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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN -- Federico García Lorca’s “Yerma” is being staged by the celebrated Iranian director Ali Rafiei at the Samandarian Hall of the Iranshahr Theater Complex. 
     
    Groups of theater aficionados attended the opening performance of the play on Tuesday evening.
     
    All members of the cast were making their acting debuts in this play, Iranshahr Theater Complex Director Majid Sarsangi said before the beginning of the performance. 
     
    The cast spent two years rehearsing the play, he added.
     
    Rafiei also delivered a short speech praising his troupes’ devotion to theater and said that Iranian theater is alive with the devotion of such theater troupes to this art.
     
    “Yerma”, which is literaly means ‘barren’ in Spanish,   tells the story of a childless woman living in rural Spain.
     
    Her desperate desire for motherhood becomes an obsession that eventually drives her to commit a horrific crime. 
     
    Rafiei has previously staged the play “Fox Hunting” at the Vahdat Hall in 2009. Before that, he staged “It Is Not Snowing in Egypt” at Tehran’s City Theater Complex in 2004.
     
    He has also directed movies “Fish Fall in Love” (2005) and “Mr. Yusef” (2010).
     
    Reza Guran staged “Yerma” at Tehran’s City Theater Complex in 2010.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Mahnaz Sadri has recently completed the translation of the teens’ novel “Gelsomino in the Country of Liars” into Persian.
     
    The novel was written by the Italian writer and journalist, Gianni Rodari (1920-1980), who was most famous for his children’s books.  
     
     
    The novel is about Gelsomino, who is not an honest boy, but one day he himself was deceived by the entire population of the Country of Liars.
     
    Many consider Rodari Italy’s most important twentieth-century children’s author. His books have been translated into many languages, though few have been published in English.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian filmmaker Abbas Rafei has been selected for the jury of the SAARC Film Festival, which will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from May 26 to 31.
     
    Cineastes from Russia, Singapore and several other countries are on the panel, Persian news websites announced on Wednesday.
     
    SAARC stands for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which was established by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives in 1985. Afghanistan joined the organization in 2007.   
     
    The entries will be competing in different categories of feature, short and documentary.
     
    A workshop has also been organized on the side section by the Center for Directors, in which filmmakers and experts are expected to attend.
     
    “Highway”, “Kimia and Soil” and “The Sun Shines on Everybody Equally” are among Rafei’s noteworthy credits.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- An exhibition of calligraphy works by Iranian clerics was inaugurated at the Imam Ali (AS) Religious Arts Museum in Tehran on Tuesday.
     
    On display at the exhibit is a collection of 140 calligraphy works inscribed by 20 clerics with the central theme of Quranic verses and religious poetry from Persian literature, the museum website reported on Wednesday.
     
    Hojjatoleslam Ali Kamsari, head of the Art and Cultural Center of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Office of Qom Seminary, the Art and Cultural Organization of the Tehran Municipality Director Amir Khorakian and veteran calligrapher Gholamhossein Amirkhani were among the participating guests at the opening ceremony.
     
    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kamsari said that the position of art of calligraphy in Islam and inscribing Quran in different calligraphic styles have been highly recommended by many prophets in Islam.
     
    Khorakian said that the exhibit is a good opportunity for the clerics to transfer the religious message to the visitors through the art of calligraphy; and Amirkhani asked the officials to help by supporting art in the country.
     
    Secretary of the Calligraphy Society of Seminary Students Ali Hosseini, also present at the ceremony, said that the society was organized to promote the art of calligraphy in seminaries across the country.
     
    Organized by the Art and Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality and the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Office of Qom Seminary, the exhibit will be running for 10 days at the museum located on Esfandiar Blvd., near the intersection with Vali-e Asr Ave. in northern Tehran.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The Iranian director of “The Past”, Asghar Farhadi, who has made the family drama outside of his homeland, has said that a change in his environment does not make him a different filmmaker.

     
    “The result would be the same if I made it in any other place,” he told the Persian service of ISNA in Cannes on Tuesday.
     
    He is currently in the city to promote the French-language film during the Cannes Film Festival.
     
    After some brief cuts, Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance granted the film a permit to be screened in the country.
     
    “The modifications are very minor,” Farhadi said and added, “For me, screening of this film in Iran is more important than the screenings of my previous films, because I have made this film outside of the country and I do not want to lose my connection with Iranian filmgoers over this fact.” 
     
    Farhadi denied some critics’ claim that he made the film in a manner to obtain the approval of the Iranian cultural officials for screening of the film in Iran.
      
    “I would have made the film in this manner even if I had not wanted it to be screened in Iran. This is the cinema I believe in,” he noted.
     
    The Iranian premiere of the film was scheduled to commence late this week, but it was postponed following Farhadi’s request. 
     
    He said that the copy of film available in Iran sent to the Culture Ministry was for review only and fell short of quality standards.
     
    “I understand the eagerness is there for seeing the film, but we must respect the filmgoers and show them a copy of it which is of sufficiently high quality,” he added.
     
    Starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa, the film is about an Iranian man, who has ongoing domestic problems with his French wife. He deserts her and his two children to go back to his homeland, Iran.
     
    Farhadi’s previous film “A Separation” won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a French César for best foreign film earlier in 2012 as well as Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2011.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The Iranian director of “The Past”, Asghar Farhadi, who has made the family drama outside of his homeland, has said that a change in his environment does not make him a different filmmaker.

     
    “The result would be the same if I made it in any other place,” he told the Persian service of ISNA in Cannes on Tuesday.
     
    He is currently in the city to promote the French-language film during the Cannes Film Festival.
     
    After some brief cuts, Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance granted the film a permit to be screened in the country.
     
    “The modifications are very minor,” Farhadi said and added, “For me, screening of this film in Iran is more important than the screenings of my previous films, because I have made this film outside of the country and I do not want to lose my connection with Iranian filmgoers over this fact.” 
     
    Farhadi denied some critics’ claim that he made the film in a manner to obtain the approval of the Iranian cultural officials for screening of the film in Iran.
      
    “I would have made the film in this manner even if I had not wanted it to be screened in Iran. This is the cinema I believe in,” he noted.
     
    The Iranian premiere of the film was scheduled to commence late this week, but it was postponed following Farhadi’s request. 
     
    He said that the copy of film available in Iran sent to the Culture Ministry was for review only and fell short of quality standards.
     
    “I understand the eagerness is there for seeing the film, but we must respect the filmgoers and show them a copy of it which is of sufficiently high quality,” he added.
     
    Starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa, the film is about an Iranian man, who has ongoing domestic problems with his French wife. He deserts her and his two children to go back to his homeland, Iran.
     
    Farhadi’s previous film “A Separation” won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a French César for best foreign film earlier in 2012 as well as Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2011.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- A rare copy of a manuscript containing supplications attributed to Imam Ali (AS) was unveiled during a ceremony at Tehran’s Malek Museum and Library on Thursday.
     
    The copy was donated by the master of calligraphy Mojtaba Malekzadeh, director of the museum Mohammad-Mojtaba Hosseini said at the opening ceremony on Thursday.
     
    Moreover, an exhibition of a collection donated by the private collector Ali Hojjatzad was opened in the side section.
     
    The collection included a selection of rare manuscripts of the Holy Quran, marriage certificates, and copies of telegrams.
     
    Art and Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality director Amir Khorakian and author Erfan Nazar-Ahari also participated in the opening ceremony.
     
    The museum is located on Imam Khomeini Street.
     
    RM/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- A novel based on the life of the Persian epic poet Ferdowsi has recently been published.
     
    Written by the Iranian litterateur Mir Jalaleddin Kazazi, the book entitled “The Child of Iran” has been published by Moin. 
     
    “The novel is based on three sources,” Kazazi said in a press release.
     
    Ferdowsi’s magnum opus Shahnameh and some other works of classical Persian literature are two of the sources, he added.
     
    For the third source, he has used his own imagination to give coherence to the story, which he said has been written in literary and artistic language.
     
    Ferdowsi is famous for his Shahnameh, which has remained one of the most popular works in the Persian-speaking world for nearly 1000 years.  
     
    Completed in 1010, the Shahnameh is a poem of nearly 60,000 verses. Ferdowsi versified and updated the story of Iran to the downfall of the Sassanid Empire (mid-7th century).
     
    SB/YAW/HG
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- Tehran’s Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art is playing host to an exhibition of photos of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, which is known as the Sacred Defense in Iran.
     
    The exhibition opened on Wednesday displaying a collection of 40 photos taken by Saeid Hajikhani, Persian news websites reported on Friday.
     
    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hajikhani said that he has tried to depict the bravery of the Iranian soldiers and their praiseworthy resistance against the enemy.
     
    These photos give us a real insight into the activities of the soldiers during the war, and centers on their daily activities such as praying, reading books, and watching films, director of the Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defense Society Mohammad Hossein Heidari said at the opening ceremony.
     
    He added that usually in war photos, a variety of war equipment is observed, which reflect hatred but these photos focus on humanistic relations between the people and reveal the beauty and kindness in their interactions.
     
    Moreover, Hajikhani also said that he and other war photographers are planning to publish a collection of their photos of war in a book.
     
    Some of the soldiers whose photos are on display were invited to attend the opening ceremony to renew their old memories.
     
    The exhibit will be running for one month at the museum, which is located at 64 Mozaffar Bros. St., off Taleqani Ave., near Felestin Square.
     
     
    RM/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian filmmaker Mohammad-Ali Sajjadi, who is famous for his thrillers, has said that he is alive with painting nowadays.
     
    Over the past few years, he has shifted gears to painting due to Iran’s current downturn in the motion picture industry.
     
    Certain cineastes have been allowed to make movies on biased themes over the in these years.
     
    “I am still interested in cinema but I did not want to make films at any price in honor of cinema,” he told the Persian service of MNA on Thursday.
     
    “I feel good now. I am really excited by painting. In this situation that the Iranian cinema has declined, painting keeps me alive,” he added.
     
    “The Fire of Siavosh”, his latest series inspired by a story from the Shahnameh, the masterpiece of the Persian epic poet Ferdowsi, was put on display in an exhibition at a gallery in the northern Iranian city of Babolsar. The exhibition came to an end yesterday.
     
    He said that the collection is a sequel to his “Siavoshan”, which was showcased in an exhibit at Tehran’s Shams Galley in October 2012.
     
    He stated that Ferdowsi and his work have been ignored in Iran and added that Iranian officials have referred to the Shahnameh “opportunistically” when they want to stir the national chauvinism.
     
    “This is sad that we do not have an outstanding film on the stories of the Shahnameh of which we can be proud,” he lamented.
     
     
    MMS/YAW
    END
     

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    TERHAN – Hava, an ensemble which performs Iran’s Qashghai nomadic music, performed two concerts in Sweden and Denmark last week.
     
    Copenhagen’s Culturen Center hosted the ensemble led by Parvin Bahmani on Friday. The band previously performed a center in Gothenburg in Sweden early last week.
     
    The band features Damun Sheshdangi on naqqareh, tonbak and dayereh, Arash Azizi on tar and kamancheh, and Azita Sheshboluki on setar.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The celebrated Iranian vocalist Homayun Shajarian will perform a concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 22.
     
    The Siavash Ensemble will accompany the singer in the concert, which has been organized by Pars Media and several other Iranian organizations, Pars Media announced on its website.
     
    Tickets for the concert will be selling online on the Pars Media website on June 1.
     
    Moreover, Shajarian is scheduled to give a concert today at the Festival Mawazine in Rabat, Morocco.
     
    Musician brothers Sohrab and Tahmures Purnazeri, and percussionist Hossein Rezainia will accompany him during the concerts.
     
    The Purnazeri brothers will perform on the tar, tanbur (tambura), barbat and kamancheh during the concert.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- “Needle” by Iranian director Anahita Qazvinizadeh has won the first prize at Cannes’ Cinefondation.
     
    Qazvinizadeh, a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, won €15,000. As the first prize winner, she will have the opportunity to present her feature debut at the festival, organizers announced on Friday.
     
    The short film “Needle” is about a girl who goes to have her ears pierced, provoking a quarrel between her parents that overwhelms the situation. 
     
    New Zealand-born screenwriter and producer Jane Campion presided over the jury of Cinefondation this year.
     
    Second prize was awarded to “Waiting for the Thaw”, directed by Sarah Hirtt, a student at Insas in Belgium. 
     
    Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s “In the Fishbowl” from Romania’s UNATC and Matus Vizar’s “Pandas” from the Czech Republic’s FAMU shared third prize.
     
    Each year the Cinéfondation selects fifteen to twenty shorts and medium-length films presented by film schools from all over the world. This year it selected 18 student films chosen from nearly 1500 entries coming from 277 film schools. 
     
    The 66th Cannes Film Festival, which opened May 15, will come to an end today.
     
    RM/YAW/HG
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- A collection of short philosophical stories by Dutch children’s writer Stijn Moekaars has been published in Persian in Tehran.

     
    “Bear and Bee” (“Bär und Biene”) comprises 60 stories, which were published in two volumes in 2004 and 2006. 
     
    Translator Parisa Barzandeh renamed the collection “Wisdom Stone” for the Persian rendition, which has been published by Davayer publishing company.
     
    The stories are based on a friendly conversation between a bee and a bear.
     
    The first volume contains stories about the principles of life philosophy and second volume explains those principles more widely, Barzandeh told the Persian service of MNA on Saturday.
     
    Notions like friendship, quest, selection and sadness are discussed in the book.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    High-ranking officials in Iran’s film industry have praised “The Past”, Iranian Oscar winning director Asghar Farhadi’s latest drama that was shot in France.

     
    “I admire Farhadi,” Iran Cinema Organization Director Javad Shamaqdari told Honaronline, a Persian news website on Thursday.
     
    “I really liked his film and it is appreciated that he has not been affected by the change in his environment,” he added.
     
    He said that “The past” is a completely Iranian film, which is respectful to the country and added, “Farhadi is an honor for us in the filmmaking field.”
     
    The director of Iran’s Experimental and Documentary Film Center said that “The Past” is the most respectful film that he saw at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
     
    “Due to its respect for moral values, Farhadi’s ‘The Past’ is an outstanding film,” Shafi Aqamohammadian told the Persian service of MNA on Friday in a phone interview from Cannes.
     
    “The film is also strong on technique and structure,” he added.
     
    Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has compared “The Past” with Farhadi’s previous film “A Separation” and said that he liked “A Separation” more.
     
    “‘A Separation’ is more adaptable to our culture and it is easily explicable,” Mohammad Hosseini said on the sidelines of a press conference on Thursday.
     
    Starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa, “The Past” is Farhadi’s first film, which was shot outside his homeland.
     
    Iran’s Culture Ministry has granted a permit for the premiere of the film in the country. It is among the top ten most anticipated movies at the Cannes Film Festival, which wraps up today.
     
    “A Separation” won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a French César for best foreign film earlier in 2012 as well as Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2011.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The first meeting of the Art and Cultural Organization of Persian Speaking Countries will be held in Tehran today.
     
    Representatives from member countries of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan are scheduled to discuss two proposals by Afghanistan and Tajikistan during the meeting, Afghanistan Voice Agency (AVA) reported on Saturday.
     
    Afghanistan Minister of Information and Culture Makhdoom Raheen has suggested the organization hold an educational course for book experts of Afghanistan in Iran. However the proposal has already been accepted by the Iran National Library and Archives (INLA).
     
    Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan Mirzoshohruh Asrori has also asked the organization to help register the name of Persian poet of the 14th century Mir Syed Ali Hamdani on UNESCO’s calendar of events for 2015.
     
    Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini and Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan Mirzoshohruh Asrori announced the establishment of the Art and Cultural Organization of Persian Speaking Countries after signing an agreement at the 26th Tehran International Book Fair in early May.
     
    Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan established the organization to be a center for art and cultural collaboration among Persian speaking nations.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iran National Library and Archives (INLA) and Shanghai Library will be expanding their cultural relations based on an agreement signed between the libraries’ officials in Tehran on Sunday.
     
    INLA Director Es’haq Salahi and Shanghai Library Deputy Director He Yi met at INLA and discussed expansion of cultural relations, INLA announced in press release.
     
    Speaking at the meeting, Salahi described the Shanghai Library as one of the richest libraries in the region.
     
    He also said that INLA is home to many books on China and its history.
     
    He Yi also said that the agreement will help familiarize the Chinese nation with the rich literature and literary works of Iran.
     
    He added that Ferdowsi and Sadi do not belong to Iran only, they belong to the people across the world, and this agreement will help introduce the great Persian poets to the people of China.
     
    He also expressed his hope that the people of Iran and China will become more familiar with the rich culture of both countries with better programming.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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  • 05/26/13--08:43: Art news in brief
  • Iran’s “Trucker and the Fox” heading to Polish filmfest
     
    TEHRAN -- The Iranian documentary “Trucker and the Fox” will compete in the Krakow Film Festival, which will be held in Poland from May 26 to June 2.
     
    Directed by Arash Lahuti, the doc chronicles the life of Mahmud Kiani Falavarjani, a documentarian who does not have any academic education and is a trucker.
     
    Screenings of the documentary have been scheduled for May 29 and June 1.
     
     
    “A Cube of Sugar” to go on screen at French festival 
     
    TEHRAN -- The Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi’s family drama “A Cube of Sugar” will go on screen at the 8th edition of Cinéalma, a film festival which will held in Nice, France from October 11 to 20.
     
    In “A Cube of Sugar”, members of a large family come together in a happy friendly atmosphere to make preparations for their youngest sister’s engagement party. However, a series of bad news ruins everything planned.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Oscar winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest family drama “The Past” won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, organizers announced on Saturday.

     
    The film is about an Iranian man, who has ongoing domestic problems with his French wife. He deserts her and his two children to go back to his homeland, Iran.
     
    “How do we take responsibility for our past mistakes? In a thriller style, the director shows the daily life of a stepfamily, where everyone’s secrets and the complex relationships gradually disentangle. A dense, deep and engaging film that illustrates this verse: ‘The truth will make you free’ (John, 8:32),” the jury wrote in a press release.
     
    The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury is an independent film award, which was established in 1974 by Christian filmmakers, critics and other film professionals.
     
    “It honours works of artistic quality which bear witness to the power of films to reveal the mysterious depths of human beings through what concerns them, their hurts and failings as well as their hopes,” the group wrote in its constitution.
     
    The Ecumenical Jury is composed of 6 members who are nominated by SIGNIS for the Catholics and Interfilm for the Protestants.
     
    SIGNIS and Interfilm also appoint ecumenical juries at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and several other film festivals.
     
    Farhadi’s “A Separation” also won the prize at Berlin International Film Festival in 2011.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – The Iranian actor/director and theater scholar, Qotbeddin Sadeqi, plans to publish Persian translations of four plays by world celebrated playwrights in the near future.

     
    “Ajax” by Sophocles and “The Seven against Thebes” by Aeschylus are two of the plays.
     
    “War on the Third Floor” by Czech-born Austrian playwright Pavel Kohout is also among the plays. 
     
    The other one is “The Battle/Medea”, which is a combination of German playwright Heiner Müller’s “The Battle: Scenes from Germany” and “Medea Material”.
     
    The plays were directed by Sadeqi in various theaters of Iran over the past decade.
     
    “The Battle/Medea”, which was staged at Tehran’s Molavi Hall in May 2010, was warmly welcomed by theater aficionados.  
     
    All the plays will be published by Qatreh Publications.
     
    SB/YAW
    END
     

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