Iran’s “Salesman” takes home Cannes awards for best actor, best screenplay

May 23, 2016

TEHRAN -- The Iranian cinema shone at the closing ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night as “The Salesman” by Asghar Farhadi received the awards for best screenplay and best actor, won by Shahab Hosseini.

The film, whose screenplay was also written by Farhadi, is about Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidusti) who move into a new flat in the center of Tehran. An incident linked to the previous tenant dramatically changes the young couple’s life.

“My films are not known for their joyfulness, so I’m very happy to have brought some joy to my people,” Farhadi said after accepting the award from jury members Valeria Golino and László Nemes at the Grand Theatre des Lumieres.

The film brought Hosseini the Palme d’Or for best actor, which was presented by panel members Kirsten Dunst and Katayun Shahabi.   

“I’d like to thank the jury, to thank Cannes and to thank Asghar who gave me back my confidence. I know that I owe this prize to my people. I dedicate it to them, with all my love, and with all my heart,” said Hosseini after receiving the award.

The film’s success at the prestigious event brought great joy to Iranian cineastes and millions of film aficionados in the country.

In thousands of messages published on social networks, the cineastes, including Payman Moaadi, the star Farhadi’s “A Separation” and Jafar Panahi, the winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 1995 for “The White Balloon”, congratulated him on the achievement. 

Executives of the Cinema Organization of Iran, the Iranian House of Cinema, the Farabi Cinema Foundation and some other Iranian organizations also sent messages of congratulations to Farhadi and his crew.

In a press conference held on Monday morning, Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance spokesman Hossein Nushabadi commented, “It has been a pleasure to see that our cinema has achieved such a high level of efficiency that it is able to rival those of the world.”

Also among the winners was veteran British directer Ken Loach who was honored for “I, Daniel Blake” with the Palme d’Or for best feature.

The Grand Prix went to “Juste la Fin du Monde” (“It’s Only the End of the World”) directed by Xavier Dolan from Canada.

Cristian Mungiu, Romanian director of “Bacalaureat” (“Graduation”) and Olivier Assayas, the French director of “Personal Shopper”, shared the award for best director.
 
The jury special prize was presented to “American Honey” by British director Andrea Arnold and Jaclyn Jose in “Ma’ Rosa” by Filipino director Brillante Mendoza won the best actress award. 

Photo: Director/writer Asghar Farhadi (L) and actor Shahab Hosseini pose after accepting the awards for best screenplay and best actor for “The Salesman” at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in the French city on May 22, 2016. 

MMS/YAW
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