Abbas Kiarostami, the late-great Iranian filmmaker, was honored with the WGA West’s 2017 Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement on February 19.
this prize recognizes an international writer who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of screenwriter.
Kiarostami, who died in July, was widely considered to be Iran’s greatest filmmaker. The prolific writer-director of such acclaimed films as "Close-Up", "The Wind Will Carry Us", and the "Koker" trilogy, his "Taste of Cherry" — which tells the story of a man who’s looking for someone to bury him after he commits suicide — won the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. His last completed film, "24 Frames", is in post-production and set to premiere at festivals later this year.
"Abbas Kiarostami was, as Martin Scorsese put it, ‘One of those rare artists with a special knowledge of the world,’" said WGA West president Howard A. Rodman. "As a founding father of the New Iranian Cinema, Kiarostami navigated tricky political and cultural terrains with courage and grace. Yet the impact of his work – and his life – is felt far outside the borders of his native land. Kiarostami’s films were fiction; were documentary, were transcendent. He expanded cinematic narrative for all of us, even as he raised the rhythms of ordinary life to the level of high art."
His son, Ahmad Kiarostami, accepted the award on his father’s behalf.