Rakhshan Banietemad, one of Iran’s prominent film directors,   will receive an Honorary Award at the closing ceremony of the 7th Malatya International Film Festival.

Rakhshan Banietemad is a world-renowned, prominent director who has become a leading figure in Iranian cinema with her unique film style, sensitivity to women’s issues, and brave social criticism.

After the screening of Rusari Abi / The Blue-Veiled at Yeşil Movie Theatre on November 15, Rakhshan Banietemad and Fatemeh Motemed-Arya will hold a talk session moderated by Assoc. Prof. Sabire Soytok, an expert on Iranian cinema.

By rigorously blending the realism and validity of the documentary films with dramaturgy, Banietemad has removed the line between documentary and drama. The investigative approach she gained during her TV career led her to make movies with nuanced social criticism, and in which the characters, particularly the female ones, are delicately portrayed. After making numerous documentaries, she made her fiction directorial debut with Kharej az Mahdudeh, in which the bureaucracy is criticized.

Banietemad rose to international fame when she won the Crystal Simorgh for Best Director with her film “Nargess” at the Fajr Film Festival in 1992. Three years later, she won recognition for her film “Rusari Abi / The Blue-Veiled” which gained her the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno FF, and the FIPRESCI Award at the Thessaloniki FF.

In her films, she has always focused on the strong female characters who fight social problems, poverty, war, and can’t fit in the ordinary course; while displaying a realistic depiction of the destructive conditions of a big city like Tehran, and the countryside restricting the personal liberties. She won numerous awards at many prestigious festivals, such as Montreal World Film Festival, Karlovy Vary, Moscow, Toronto, Locarno, and Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

After 2006, she mostly focused on documentary filmmaking. And in reference to the elections, she made “We Are Half of Iran’s Population” in 2009, a documentary on the women’s rights activists. Her 2014 film “Ghesse-ha” gained her the Golden Lion for Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival. Still conducting the Karestan Project, which she co-drafted with a group of filmmakers, Banietemad is considered one of the leading representatives of strong film tradition and continues to be honored with awards across the world.

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