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Kiarostami, A Man Whom Iranian Cinema Is Proud Of

May 9, 2013 | By

Abbas Kiarostami proved that cinema does not need heavy cameras, negative and costs for scene or super stars with million dollars contracts.

The history of religions shows that most prophets were appointed and then led their followers in their middle ages.  Abbas Kiarostami also got his global fame while he was a middle aged director and truly, he could affect the most on younger Iranian directors.

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Abbas Kiarostami won Golden Palm award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for Taste of Cherry.

At that age, Kiarostami walked on the red carpets of several outstanding festivals and his name entered the list of best directors of world cinema. A director whom the world believed and had faith in his simple view about life.

Iranian photographer, graphist, author and director suddenly turned to be the idol of Iran cinema, after winning the gold palm in Cannes festival.  His photographs received gladly by audiences in Iranian and international galleries.

He published his own collection of Hafez and Sa’di poems and hit the best selling book records in Iran, while global success of his movies increased the huge number of his fans. These admirers are mostly young directors who seek the secret of his achievements and want to walk on the same road.

In the last two decades, no other Iranian director could ever touch on young Iranian directors. For them he was like a chevalier who could overcome all the hardship of directing commercial movies and show them lights of hope.

He proved that cinema does not need heavy cameras, negative and costs for scene or super stars with million dollars contracts.

Watching movies like Under the Olive Trees and Taste of Cherry, Iranian young directors understood that cinema can go on without super stars. Moreover, ABC Africa, Ten, and Five helped them to find out that the magic of cinema can be created by small digital cameras.

He was the pioneer of digital revolution in Iran. His behavior made young directors believe that only with a creative idea and one small digital camera, they can impress the world. But with all his creativity, Kiarostami was a double-edged sword.

Some learned from him then found their own ways and shined like a star in the sky of cinema including directors like Jafar Panahi, Bahman Ghobadi among others who were his assistants at the early steps. Even Niki Karimi in her first movie One Night, which was an acceptable one, was totally affected by Kiarostami.

On the other side, there were a huge number of youths seeking fame. They thought they can reach where he was in just one day by only copying his frames and directing style.

Unfortunately, a young generation entered Iranian cinema industry slowly, who has no idea but to reach the position of Kiarostami.

Hundreds of short films which were blind copies of Kiarostami, were made with no creativity. The sad point is that these copies were welcomed by several small and big world festivals and as a result more Iranians especially those youths from small cities were encouraged to do the same.

Abbas Kiarostami holds some workshops about directing. These workshops give his followers the chance to become familiar with his views. Some of his students became remarkable directors in the short film area. But regarding the high costs of these workshops, unfortunately, some attendants only try to show off and just talk about being his student.

Honestly, I have to admit that Kiarostami is the man who Iran’s Cinema is proud of. He shined like a star in the sky of World Cinema and got the respect because he had faith in his talents, abilities & look to both cinema and life.

Then I hope one day, those who copy his method, master pieces, and even those dark glasses understand that the only way to become a legend is being unique and original.

Taste of Cherry

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Marjan Riahi is the Founder & Manager of Short Film News, ( as the first news network on short films and documentaries in Iran & Asia. She graduated in Communications Science, Journalism branch from Islamic Azad University and then in Cinema Directing from Iranian Young Cinema Society (IYCS). Marjan is the Chairperson of Shorts Competition in 17th International Children’s Film Festival Golden Elephant in 2011 (India) and Chairperson of NETPAC in 15th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in 2011 (Estonia). Apart from this she is a jury in several international film festivals viz. Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in 2010 (France), 9th Third Eye Asian Film Festival in 2010 (India), 4th European Off Film Awards GRAND OFF in 2010 (Poland) etc. Apart from being a Journalist as well in Iranian newspapers and journals, she also directed a documentary on Iranian actresses called Directing Eternal Mothers in 2001
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