Thursday, April 19, 2018

36th Fajr International Film Festival 2018 kicked off-list of sections and Jury

Fajr International Film FestivalThe 36th Fajr International Film Festival kicked off Wednesday with the screening of A-lister Majid Majidi’s new film Beyond the Clouds. There are many other films to be screened at the Charsoo Cineplex – the Festival Palace – and many other theaters in Tehran in the next 9 days -19th to 27th April19th  

Festival Sections

Main Sections:

  • Cinema Salvation (International Competition)
  • Eastern Vista (Panorama of Films from Asian and Islamic Countries)
  • Cup of Divination (Festival of Festivals)
Parallel Sections:
  • Classics Preserved (Restored Historical Films)
  • Docs in Focus.
  • Magic Lantern (Midnight Screenings of Innovative Genre Films)
  • Broken Olive Branches (A Window to the Changes in the World of Islam Today)
  • Retrospective of Italian Cinema
  • Retrospective of Georgian Cinema
  • The 7th Hour
  • Market (For Film & TV Programs)
  • Special Screenings – Best of Countries
  • Special Screenings – Our World
  • With German Short Film Festivals


International Competition (Cinema Salvation) Jury

Giovanni Spagnoletti

Born in Milan, 12/02/1949, Giovanni SPAGNOLETTI studied in Rome and at the “Freie Universität” in Berlin and received a degree in German studies at the roman university “La Sapienza” with the maximum grade. Since 1991 he has taught “Cinema and Criticism” at “La Sapienza” and since November 2000 has been Professor of Cinema and Criticism at Rome’s “Tor Vergata” University.  Being an expert in the relationship between literature and cinema, he has worked in the fields of Italian, German and International cinema and is responsible for numerous books and essays pertaining to them (about 50). Furthermore, he edited two series of cinema books and contributed several articles for magazines and cinema reviews like “Bianco & Nero”, “Cineforum”, “Segno Cinema”, “Movie”, “Il Manifesto”, ” Il Mattino”, “Rinascita”, “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (Munich), “Frankfurter Rundschau” (Frankfurt/Main) and RAI 3 radio. For German TV he co-directed a documentary on Bernardo Bertolucci (“From Parma to Peking”, 1989). He was a consultant for many Italian (Salsomaggiore, Taormina, Turin and Venice) and German film festivals (Berlin Forum, Munich).   From 2000 to 2015 he was the Artistic Director of the Pesaro Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema di Pesaro); 2006-2015 he was Chairman of the “Associazione Italiana Festival di Cinema” (Afic).   Since 1997 he has been the editor of the cinema review “Close Up” (30 issues until 2011) and since 1998 of the web magazine “Close-Up”. He is a member of the Scientific board of the association “Fondo Pier Paolo Pasolini” (Bologna) and of the “Scuola  di Cinema Gian Maria Volonté” (Rome).
Mahmoud Kalari
Mahmoud Kalari was born on April 31, 1951 in Tehran, Iran. After completing photography courses in New York and Sigma Photo News Agency, he held his first photo exhibition titled “Visit with People Around Us” at Tehran University in 1976. A few years later he started working in Paris based Sigma Photo News Agency and worked for them for four years. In 1980 he was ranked one of the ’15 Best Photographers of the Year’ by Time Magazine, and his photos got published in French, German, and American magazines. Kalari moved back to Iran and from 1982 to 1984 worked as the supervisor of the Tehran National TV Photography Unit and attended Tehran University as a guest lecturer in photojournalism. Kalari started his career in 1984 as the cinematographer of Jadehay sard (1985) (Frosty Roads) for which he won the Best Cinematography award at Tehran’s Fajr International Film Festival. He has shot more than 65 films since then including some of the most critically acclaimed Iranian movies such as Children of Heaven (Majid Majidi) and A Separation (Asghar Farhadi). He won the Mar del Plata Film Festival award for The Cloud and the Rising Sun (1998) which was his directorial debut.


Joanna Kos-Krauze is one of the most important directors in contemporary Polish cinema. She has received over two hundred Polish and international awards for films which she co-directed: My Nikifor, Saviour Square, Papusza, Birds Are Singing in Kigali.   She graduated in Polish and Hebrew studies, but even back then she was interested in film. In 1997, she worked as an associate director for Jaroslaw Zamojdas’s Young Wolves ½ and an assistant on the set of Farrago, a TV drama by Lidia Amejko.   Meeting Krzysztof Krauze, one of the most important Polish filmmakers, was a groundbreaking moment in her creative biography. In 1996, she collaborated with him on Street Games, a thriller dealing with influence of socialist Poland’s secret service on the 1990s reality.   She came up with the idea of My Nikifor. The story of a primitivist painter active in Krynica half a century ago became the biggest Polish festival hit since the early 1990s. The film received awards in Karlovy Vary – including ones for the best film and best director.   Her subsequent films – Saviour Square, Papusza, and Birds Are Singing in Kigali have been well received by critics, audience and film festivals.   Her work is constant pursuit – for subjects, form, for challenges. Through films like My Nikifor and Papusza she has explored the magical world of artists and art. While Saviour Square delves into the complexities of interpersonal relationships. Her film Birds Are Singing in Kigali tells a story of Rwandan genocide, personal connections and discovering yourself through a perilous journey.   Joanna prefers to make something awkward which will be a result of trying, instead of repeating the same thing to perfection.

Milcho Manchevski

Milcho Manchevski’s acclaimed Before the Rain is considered “one of the greatest debut feature films in the history of cinema” (Annette Insdorf) and “one of the most important films of the decade” (Ann Kibbey). The New York Times included it on its “Best 1,000 Films Ever Made“ list. It won the Golden Lion in Venice, Independent Spirit, an Academy Award nomination and 30 other awards.   Manchevski’s work – which also includes the award-winning features Dust, Shadows, Mothers, Bikini Moon and the award-winning short forms The End of Time, Thursday, Macedonia Timeless, Tennessee and 1.73, and an episode of HBO’s The Wire – “stands out in world cinema for its unique way of playing with space, time and emotion” (Keith Brown). Roger Ebert said, “Work like this keeps me going. A reminder of the nobility that film can attain.”  “His unique blend of experimentation, poetry, emotion and a demand for the active participation of the viewer in the construction of meaning are highly praised.” (Conor McGrady)  He has also written books of fiction and essays, published books of photographs and staged performance art. He teaches film directing.

Merila Zarei

Merila Zarei, born in 1974, Iran, a graduate of Azad University of Tehran, became interested in cinema through Ezatollah Entezami’s acting courses. She started her acting career in TV in 1994 by “Detective” and her first feature film as an actor, “Patak” (Ali Asghar Shadravan).  She received the Crystal Simorgh for the best actress in a supporting role for “The Friday’s Soldiers” (2005, Masoud Kimiai), from the 23rd Fajr International Film Festival. She is also the winner of best actress of 32nd Fajr International Film Festival for “Track 143” (Narges Abyar). Over the years, she has worked with acclaimed Iranian directors such as Reza Mirkarimi (Daughter), Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, About Elly), Ebrahim Hatmikia (Che, Bodyguard, Invitation), Abbas Kiarostami (Shirin) and Tahmineh Milani (Two women, The Fifth Reaction.

Gopalakrishnan Adoor

Born in 1941. One of the leading luminaries of the New Indian Cinema, Adoor Gopalakrishnan has written and directed twelve feature films. Has paritcipated in all major film festivals round the world.  International Film Critics’ Prize has gone to him six times successively. National award for best director five times. BFI award for the Most Original and Imaginative film of 1982 for Elippathayam (Rat-trap), French Govt’s Legion of honour : Commander of the order of Arts & Letters (2004), Dada Phalke Award – India’s highest national honour for cinema (2005).  India’s top civilian honour Padma Vibhushan(2006). Major retrospectives of his films include those at the Smithsonian in Washington, Cinematheque in Paris, La Rochelle, Pesaro, Lincoln Centre- New York, Fribourg, Lyons, Ljubljana, Munich etc.  He has served on the juries of Venice, Singapore (Chair), Hawaii, Fribourg (Chair) Alexandria (Chair), New Delhi, Sochi, Shanghai, Dubai (Chair), Cairo (Chair), Valladolid (Chair), Goa (Chair) etc. Life-time achievement awards at Cairo, Denver, New Jersey, Colombo, Pune and Mami fests.  DLitt from M.G.University, Kerala University and Viswabharati University. Author of four books on cinema.

Dimitri Athanitis

Dimitri Athanitis is a film director born in Athens, where he studied cinema and architecture. His last film  INVISIBLE (2016) gained 14 Awards, screening at more than 40 festivals. His first film ADDIO BERLIN  (1994) gained Jury’s Prize and  Critic’s Mention at Thessaloniki IFF for his innovating style while his second feature NO SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL (1997) was nominated for Golden Alexander and gained the Best Actress Award in TIFF. Other films of his are AN ATHENS SUMMER NIGHT DREAM (1999), a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, 2000+1 SHOTS (2001) a fiction on millennium which the Australian critic Bill Mousoulis chose among  the ten best films in the world for 2001 in ‘Senses of Cinema’, PLANET ATHENS (2005) a fiction shot in real time during the Olympic Games and THREE DAYS HAPPINESS (2012).  He is also writer and producer of his films. His first book SECRET ENCOUNTERS (2017) was  published a few months ago, while his video installation in progress ATHENS UNDERGROUND (2012-2017) is presented in various art galleries.

Eastern Vista (Panorama of Films from Asian and Islamic Countries) Jury

Ammar Jamal

Ammar Jamal is born on  Dec. 28,1967 in Baghdad, Iraq. For 22 years works a a Cinematographer and filming a number of long and short feature films.  He resieved his  Diploma  in Cinematography/ German Academy for Cinema/ Botstam at  1997 and passed Lenses training course  in Fujinon/ Tokyo. He was the Camera man for many Documentary films inside and outside Iraq and he was also work as the Camera man in the forbidden areas in Iraq for number of satellite channels (Al-Jazeera, CNN of Turkey, CNN of Spain,  British channel 4, Russian Governmental channel, TV of France). He was the Camera man for documentary films to some Iraqi production companies and the Camera man in a Documentary about Iraqi Music( 2007). He works as DOP and Lighting in the movie (my home on Google earth) director Dunia Qabbani (2007). He is the DOP of Green Line Production. DOP and Lighting of the movie (Ahzan Al-Matar)  for the director Ahmed Jumaa (2008). DOP for the documentary (Aqlam Rasas Bila Rasas) for the director Waleed Fakhr Al-Deen, rewarded in Al-Jazeera festival for documentary films , Doha( 2008). DOP for the documentary (Makoo Tabib) director Waleed Fakhr Al-Deen, produced by Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel for children (2008). Camera man and assistant DOP with Dan Selzman and Duraid Munajim  in the Iraqi 35mm Movie (The Son of Babylon ) for the director Mohammed Al-Daraji , produced by Human Film/ UK,( 2009). Teacher of Photography at Iraqi Institute for Media Training and Development  (I.I.M.T.D.). Teacher of Photography in Cinema Union Training Programs.  Camera man and assistant DOP with Duraid Munajim  in the Iraqi 35mm Movie (Under The Sand Of Babylon ) for the director Mohammed Al-Daraji , produced by Human Film/ UK, (2009). DOP of the Documentary Diaries of the City of Ash, directed by Waleed Fakhraldeen and Rula Mouafaq for Aljazeera Children Satellite Channel, It was the only Arabic Film in Mountrail Cenima Festival in September (2009).                  Director of  photography of the  movie (The Chariot ) (2012).  Director of photography at the movie (Shoruq) (2014) with director Inaam Abdul Majeed.  Director of  photography of movie (Delights and Pains) with Director Mohammed Shukry Jameel. He  was Member of the jury in several international film festivals in Iraq.

Farhad Aslani

Farhad Aslani born in 1966, Kordestan, Iran, studied acting and directing of theatre in Niavaran Cultural Center. He started acting on stage in 1978 and in radio theatre in 1992. He appeared in “Neighbors”, a popular tv show back in 1993 for the first time and in 1995 started hic career as an actor in cinema with Rakhshan Bani Etemad in “The Blue Veiled”. Aslani won Crystal Simorgh for his roles in “Private Life”, “Khers” and “I’m a Mother” in Fajr Film Festival 2012. In 2011 Aslani appeared on TV after a long time with the role of Ibn Ziyad in Mokhtarnameh. For his exquisite performance in “Daughter” by Reza Mir-Karimi, he won the Best Actor Award in Moscow International Film Festival 2016, the IFFI Best Actor Award  in 47th Goa International Film Festival and best actor ward of Batumi International Film Festival.

Salome Demuria

I was born in Abkhazia, Georgia, 1985 . Because of the civil war in 1992  we had to leave our house. After I was living in a few different town in Georgia and also in Russia.    In 2007 I graduated Tbilisi state theater and film university, acting. After, I was working in Gori dramatic theater for a few years. My first feature film was “CHAIKA” directed by Miguel Angel Jimenez, Spanish – Georgian co-production. Now I have already four feature films as e main cast . “ CHOLCHU” directed by Shamil Aliev, “House of Other” directed by Rusudan Gluejidze, “37” directed by Dito Tsintsadze.  From 2013 till now I’m board member of Georgian Film Academy.

Panchacharam Nalliah

Born in Johore Baru, Panchacharam Nalliah (aka Suhan Panchacharam to the Indian fans and Pansha in the national film industry) has been an ardent movie fan since his day in memory. He had his first physical touch of a movie projector at the age of four, when his father brought home a discarded hand wound 35mm projector powered by torchlight and a roll of film for his four children to play with.  T hat crude introduction, in the later years prompted Pansha’s elder brother Sangarasivam along with a couple of his friends start 16mm Mobile Cinema, screening Tamil movies in the estates near Johore Baru way back in 1962. The films were often brought home for private viewing by the family and that gave Pansha on opportunity to operate a real electrically operated Bell & Howell projector. This mug motivated Pansha to start a cinema club in school (Sekolah Dato Jaffar) at the age of 16 through which he showed regular weekend shows for the students.  A t the age of 17 with friends Ramasamy and Maniam, Pansha leased the local Capitol cinema to screen Tamil and Hindi movies at an average of two days a month. It did not last as it was not highly profitable. Then he moved to work as a field conductor in an estate in Kluang for about a year. Later we worked in travel agency for another year. While in Kluang Pansha started a film distribution company ‘Malaysian Arts Corporation’ with his brother Sivam and a few friends and bought a couple of Tamil movies and gave it on distribution basis to Singapore based company called Indian Film Combine Pte Ltd (IFC). Though the movies did not fare well at the box office Pansha was given the task of running the new office of IFC in Kuala Lumpur.  F rom there he went on to set up his own business with his childhood friend Ramasamy, Sivam and two others under the banner of Suhan Agencies. It lasted for only few years and Suhan Movies was born with only Ramasamy as the partner. Panshah Film Production was launched in 1985 to produce movies and the name was subsequently changed to Berjaya Film Production and is now an ongoing entity. Pansha is still active in the local movie industry and leads several NGO’s.

Ahmet Boyacioglu

He graduated from Ankara University with a degree in medicine and spent 20 years working as a general surgeon. From 1988-1995 he served on the executive committee of the Ankara Film Festival. Since 1995 he has been general secretary of the Festival on Wheels, as well as chairing the Ankara Cinema Association. Between 2005 and 2007, he took on the role of Turkish representative for Eurimages.

First Movie Jury

Mohammad Ali Bashe Ahangar

Mohammad Ali Bashe Ahangar, born in 1962, graduated in Movie Directing from Tehran University of Art. He started his career with writing, directing and acting and made a number of short 16 mm movies and documentaries. He worked as a director assistant in 1997 on ‘Rage Flames’ (Hamidreza Ashtianipour) and also co-wrote the script for ‘Fly Over the Rooftops’ with Mohammadreza Gohari.
He directed his first feature, The Lost Half, in 1998 and three years later his second feature, Sugar Solution, made him a familiar name for critics and juries of festivals. The Child of Dust, which represents a touching image of the Iran-Iraq war won the best script award of Fajr film Festival and also was one of the big winners of Iran’s House of Cinema Annual Award. Dreams Awakened 2010 and Queen 2012 showed a different side of its director’s mind and won a number of awards in national festivals. Cypress Under Water, his latest movie premiered in Fajr National film festival and won a few awards including The Best Set Design, Best Cinematography, and Best movie from a National View.

Barmak Akram

Barmak Akram was born in 1966 in Kabul. He is an Afghani filmmaker. Akram lives in Paris, where he studied fine arts. His first feature film, Kabuli Kid (2008), won several awards and has been shown at the Venice Film Festival. In 2013, he received the Best Screenplay award at the Sundance Film Festival for the film Wajma (An Afghan Love Story). He has also made experimental and documentary films, including Toutes Les Teles Du Monde (2009).

Viera Langerova

Viera Langerová PhD Film critic, film lecturer, festival consultant, curator and programmer.   She studied film and theatre theory on Academy of Arts (Bratislava, Slovakia) and Cultural Studies on Charles University (Prague, Czechia). She worked as an editor in Slovak and Czech film periodicals. After living in Kazakhstan and Pakistan she did her disertation on Asian film.   She is the author of the books Film Geography: Continental China, Hongkong, Taiwan and the travelogue Urdu, Parda, Burka. Five years in Pakistan.  She read the film lectures in Baltic Film and Media School, Tallinn University in Estonia. As a curator she was involved in Focus to Kazakh Cinema (1999) and Focus to Kurdish film (2013)  for IFF Karlovy Vary. Now works as a programmer for ART Film Fest Košice, Slovak Republic.   She is FIPRESCI member, juries on IFF Istanbul, IFF Hong Kong, IFF Golden Horse, Taiwan, IFF Dhaka, Bangladesh, IFF Schlingel, Chemnitz, Germany.

Inter-Faith Award Jury

Thomas Kroll

Dr. Thomas Kroll, born in 1958, lives in Berlin and works in Hamburg for the Catholic Church as Head of the division annunciation / missionary pastoral. He is also a life and business coach and a companion to film retreats. As a member of the Catholic Film Commission for Germany, he was President of Ecumenical Juries in Berlin, Locarno and Montreal. Numerous publications in the field of »Film & Theology«, his thesis was about Wim Wenders’ »Wings of Desire«.  Wings of Desire – secular mystagogy? Wim Wenders’ Feature Film as a Challenge for Practical Theology.  »Der Himmel über Berlin« – säkulare Mystagogie? Wim Wenders’ Spielfilm als Herausforderung für die Praktische Theologie.

Mohammadreza Zaeri

Mohammadreza Zaeri, born in 1970 Kerman, Iran graduated from Qom Seminary and got his PhD in Religious Studies and MA of Islam and Christianity Relations from Saint Joseph University of Beirut.  He has a long and successful career as a publisher and editor and over the years has been the editor in chief of Hamshahri Newspaper and publisher of a number of magazines. Along with his career as a religious lecturer Zaeri has a special interest in cinema and has served in numerous national film and photography festivals as a jury member. He has also attended Bahram Beyzaei courses in cinema and theatre.

Valerie Bout De Marnhac

DE MARNHAC Valérie (Paris, France) Short Bio: Born in 1966, Valérie de Marnhac graduated from ESSEC (Business School) and holds a Master’s degree in Management of Cultural Organizations from Paris Dauphine University. After 20 years in the press at commercial and then publishing positions, she now contributes to film reviews for the website and hosts film-debates for several associations. She was jury member for SIGNIS in several international filmfestivals such as Cannes and Fribourg.


Raman Chawla

Raman Chawla Raman has been associated with Cinema and Television for more than 30 years. First, through his 10 year tenure as Deputy Attaché (Film and Television) at the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in India and then as Chief Executive and Co- Founder of Modern Times, A creative Workshop for Cinema, Television and Theatre. Raman was Senior Vice President (The Film House) Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art, organiser of the well known Osian’s-Cinefan, Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, founded by Aruna Vasudev. Raman was actively involved in programming, selecting and curating the films for Osian’s Cinefan and was in the core team that looked into all organisational aspects of the OCFF. He curated South Asian Films for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, from 2010 till it closed down in 2014. He has since been consultant with festival’s in and outside India. Currently, Raman is Consultant with El Gouna Film Festival, Egypt. The inaugural edition of this festival concluded on 29 September 2017. Raman has been Executive Producer and Creative Producer of several TV documentaries and made in India for Television Channels such TV, Arte, Discovery, TF1, Doordarshan, NBC… He has also been Executive Producer for Pankaj Butalia’s ‘Shadows in the Dark’ and Jahar Kanungo’s award winning feature film ‘Reaching Silence’. He is associated with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) and has served on NETPAC juries at International Film Festivals in Rotterdam, Eurasia Film Festival, Antalya, Turkey, Black Nights Festival, Festival de Films d’Asie, Vesoul, France, Black Nights Festival, Tallin, Estonia, Thiruvanthpuram, International Film Festival of Kerala, India… Raman has also been associated with a leading Delhi based theatre group ‘Chingari’ as a founder member and has been active on the Delhi stage having performed in several plays authored by Moliere, Genet, Beckett, Pinter, Karnad, Pirandello, Brecht, Frisch…. He is adept at use of computers and its applications such as ms word and MS Excel and has a good working knowledge of Starbase, the Festival Management Software and is fluent in English, Hindi and French.

Habib Ahmadzadeh

Habib Ahmadzadeh is an Iranian author, scriptwriter and novelist, born in 1963 in Abadan. He graduated from Tehran Art University in Dramatic Literature and has a PhD from Tarbiat Modares University in Art Research. He started his career in cinema with “Glass Agency” as a script editor with Ebrahim Hatamikia in 1998 and won Iranian House of Cinema award for best screenplay for “The Night Bus” in 2007. Over the course of his career he has made a number of documentaries, and his latest “The Best Statue in the World” has won the Tehran Cinema Verite Festival award for best documentary in 2012. The Iran-Iraq War features heavily in his work, with observations of human existence and human interactions in wartime informed by his own wartime service.

Andreas Ungerböck

Andreas Ungerböck Born in 1960 in Thomasberg, Austria. Theatre, film and journalism studies at the University of Vienna. Ph.D., thesis on the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Freelance journalist since 1987. In 1997 he directed a short documentary about Hong Kong cinema before the handover which was aired on June 30, 1997, by renowned German-French Arte Channel. He curated several retrospectives of Asian Cinema, such as Hong Kong in Motion (1990, 1991, 1995), Taipei Stories (1996), Korean Cinema (1998), Cinema Asia (2003), China Now (2004), Asia 3D (2013). From 1994 to 2002 he was the catalogue editor for the Viennale Film Festival. Selected publications: 2006 Spike Lee (Co-editor), 2009 Ang Lee (Co-editor), 2012 Real America (Co-editor), Josef Hader. Filme und mehr (2017).  Currently, he is the co-publisher of the Austrian film magazine ray.  ray Film Magazine: ray is Austria’s second largest film magazine. It is published monthly at a circulation of 27,000 copies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Its deals with mainstream cinema but has also a strong focus on arthouse movies, TV series, DVD and blu-ray releases, film books and soundtracks. It is a part of Austria’s film culture and thus deals extensively with Austrian film politics, subsidy system and festival landscape. Austria’s most distinguished film journalists as well as correspondents worldwide cover the international film business in all its aspects. is the magazine’s website providing content from the magazine but also special features like interviews, festival reports, portraits of filmmakers, etc.

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