At five in the Afternoon directed by the Iranian film-maker Samira Makhmalbaf,was awarded the 29th prize of the Ecumenical Jury for her "vision of the world which offers a poetical look at life and the future," declared the jury, headed by the French Reverend Denyse moer.

Samira Makhmalbaf who won the Grand Jury Prize in 2000, for Blackboard, had this to say; "I wanted to show Afghanistan as it is today and to show that a Rambo type figure can't save Afghanisatan."

Nevertheless some critics have judged her film too demogogical and didactic. The  jury was composed of representatives of France,  Canada, Egypt and Switzerland.  The very first Afghan film "Osama" by  Sedigh Barmak was also prized with the Camera D'Or


From 1991 to 1995, writer/director Azita Zendel was director Oliver Stone's assistant. Stone is known as the director of many noted and controversial films, including "Platoon," "JFK," "Born on the 4th of July," "Natural Born Killers" and "Nixon," (and an upcoming film on Alexander the Great with Colin Farrel and Anthony Hopkins) in the title roles among others, but he's also reputed for being something of a boar--allegedly self-important, masochistic, misogynist, cheap and substance abusing. Apparently, Zendelís was a tough job that involved a lot of humiliating compromises. Nevertheless, she made a movie about it. It's a terrible movie, amateurishly shot on digital video. Apparently Zendel was too busy noting Stone's eccentricities to learn anything about directing.

"Controlled Chaos" is not intended to be a literal account of the assistant-turned-director's years with Stone. It is intended to capture the tone of working with a man like her former boss. In this case, a fictional director called Rick Jones (Don Hughes in the single good performance in the movie), who is self-important, masochistic, misogynist, etc. Co-star Amy Blomquist (playing Zendel's alter-ego, Elise) is affable, but like the rest of the cast she is incapable of delivering this dialogue with anything approximating a human rhythm. There's also an indecipherable plotline involving a murder and a drug conspiracy, which is the kind of thing Stone would insinuate into one of his films. Perhaps Zendel was paying some attention after all.

In this link you will find Wonderful Closeups of Persepolis, which is said to have been burnt down by Alexander the Great after a night of Drunkness and Orgy.  The Conqueror is said to have regreted his action. One can only wonder what a splendid place it would have been today if it was not burnt down. Also take a look at the 3D reconstruction

Iranian film director Kia-Rostami stages Karbala passion play in Rome

A passion play based on Karbala incidents and the campaigns launched by Muslim warriors at the early years of Islam, which was directed by the renowned film director Abbas Kia-Rostami, was staged in the Italian capital city of Rome on Wednesday evening, IRNA reported.

The play which was organized by Rome Theater is performed in Rome Oriental Theater and will be staged for 24 more days.

Kia-Rostami's passion play is four hour long and its cast includes 15 Iranian actors, two children and several horses.

Given Kia-Rostami's fame in Rome, a variety of cultural, artistic and university figures attended the inauguration of the performance.

Kia-rostami told IRNA that his incentive in staging the play is his great enchantment to theater since childhood and expressed his wish to introduce the traditional Iranian arts and observe the reaction of Italians to such historical events.

He stressed that such traditional plays with a minimum background of 1,000 years are a part of Iran's history.

Concerning his approach towards cinema and theater, he said that the two fields are quite different. He noted, "One might say that theater is similar to a fresh fish, while cinema can be assimilated to canned sea-food.


The Hollywood rumor mill says that work on the film has already begun in New York and Los Angeles, and a talent search is under way to find just the right actress to play Googoosh -- the maverick idol who brought

western-style glamour to pre-revolutionary Iran before turning in her mini-skirt for a chador in 1979. My suggestion would be to have Catherine Bell who is half Iranian and speaks fluent farsi should be chosen to play the role of the Iranian Pop Diva. Does anyone have Any other suggestions ?

Pejman Akbarzadeh, aged 21, perceiving the difficulties of life in today’s Iran, has turned his thoughts to those who paved the way for his musical education. He has prepared a collection of writings on the great figures of Persian art music, not only presenting their biographies and previously overlooked activities, but also including their own works and thoughts on various subjects.
> He first reviews the history of music conservatories and their administrators from 1300 to 1357 (1921 - 1979), which "due to excesses and shortages, lack of systematic and integrated organization, scarcity of professors and informed administrators, were of little functional value." He then examines the life and work of 24 conductors and composers who were among the most active figures of the past eighty years. A few of these artists have passed away in the years of silence and darkness, a greater number have been scattered throughout the four corners of the world, and those who have remained in Persia (Iran) have lost all hope and inspiration, and are not accorded the status and space that they deserve.
> Ali-Mohammad Rashidi (the current Director of the Tehran Conservatory) refers to these artists as the "endangered generation" in the preface of young Pejman's book, and as "the generation who put a great deal of effort in reviving Persian music."
> The focus of a new generation on serious music-demonstrated at various levels-will certainly preserve the legacy of Persian musicians. Despite Rashidi's view that "this break is a sorrowful tragedy," the end has not yet arrived! The passion and enthusiasm that permeate Pejman Akbarzadeh's writing promise continued progress in this field.