Art and Experience: Iranian filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei has received this year’s True Vision Award at the True/False Film Festival, an annual documentary festival, held in the city of Columbia, Missouri, the US, March 3-6.
The only award at the festival, the True Vision Award was given to Oskouei, the thirteenth recipient of this honor, in honor of his achievement in, and contribution to, the field of nonfiction filmmaking, reported.
Oskouei participated in the event with his newest film, ‘Starless Dreams’, and a selection of his previous works were also screened during the four-day festival.
‘Starless Dreams’ is an intimate portrayal of the lives of seven girls at a rehabilitation center in Tehran. The movie is the final piece in a documentary trilogy that includes ‘It’s Always Late for Freedom’ (2008) and ‘The Last Days of Winter’ (2011), all of which explore questions of crime and delinquency among Iranian youth.
“His talent is in listening closely to the stories of the ignored and marginalized and then transforming them into something beautiful,” the festival programmer Pamela Cohn said about Oskouei.
Describing his filmmaking style, the Iranian director said: “My responsibility as a filmmaker, along with aiding in positive and effective social changes, is to increase public awareness. I am convinced that a documentary filmmaker should at times show images of human suffering with the hope of putting an end to such pains. All my films have been made with this firm belief.”
Last month he won the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) jointly with the Italian director Gianfranco Rosi.
Oskouei, 46, is a director, producer, screenwriter and instructor of documentary films. So far, he has made eight films which have been shown in over 20 international festivals, and won some awards as well.