He received the honor for his acclaimed directorial debut “The Situation of Mehdi”, which depicts part of the life story of Mehdi Bakeri, the chief of IRGC 31st Shura Division that carried out several major operations during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, and his brother Hamid.
The academy established the IAA Plaque of Glory in 2021 to recognize an outstanding work recently done by an artist.
After director Majid Majidi, Hejazifar is the second artist that has received the decoration. Majidi received the plaque for his latest movie “Sun Children” about child labor.
“We should appreciate Mr. Hejazifar for recalling some issues that we had forgotten by making the film,” IAA director Bahman Namvar-Motlaq after watching “The Situation of Mehdi”.
“The film will be studied in narrative, semiotics and several other issues, and the results will be published in a book in the future,” he added.
“Art essentially exaggerates facts to represent events that normally happen in daily life, however, the issue of martyrdom and the Sacred Defense do not need any exaggeration. Martyrdom is an art in itself, and we all should know that all other arts can never surpass the art of martyrdom, because it carries numerous meanings and is truly miraculous,” Namvar-Motlaq stated.
In his short speech, IAA deputy director Ali-Akbar Salehi also said, “We do not want to transform the life story of Martyr Bakeri into a legend, because he and other persons like him are the reality and the truth taken from the history of our nation.”
In his acceptance speech, Hejazifar referred to the shooting of his film on location in Abadan and expressed his sympathy with the families of the victims of the collapse of the Metropol Building in the southwestern Iranian city.
He also went on to declare his intention to make the film and said, “Many persons in my family, including my father and uncles, were serving in the 31st Shura Division. When I went to the University of Tehran, my father asked me to make a film about the life story of Mr. Mehdi.”
He said that people from every walk of life joined together to defend their country during the war and express his hope that his film could bring the hearts of the country’s people closer together.
“The Situation of Mehdi” premiered in February at the 40th Fajr Film Festival and won the Crystal Simorghs for best film and best directorial debut at Iran’s most important film event.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei also praised the war drama for its “accurate details and true narrative.”