Asghar Farhadi repeats success at Berlinale
February 22, 2011
TEHRAN -- The Iranian family drama “Nader and Simin: A Separation” won the Golden Bear for the best film at the Berlin film festival on Saturday as its cast ensemble received the best actor and actress Silver Bears at the event.“It is a excellent opportunity to remember the people of my country, from whom I have learned much, and I have written their stories; the dear, great and patient people,” director Asghar Farhadi said during the award presentation ceremony of the movie gala.
Farhadi also commemorated fellow Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who was unable to accept Berlin’s invitation and sit on the main jury after being sentenced to six years in jail. He is banned from making movies or traveling abroad for 20 years.
He has been accused of inciting opposition protests in 2009 and making a film on events occurred after the Iranian presidential election in June 2009.
Hungarian director Bela Tarr won the Jury Grand Prix for “The Turin Horse” which is a slow-moving, bleak feature about a farmer and his daughter and the forsaken lives they live in a windswept, isolated house.
This year’s Silver Bear for the best director stayed at home in Germany as Ulrich Koehler won it for his “Sleeping Sickness”.
----Iran welcomes Berlinale winners----
Asghar Farhadi and members of “Nader and Simin” cast were warmly welcomed by Iran’s Farabi Cinematic Foundation director, Ahmad Miralaii, at the Imam Khomeini International Airport on Sunday.
“The film gained extraordinary entry into the Berlin festival as it won three Bears at the event,” Miralaii said.
“The Iranian cinema is proud of the awards,” he added.
Filmiran, the Iranian distributor of “Nader and Simin”, plans to celebrate the success of the film during a program, which will be held next week.
Farhadi had won the Silver Bear for best director at the 2009 Berlinale for his “About Elly”, which represented Iranian cinema in the foreign language Oscar category.
The Hollywood Reporter has predicted that Berlin’s big winner “Nader and Simin” is expected to turn up in next year’s foreign language Oscar category.
Photo: Director and producer Asghar Farhadi (L) receives a Golden Bear for the best film from Berlin film festival director Dieter Kosslick on February 19, 2011. (Photo by Mehr and Xinhua)