The curtain fell on this year’s edition, on Thursday, 26 April. Vahdat Hall hosted the awards ceremony, attended by Iranian and international filmmakers and guests.
The high-ranking officials in attendance were: Culture Minister Abbas Salehi, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, Head of Cinema Organization Mohammad Mehdi Heydarian, Head of Farabi Cinema Foundation Alireza Tabesh, Head of Roudaki Foundation Ali Akbar Safipour, American director Oliver Stone, and Cambodian director Rithy Panh.
Addressing the ceremony, Festival Director Mirkarimi said: I’m here to brief you on my three years of work as festival director. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, my managers and everyone else who helped make this a reality. Without their much-needed support we wouldn’t be where we are now.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Mirkarimi thanked the press and the press and the media for covering festival news for a week: I’d like to even thank those who criticized the way things were run during the annual event. It shows how important the festival was to them as well. Thank you.
This year, the Peace Award went to Rithy Panh. After the announcement by presenter Rambod Javan, Oliver Stone was asked to come on the stage to present the award.
Stone said: I should present an award right now and you all know who the winner is. My friend worked for a long period of time and in difficult conditions to make his motion picture. I’m honoured to present Rithy Panh with the Peace Award.
To present the Mohammad Al Ameen Award, Culture Minister Salehi also went to the stage. After presenting Iranian director Majid Majidi with the prestigious award, the minister said: Iran is recognized in the world by its culture, poetry and art. Ture, there are many who are trying to show a distorted image from Iran, but there are also many others like Iranian poets, artists and filmmakers who are making every effort to show the real image of Iran to the world; the way it was, is and must be.
Minister Salehi added: I’d like to thank you all for showing the real image of Iran to the world. I’d like to thank those who have been working behind the scenes to organize efficiently the Fajr International Film Festival for four years now. I’d also like to thank all our international guests who attended the 2018 series.
The most anticipated moment of the awards ceremony included live music performances by Iranian contemporary tenors Shahram Nazeri and Hafez Nazeri.
Check out the full list of winners below:
International Competition (Cinema Salvation)
Best Film: Milko Lazarov, Aga (Bulgaria, Germany, France)
Best Director: Alexey German Jr., Dovlatov (Russia, Poland, Serbia)
Best Script: Ramtin Lavafi, Hattrick (Iran)
Best Actor: Leon Lucev, The Miner (Slovenia, Croatia)
Best Actress: Mahoor Alvand, Hattrick (Iran)
Special Jury Prize: Richard Kendrick, Cinematographer, Song of Granite (Ireland, Canada)
Best Short Film: Faith, Tatiana Fedorovskaya (Russia)
Special Mention: Mr. Deer, Mojtaba Mousavi (Iran)
The Cinema Salvation – International Competition Jury: Joanna Kos-Krauze (Poland), Milcho Manchevski (Macedonia), Dimitri Athanitis (Greece), Adoor Gopalakrishnan (India), Giovanni Spagnoletti (Italy), Mahmoud Kalari (Iran), Merila Zarei (Iran).
Asian Film Awards
Best Asian Film: Father and Son, Dung Ding Loung (Vietnam)
Best Asian Director: Maryam Bahrololumi, Patio (Iran)
Best Short Film: Pedavore, Mohammad Kart (Iran)
Eastern Vista – Panorama of Films from Asian and Islamic Countries Jury: Salome Demuria (Georgia), Suhan Pansha (Malaysia), Ahmet Boyagioglu (Turkey), Ammar Jamal (Iraq), Farhad Aslani (Iran)
Grain, Semih Kaplanoglu (Turkey, Germany, France, Sweden, Qatar)
Interfaith Competition Jury: Valerie De Marnhac (France), Thomas Kroll (Germany), Mohammad-Reza Zaeri (Iran)
Hendi & Hormoz, Abbas Amini (Iran)
NETPAC Jury: Raman Chawla (India), Asif Rustamov (Azerbaijan), Habib Ahmadzadeh (Iran)
Best First Film Award
Dressage, Pooya Badkoobeh (Iran)
First Film Jury: Viera Langerova (Slovakia), Barmak Akram (Afghanistan), Mohammad Ali Bashe Ahangar (Iran)
Muhammad Al Ameen Award
Majid Majidi, Beyond the Clouds (India)
Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement: Rithy Panh (Cambodia)
Honorary Diploma: The Miner, Hanna Slack (Slovenia, Croatia)
With director Reza Mirkarimi at helm of 2018, Fajr Filmfest heralded stronger comebacks from Asia, Europe and Middle East. Whatever one says of Middle East cinema and its power rankings, the region’s best and most powerful showcase for cinema is, has been, and for all foreseeable time will be this festival, which runs in Charsou Cineplex and other venues in in the Iranian capital until April 27.