Art and Experience: “Standing in the Dust”, a biopic on war hero Ahmad Motevasselian, has been crowned best film at the 18th Iran Cinema Celebration while “Life+1 Day”, a drama about poverty and drug abuse in Tehran, won seven awards, including best director.

“Standing in the Dust”, which also won the Crystal Simorgh for best film at the 34th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran earlier in February, tells the life story the Iranian commander who was kidnapped by the Zionist regime in 1982 in Lebanon.

“I dedicate this award to Ahmad Motevasselian, the national hero of our country,” producer Habibollah Vaalinejad said after accepting the award at the gala organized by the Iranian House of Cinema in Mashq Square in downtown Tehran on Monday night.

“As this film took a step in introducing Motevasselian, I hope we can also move another step in this way,” he added.

The film also brought Shahram Khalaj the award for best makeup artist and Iman Karamian the award for best special effects supervisor.

The best director award went to Saeid Rustai for “Life+1 Day” starring Peyman Moaadi and Navid Mohammadzadeh.

 

Rustai also received the award for best screenwriter and Moaadi won the best actor award for his role in “Life+1 Day”. The film also won the best supporting actor award for Mohammadzadeh.

Baran Kowsari won the best actress award and Fereshteh Sadr-Orafai received the best supporting actress award for their roles in director Hatef Alimardani’s drama “Binam Alley”.

The best cinematographer award was presented to Hooman Behmanesh for his collaboration in “A Dragon Arrives” directed by Mani Haqiqi while Bahram Dehqani received the best editor award for “Life+1 Day”.

The best composer award went to Karen Homayunfar for “Bodyguard” director Ebrahim Hatamikai’s political drama, which also won the award for best computerized special effects for Hadi Eslami.

Sound recording engineer Amin Mirshekari and costume designer Ghazaleh Motemed won awards for their collaboration in “Life+1 Day”.

“A Dragon Arrives” brought an award for its set designer Amir-Hossein Qodsi while the award for best sound effects engineer went to Arash Qasemi for “Sound and Fury” directed by Hooman Seyyedi.

The celebration is organized annually on the National Day of Cinema honoring the best productions of Iranian cinema in all categories.

Winners in the categories of animation, documentary and short films were announced over the two past weeks.

In addition, actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, producer Manuchehr Mohammadi, film expert Alireza Rezadad and cinema owner Mohammad Khadem received lifetime achievement awards on Saturday night at Tehran’s Eyvan Shams.

 Criticism, remembrance of Kiarostami dominate Iran Cinema Celebration

Remarks reflecting criticism, satire and remembrance of the recently deceased filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami dominated the award ceremony.

Referring to the lawsuit filed by Kiarostami’s family against his physicians, actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya who presented the best film award to Rustai said, “The tragic loss of Kiarostami has engulfed all of us.”

“We treat people’s souls and physicians cure people’s bodies, no problem will be settled if we bear the flag of enmity. We should try to find solutions for our problems; we should not seek to find the culprit. Physicians may make a mistake as we filmmakers may do so. We have forgotten over the years that we can solve our problems through dialogue with each other,” she added.

Pallet, an Iranian band performing a fusion of Iranian and pop music, also staged a performance in memory of Kiarostami as part of the celebration, while Moaadi, the winner of the best actor award, dedicated his award to Kiarostami.

In her acceptance speech, Kowsari, the winner of the best actress award, lamented, “This year in which Iranian cineastes were shamefully insulted, you people backed us and your support was very encouraging for us.”

Kowsari’s remarks referred to an article published by Ya Lesarat daily earlier in August, calling a number of Iranian actors and cineastes “cuckolds” following their appearance at the Hafez Awards ceremony with their wives wearing heavy makeup.