"Snow on Pines"
Peiman Mo’adi is famous for his parts in two of Asghar Farhadi’s films, About Elli (2009) and Nader and Simin: A Separation (2011). Before acting, he wrote screenplays for such films as Swan Song, Coma, Thirst, Wedding Dinner, and Café Setareh all of which were among bestsellers. Mo’adi has also made two short films and has started making his new feature, Snow on Pines, since late March. He is specifically interested in directing. He had set aside one of his screenplays, Hawk, for himself since many years ago, but the screenplay which reflected on social issues was turned down by Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
"Kissing the Face of the Moon"
Homayoun As’adian made Gold and Cooper last year which drew a lot of critical acclaim. The idea for this eighth film has come from producer of Gold and Cooper, Manouchehr Mohammadian. This is the third film by As’adian after Gold and Cooper and Ten-Digits which is produced by Manouchehr Mohammadi. Production of Kissing the Face of the Moon started in early April and continued for 45 sessions. The screenplay has been written by As’adian. Unlike his past works which were about young people, the new film focuses on two old women who are neighbors and who have been waiting for 20 years for their sons to come back from the warfronts.
Khosrow Ma’soumi started his film career with Meeting some 25 years ago. His most important work is a collection of films he has made on wood smuggling in northern Iranian forests: Tradition of Killing the Lovers (2002), A Faraway Place (2005) and The Wind Twists in the Meadow (2007). Excessive felling of trees in the Iranian forests is a major environmental concern which has sometimes turned criminal and forest guards have been killed by smugglers. Ma’soumi has focused on that violence in his films. His new work, The Bear, is his tenth feature which is also about the same subject. A young cleric who is also a carpenter has been away for many years during Iran-Iraq war. Back at his village, he is told that a wood smuggler nicknamed Bear has damaged his house.
Documentary film channel
A documentary film channel was launched about a year ago, but increased both in quality and quantity from the beginning of the spring 2011. Documentary films followed no specific schedule in the Iranian TV and every channel had its own schedule, which sometimes included documentary items (that still continue). Channel 4, which is known as scientific channel and whose programs are special to the educated and specialist people, has been more focused on documentary films. The new channel, however, has made airing documentary films more regular. Based on opinion polls conducted by the channel, 80 percent of the audience has been satisfied with its programs.
Abbas Kiarostami Holds Photo Exhibition
An exhibition of Abbas Kiarostami’s photos was held in May at Deh Gallery of Tehran with “wall” as the main theme. A book containing photos was also sold on the sidelines of the exhibition. Kiarostami had already held photo exhibitions on such subjects as snow, trees, roads, doors and rain-covered windows. He tries to discover new things in his photos. Under ordinary conditions, such photos may not attract attention. However, Kiarostami’s artistic work in recoding them has helped viewers to discover aesthetic elements which are usually hidden. For example, a concrete wall covered by shadows of tree leaves creates attractive contrast. The photos have been taken by Kiarostami in Iran, Italy, and France and have been, thus far, showcased in Canada and France.
Screening Foreign Films in Iran
Public screening of foreign films has been very limited in Iran following the Islamic Revolution for two reasons. Firstly, most officials considered such films as being un-Islamic and immoral and incompatible with political model of the Iranian government. Secondly, screening foreign films would have barred people from watching Iranian movies and this would have damaged the nascent post-revolution cinema. Therefore, government swayed monopoly over purchasing and screening foreign films, but that policy has also waxed and waned in the past three decades.
Three bears for one film
Since About Elli, which was made by Asghar Farhadi two years ago, had won a silver bear for the best directing from Berlin Film Festival, many people looked forward to seeing the achievement of his next film, Nader and Simin: A Separation, in the 61st edition of the same festival. Few, however, expected so many prizes that it actually won: a golden bear for the best film, a silver bear for the actor and another silver bear for the actress. This proved that Farhadi’s new film had greatly appealed to Berlin Film Festival’s jury. Farhadi did not expect the foreign audience to understand the film as Iranians do because parts of it are based on pure Iranian customs and beliefs. However, the totally human idea which formed the core of the movie greatly appealed to both the judges and festival’s directors. Nader and Simin: A Separation also won many prizes from Fajr International Film Festival.
Battle on Facebook
Every new year in Iran starts with spring and a celebration called Norouz. Film screening in Norouz is of high importance because there is high enthusiasm among people to go to movie theaters because of long holidays. The two top items on spring screening list this year included The Deportees 3 (Massoud Dehnamaki) and Nader and Simin: A Separation (Asghar Farhadi). The Deportees 1, which had been already screened in Norouz holidays, was the bestselling movie in the whole history of the Iranian cinema. High sales of the second episode had increased hope that the third episode would be also a blockbuster. The Deportees trilogy is about a group of hoodlums, thieves and addicts who go to the warfronts with Iraq in the first episode. In the second episode, they are taken into captivity by Iraqis and in the third episode they get involved in presidential election.