Iran honors filmmaker loyal to children

August 25, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Iranian director Ebrahim Foruzesh, who Abbas Kiarostami said was loyal to the children’s film genre, was honored during a ceremony on Wednesday evening at Tehran’s Honar Cultural Center.

A number of Iranian cineastes and film critics, including Kiumars Purahmad, Ali-Akbar Sadeqi, and Ahmad Talebinejad, attended the ceremony sponsored by the Municipality’s Art and Culture Organization in collaboration with the Shahr Image Development Institute.
A number of disabled people from Tehran’s Kahrizak Home for the Disabled and Elderly also attended the program.
During the ceremony, Ashraf Bahadorzadeh, the director of the Kahrizak Home for the Disabled and Elderly, said the institution was introduced to the world through Foruzesh’s documentaries.
“The story began 16 years ago when Kahrizak was in a desperately poor state. Thus I asked Kiarostami to help us by making films about the institution,” Bahadorzadeh said.
“Kiarostami was very busy with his frequent trips abroad, so he introduced us to Foruzesh to do the work,” she added.
“Now Kahrizak is not like what it was in the past. He made the films, which were very helpful and full of emotion. I thank Kiarostami for introducing him to us,” she said.
Foruzesh made his debut film “The Key” in 1987. The feature-length film, whose screenplay was written by Kiarostami, won the Grand Prix at the EntreVues, the Belfort International Film Festival in France.
His “The Jar” (1992) received the International Jury Award at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival as well as the Golden Leopard of the Locarno International Film Festival.
Foruzesh has also directed “The Little Man” (2000) and “Children of Petroleum” (2001), which won several prizes at Iranian and international events.
“He has prepared a treasury for future generations with his works,” filmmaker Purahmad said.
“He taught me that cinema has high values and also taught me how I should use these values,” he added.
“‘The Key’ and ‘The Jar’ are his good films. He is one of the directors who have resolutely stayed true to the children’s filmmaking genre,” critic and filmmaker Talebinejad said.
“He has an idealistic view… and his devotion to Iran can really be recognized in his works, which have no pretension whatsoever,” he explained.
Later in the ceremony, “My Share Is This”, a documentary on Foruzesh, was screened.
“What is my share in Iranian cinema?” asked Foruzesh at the presentation ceremony.
“A small share, and I don’t know what will happen to it in the future. Anyway, I hope to stay on the humanitarian path and I believe in it,” he replied.
“He is an exceptional filmmaker, who is very different than the others. He has remained loyal to the children’s genre in his films for years, and I thank the Tehran Municipality for holding this ceremony,” said Kiarostami, who presented the award to Foruzesh