission to enter the country from Canada in time for the festival, sent an acquaintance, who drove down to New York from Toronto, delivering a print of the right film just in time to be screened and ultimately win the top prize.
We are tremendously grateful to our participants and the attendees, all of whom contributed towards making our first year an unqualified success.
Datum: Tue, 08 May 2007 18:06:24 +0200
An: Film Acting School Cologne Betreff
Dear Mr.Bahman Maghsoudlou:
We would like to express our gratitude to your wonderful seminar that brought so much to the young,excited, and most interested crowd of our students in International Acting School in Köln. The students were more than just happy to have had such an opportunity to listen to your highly informative and equally entertaining speech. I thank you again on behalf of our school,associates and would look so much forward to seeing you again with us.
It was truly a great day of Cinema encounter with your presence at the school.
Christina and Bernd Capitain
Today we are proud to announce that shooting of the long documentary The Life & Legacy of Mohammad Mossadegh after 22 month around the world is finished and most of the necessary newsreel footage of that era has been located and purchased. All pertinent locations have been shot, we have interviewed one hundred ten people all over the world, one thousand still photographs have been gathered, and newspapers and magazines of the era have been scanned. In short, we have put together more than 100 hours of pictorial history of the last century and the film is ready to be edited.
;Monday, April 16th, 2007- Mr. Maghsoudlou was an invited lecturer on Independent Production and acting at the prestigious Acting School of Koln in Germany. A full house of roughly one hundred people gathered in the small lecture hall that afternoon, comprised mostly of students and graduates, with a handful of filmmakers, journalists and school staff. After Rebecca Goerke, one of the students, entertained the audience with a couple of songs, School President Mr. Bernd Captain thanked Mr. Maghsoudlou for his presence and then introduced artist/filmmaker Daryush Shokof, who had recently made a ten-minute film with Melinda Hardorp, a student of the school, called Smoqing. The film was shown, and then Mr. Maghsoudlou delivered his lecture to enthusiastic response from the audience, entertaining a Q&A afterwards.
Smoqing was written and directed by Daryush Shokof, produced by Tom Dukopil and Bahman Maghsoudlou, and will be shown at the New York International Short Film Festival in New York this coming October.
International Film & Video Center, in conjunction with the Ziba Foundation, is proud to announce the establishment of the International Short Film Festival: Films by Iranians/Films About Iran to be held in October in New York City.
The festival accepts films of 30 minutes and under, and will dispense awards totaling ten thousand dollars.
The founding principals of this festival are the education of youth, intercultural dialogue, the defense of civil rights, and the exhibition of films that may contribute to human dignity. Because behind every film hides a world of identity and culture, this festival accepts films by two groups of filmmakers from anywhere in the world:
The Festival program consists of:
- Iranians who live and make films in Iran and those of the first and second generations living outside of Iran without any limitations can participate in the festival freely.
- Non-Iranians who have made a film that in some way deals with Iranian culture.
- The Competition. The Festival only accepts films for competition in two categories: fiction and documentary.
- Retrospectives. The Festival will arrange an exhibition of short films by Iranian filmmakers whose works greatly influenced and shaped Iranian cinema.
- Panorama and Special Programs. The Festival will also exhibit a selection of Iranian short films that have received awards recently or any time over the past decade.
- The festival only accepts films of two genres: fiction and documentary.
- Films must not exceed a length of 30 minutes.
- Films must have a completion date of January 1st, 2006 or after.
- Selection can only be made on complete productions.
- In exceptional cases, the Festival reserves the right to accept films of duration up to 45 minutes.
- Separate soundtracks will not be accepted.
- Films that have been shown or awarded at other international film festivals will not be accepted.
- Educational, industrial, advertising, tourism, and propaganda films will not be accepted.
- The deadline for submission is August 1, 2007.
- A $20 fee must accompany the submission. This fee can be paid by credit card, bank or cashier’s check.
In May of 1951, Mohammad Mossadegh, leader of the liberal nationalist movement in Iran, was democratically elected to the office of Prime Minister. His election was seen as a tremendous victory for those who believed that Iran’s future lay in self-determination and democracy. However, by August of 1953, forces working against Mossadegh and his progressive objectives had managed to carry out a coup d’etat, engineered by the CIA and MI6, with the support of a number of domestic groups opposed to the nationalist movement. Following the downfall of the Mossadegh government, the country was returned to authoritarian royalist rule and the hopes of the Iranian people having a say in their political future were dashed.
“The Life and Legacy of Mossadegh” is a feature-length documentary that seeks to present a comprehensive and impartial look at the man, his ideas, and the rise and fall of his government. This project began in July of 2005, and since then over one hundred hours of more than eighty-five interviews have been conducted worldwide with experts on the subject. (Ultimately more than one hundred interviews will be conducted.) In addition to important interviews conducted inside Iran, the producer/director has carried out interviews in Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Helsinki, Stockholm and elsewhere, in addition to interviews in the United States in Los Angeles, Washington, D. C., Boston and other cities. The interviewees have been carefully selected and have had questions written specifically for them by the expert historians associated with the project. The interviewees were chosen with special emphasis on those who observed or were involved in particular events or were politically active during Mossadegh’s premiership. It was essential to speak to the people who were involved as well as those knowledgeable about these important historical events, and so interviews were conducted with diplomats and politicians, writers and journalists, spies and scholars.
Although dealing with a subject with obvious contemporary political implications, the film will be based on historical evidence that has come to light from sources such as CIA and British Intelligence Service documents, as well as documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. The producers did not set out to favor any particular side, preferring to paint as complete a picture as could be achieved. Equal time was given to the many different viewpoints regarding these events, and interviewees included leaders and supporters of the Iranian National Front, individuals who were at one time members or supporters of the Tudeh Party (communists), monarchists, as well as representatives of the religious community. New documents and evidence were discovered, including stills and film clips concerning the coup. Additionally, the front pages and stills of about 20 magazines and newspapers of that era were scanned.
The film will ultimately appear in two versions: a two-hour theatrical cut and an extended cut to be released on DVD. Narration will be in English by a well-known contemporary actor. An original score will be commissioned from a renowned composer and a top-notch editor will be recruited to edit the film. Given the abundance of interview material collected, some may not make it into the finished version. We also plan to release a book or possibly books based on the interviews, and some material not included in the film may be utilized for these. In any case, having accumulated so much valuable material on some one hundred years of Iranian history, we hope ultimately to be able to store it in a library or foundation for the benefit of future historians.
This informative and engrossing documentary will be entered into the most prestigious film festivals around the world, as well as receiving worldwide theatrical release.
Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist, the second documentary directed and produced by Bahman Maghsoudlou, premiered at the Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival in September of 2004. Since then it has been selected for various film festivals, including the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s 15th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema Festival, 2005. This feature documentary is the very first to examine the life and work of one of Iran’s leading novelists.
The film was shot in Tehran in July of 2002 and completed in 2004. The film has been screened at various universities and at Iranian cultural and artistic centers in Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Virginia, London, Paris, and Boston. It was also selected for the 21st Annual Film Festival of Middle East Studies Association of America, (MESA) in San Francisco, 2004, and the International Society of Iranian Studies Film Festival, (ISIS) in Washington, D.C., 2004.
Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist has been well received by critics and audiences alike. The former have included the LA Times, Keyhan (London), Nimrouz and the BBC. Mr. Maghsoudlou’s first documentary, Ardeshir Mohasses (1972), was shown at the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival, 1996, as one of the best short documentaries made before the revolution.
Sadly Mr. Mahmoud was never able to see the film he inspired about himself. He died in Tehran three months after shooting was completed. The director had known Mr. Mahmoud for almost forty years. The two men were close friends and Mr. Maghsoudlou was Mr. Mahmoud’s trustee.
The DVD of the film will be released with additional material late in 2006. Mr. Maghsoudlou is currently in the editing room working on two new documentaries, one on painter Iran Darroudi and the other on the history of Iranian cinema entitled Iranian Cinema: Searching for the Roots (1900-1979).
The Dubrovnik Film Fest wrapped its second edition May 30 with best feature film going to Iran’s “Silence of the Sea”. Writer-director Vahid Mousaian also picked up
kudos for best screenplay.
Best director honors went to Croatian filmmaker Krsto Papic for “Infection.”
“Rave Against the Machine,” about the underground music scene in 1990s Bosnia, won best docu.
Producer Branko Lustig (“Schindler’s List”) received the fest’s Libertas Award for lifetime achievement.
Other features screened at the four-day event included “Stander” and “Grand Theft Parsons.”
Directed by Vahid Mousaian, has its North American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, which ran from January 15th to January 25th, in Park City, Utah. This complex metaphorical film that deals with displacement and identity, was selected from among 1000 feature films for Sundance, the most prestigious American film festival, for the World Cinema section.
The film premiered at The Egyptian Theater on January 16th and had three more screenings during the ten-day festival. All shows were sold out, and talk about the film was widespread. Unfortunately the World Cinema section did not have any Jury or prizes, though it was announced that from 2005 on a Jury and awards would be established.
Variety published a great review of the film from Sundance on January 29th. They called it an excellent film and recommended its distribution in the United States.
The second film by Vahid Mousaian, won the Ecumenical Prize at the closing night of the 52nd Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival in Germany. Mr. Bahman Maghsoudlou, the producer of the film, was on hand to receive the award. Silence of the Sea was shown a total of eight times in Mannheim and Heidelberg to great success, with German critics and audiences alike unanimously praising the film, which deals with cultural identity and displacement.
The Mannheim-Heidelberg Festival is the second oldest festival in Germany (After Berlinale). It was founded in 1952 by Fritz Lang, one of the pantheon directors of world cinema. Every year more than 1000 films are submitted. The festival has been home to many premieres and has an eye towards featuring new, as yet unknown directing talents. Such famous directors as Francois Truffaut, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Krzystof Kieslowski, Jim Jarmusch, and Lars Von Trier, all began their careers at Mannheim-Heidelberg.
This year’s festival, which commenced on November 20th, featured 31 films (23 long, 8 shorts) from the 1000 submitted, and attracted an audience of 60,000 people.
Ta'zieh directed by Parviz Jahed has been
selected for the 44th
Festival dei Popoli in Florence, Italy.
It will take place November 28 - December
Also selected for the First
Iranian.com Film Festival in Berkeley,
CA, September 5-7, 2003, and the 3rd Annual
International Film Festival in Tiburon,
CA, in March 2004.
Silence Of The Sea has been selected for
the competition sections of the 18th International
Fort Lauderdale Film Festival and the 52nd
International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg
in Germany. We expect that the film will
be selected for many more festivals throughout
the rest of the year.
IFVC’s long documentary about acclaimed
Iranian novelist Ahmad Mahmoud; A Noble
Novelist, is now in the editing room. Filming
had begun in August of 2002 when Mr. Mahmoud,
who authored seventeen books in his career,
died three months later in the hospital
of respiratory failure. It will be Released
by the end of the January 2004.
Bahman Maghsoudlou (IFVC president) attended
the 29th Letni Filmova Skola from July 25
to August 3 in Uherskeho Hradiste in the
southwest of the Czech Republic. He took
part in three programs at the festival:
Mr. Maghsoudlou was one of a three-member
panel speaking on Death and Media: The Iraq
War And Beyond. The others on the panel
were Mr. Peter Arnett, former CNN and MSNBC
reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner for his
Vietnam reportage, and Mr. Ludvik Vaculik,
the distinguished Czech writer and political
activist, whose 2000-word manifesto in 1968
and 1989 Harta 77 are famous for calling
for a Czech human rights movement. The discussion/debate
went on for three hours and included a question
and answer period. An abridged version of
the discussion was broadcast on Czech national
television the following day.
He presented a screening of Abbas Kia-rostami’s
A Taste Of Cherry, as part of the festival’s
Death in Cinema program. In addition to
showing the film, he also gave an analysis
and discussed Mr. Kia-rostami’s style
In conjunction with the festival’s
other program, Poetry and Film, Mr. Maghsoudlou
presented screenings of three films he produced
for IFVC: Ahmad Shamlou: Master Poet Of
Liberty, Bahman Ghobadi’s Life In
Fog (1998, winner of fifteen international
awards), and Ardeshir Mohasses & His
Caricatures, which Mr. Maghsoudlou also
wrote and directed.
Other guests of the festival included French
filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet, Polish filmmaker
Krzysztof Zanussi, Russian cinematographer
Mikhail Vardanov, and a number of distinguished
Czech novelists and composers.
The festival also included performances
of Czech music, both traditional folk and
contemporary pop, as well as an art exhibition.
Previous Iranian guests of the festival
have been Abbas Kia-rostami and Ebrahim
Iranian Cinema: Searching For The Roots
(1900-1979), a long in production, completely
comprehensive documentary about Iranian
film up to the revolution, is nearing completion.
Over 100 people have been interviewed for
this project, including such renowned figures
as Andrew Sarris, Richard Pena, Godfrey
Chesire, as well as prominent members of
the Cannes, London, Berlin New York, and
Venice Film Festivals. Shooting continues
until fall, when the editing process begins.
The two-hour version will be released in
2007, with an extended version to be subsequently
released on video and DVD.
Mr. Maghsoudlou’s new book, Love And
Liberty In Cinema will be published in September
of 2003. The book consists of detailed examinations
of three classic films: Jean Renoir’s
Grand Illusion, Max Ophül’s Letter
To An Unknown Woman, and Luis Buñuel’s
Tristana. His next literary project will
be Grass: Untold Stories, a companion book
to the film of the same name, which examines
the details behind Merian C. Cooper, Ernst
Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison’s
groundbreaking documentary about the migration
of Iran’s Bakhtiari tribein 1924.
Two IFVC long documentaries, Ta’zieh:
Another Narration and Ahmad Shamlou: Master
Poet Of Liberty, are scheduled to be broadcast
on the Canadian Learning and Skills channel
the fall of 2003.
Silence Of The Sea, the second feature by
Mr. Vahid Mousaian, premiered at Fajr Film
Festival and was one of three films selected
for the international competition section.
IFVC will release this film internationally
in spring of 2004.
Bahman Maghsoudlou made an appearance at
the 2002 Moscow Film Festival, serving as
both a film critic and film historian, as
well as giving a press conference. At the
same festival, Wishes Of The Land, the first
feature by Mr. Vahid Mousaian, an up-and-coming
filmmaker discovered by IFVC, was awarded
the Special Jury Prize.