Four cineastes receive lifetime achievement awards at Iran Cinema Celebration

August 21, 2019

TEHRAN -- The organizers of the 21st Iran Cinema Celebration honored four influential figures in Iranian cinema for their lifetime achievements in a special ceremony on Tuesday night.

Stage and screen actor Akbar Zanjanpur, makeup artist Bijan Mohtashem, sound engineer Hassan Zahedi and director Sirus Alvand received lifetime achievement awards during the ceremony organized at the Eyvane Shams Hall.

Speaking at the ceremony, Iranian House of Cinema director Manuchehr Shahsavari called culture the field of friendship, respect and unity, and said ,”If an individual enters cinema without these, he/she will not succeed.”

“What gives us the opportunity to work in the field cinema, despite all these hardships, is our unity, and if we don’t take the time and have patience, the future of Iran’s cinema will be dark and painful,” he added. 

“Tonight is the night to feel relieved after 53 years of constant work,” Zanjanpur said after accepting his award.

“I am happy to be honored by my colleagues at the Iranian House of Cinema. Artists are lonely and this loneliness gives credit to an artist, and I am one of the lonely ones,” he added.

Mohtashem was the next honoree, and prominent make-up artist Abdollah Eskandari talked about Mohtashem on stage and said, “The history of make-up in Iranian cinema is mingled with Mohtashem. During those years when make-up had no meaning in cinema, Mohtashem went to the U.S. to learn the art and returned back home and trained many students, including me.”

“Tonight is a big honor for me to be beside masters of cinema. I must express thanks to those who I have worked with all these years,” Zahedi said on stage.

Alvand was the last who went on onstage to receive his lifetime achievement award. 

“Four nights are very important for me, one is my birthday night, the other is the night I married my only love Nahid Abbasi, the third was the night I received the best director award and the fourth surely is tonight,” Alvand concluded.

The Iranian House of Cinema organizes the celebration every year to commemorate Iran’s National Day of Cinema, which is September 12. However, this year’s celebration will be held a few weeks earlier due to its coincidence with the Muharram mourning season.

“When the Moon Was Full” and “Sheeple” led nominations at the 21st Iran Cinema Celebration, as each of the movies got the jury’s nods in 14 categories.

The movies are competing in best film, best director, best actor, best actress, best costume design, best stage design and several other categories.

Photo: From left to right art elites Hassan Zahedi, Sirus Alvand, Akbar Zanjanpur and Bijan Mohtashem pose for a photo with their lifetime achievement awards during the 21st Iran Cinema Celebration, August 20, 2019. (ISNA/ Borna Qasemi) 

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