Winners of the festival, which was organized online due to the pandemic, were announced in a physical ceremony at the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA - Kanoon), the organization behind the event.

Canadian storyteller Shayna Jones and Iranian narrator Davud Reyhani also shared the runner-up prize, while Qamar Gholamian from Iran took third place in the international competition category.

Experienced Lebanese storyteller Sara Kasir was accompanied by Iranian media experts Mansur Zabetian and Giti Khameneh on the jury.

In a video call screened at the ceremony, Kasir said, “In my view, your festival was great. As an international storyteller, I attend many festivals and I always talk about your festival wherever I go. It is a professional event and I see your desire to listen to a story.”  

The jury also expressed its thanks to the Mumbai Storytellers Society for its contribution to the festival.

Maryam Zare’ came first in the national competition category, followed by Roya Havasbeigi. Faranak Hayati took third place. Leila Khalifeh-Saqqa won the special jury prize.

In the National Traditional and Folktale Competition, no one earned the first prize, but Hossein Gholami won second prize, while Shirin Keikhai won third place.

The final session of the festival was held on Yalda Night, which fell on December 21 this year, the last day of autumn, the evening of which is celebrated by Iranians as an ancient tradition. Storytelling by parents and grandparents is a key element of the celebration.

“We intend to cement the foundation of storytelling in the country by organizing this festival,” Kanoon managing director Mehdi Ali-Akbarzadeh said at the ceremony.

He added, “Storytelling can help improve parent-child relations and consequently helps to strengthen the foundation of families.” 

“Good stories train good children and storytelling helps to attract children and parents to reading,” Ali-Akbarzadeh noted. 

Dozens of overseas storytellers, including Patrick Mohr from Switzerland, Nor Azhar Ishak from Malaysia, Veronica Antipolo from Canada, Beatriz Quintana Valle from Cuba, participated in the festival.

Source:Tehran Times