Political drama “Midday Event” named best at Fajr Film Festival

February 10, 2017

TEHRAN – “The Midday Event”, a political drama that features the terrorist atrocity of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization in Iran of the 1980s, has been crowned best at the 35th Fajr Film Festival.

Producer Mahmud Razavi received his award from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a closing ceremony held at Tehran’s Milad Tower on Thursday night.

In his acceptance speech, he called on the cast and crew to come on stage to share his happiness over the success.

“I thank Mr. Ayyubi [the director of the Cinema Organization of Iran] for not disappointing the guys so that they will continue making films next year,” he said.

Leila Hatami speaks after accepting the award for best actress for her role in “Rag-e Khab” during the 35th Fajr Film Festival at Tehran’s Milad Tower on February 9, 2017. She shared the award with Merila Zarei (R) for her role in “Under the Smoky Roof”. (IRNA/Abdollah Heidari)

The film also won the audience Crystal Simorgh and the award for best film from the national point of view. In addition, Behzad Jafari-Tadi received the Crystal Simorgh for best set and costume designer for his collaboration in the movie.

“I think that we received the major prize of the festival,” director Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian said after accepting the audience Crystal Simorgh.

The best director award went to Vahid Jalilvand for “Without Date, Without Signature”.

Mohsen Tanabandeh holds his award after receiving the Crystal Simorgh for best actor for his role in “Ferrari” during the 35th Fajr Film Festival at Tehran’s Milad Tower on February 9, 2017. (IRNA/Abdollah Heidari)

After accepting his award Jalilvand, who previously worked for Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), accused IRIB’s cinema program Haft of provoking hostility among filmmakers.

“You tried to create division among us, but we like each other,” Jalilvand said addressing Haft host Behruz Afkhami and the program’s permanent guest, critic Masud Farasati.

The attack on IRIB continued when veteran filmmaker Alireza Davudnejad came on stage to receive the special jury award for “Ferrari”, about a young ambitious girl who moves from a remote Iranian town to Tehran just to pose with a luxurious Ferrari for photos.

“I am really sorry for the IRIB’s hostile trend towards cinema,” he said and expressed his hope that IRIB would stop this tendency.

Navid Mohammadzadeh delivers a speech after accepting the Crystal Simorgh for best supporting actor for his role in “Without Date, Without Signature”. (IRNA/Abdollah Heidari) 

Ferrari” also brought Kabuzia Partovi the Crystal Simorgh for best screenwriter while the film’s star Mohsen Tanabandeh received the best actor award for the portrayal of a taxi driver. 

The best first-film director award was presented to Monir Qeidi for her debut feature film “The Villa Tenants” that focuses wives of Iranian commanders during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

Christophe Rezai holds the Crystal Simorgh for best composer he received for his collaboration in “Negar”. (IRNA/Abdollah Heidari)

 
In addition, Sorayya Qasemi won the best supporting actress award for her role in the drama. However, neither Qeidi nor Qasemi attended the closing ceremony in protest over the jury’s allegedly poor decision on nominations.

Navid Mohammadzadeh won the Crystal Simorgh for best supporting actor for his role in “Without Date, Without Signature”.

He asked Iranian cineastes to respect the jury’s decision even if they didn’t receive any nomination.

The best actress award was shared by Merila Zarei for her role in “Under the Smoky Roof” and Leila Zarei for “Rag-e Khab”.

Following is the list of other winners of the festival, which is Iran’s most important film event: 

Best editor: Sohrab Khosravi for “The Hot Summer”. 

Best director of cinematography: Hooman Behmanesh for “The Hot Summer”. 

Best makeup artist: Iman Omidvari for “Under the Smoky Roof”. 

Best composer: Christophe Rezai for “Negar”. 

Best sound engineer: Parviz Abnar for “Ferrari”. 

Best sound effects engineer: Alireza Alavian for “Without Date, Without Signature”.

Best practical special effects supervisor: Arash Aqabeik for “Stuffiness”, “Rag-e Khab” and “A Special Day”. 

Best computerized special effects supervisor: Mohammad Qasemi for “The Villa Tenants”.

Best documentary: “20th Circuit Suspects” directed by Hesam Eslami.

Best documentary director: Yaser Kkeir for “Slowly”. 

Best short film: “Retouch” directed by Kaveh Mazaheri.
 

Photo: Director Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian speaks after accepting the audience Crystal Simorgh for “The Midday Event” during the 35th Fajr Film Festival at Tehran’s Milad Tower on February 9, 2017. She shared the award with Merila Zarei (R) for her role in “Under the Smoky Roof”. (IRNA/Abdollah Heidari)
 

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