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Iranian film gets Italy’s nod from ‘Whole to Part’
Art & Culture Desk
Iranian short flick ‘Whole to Part’ by Vahid Hosseini-Nami, won the Best Film Award at the short fiction section at the Lucania Film Festival in Italy.
The 12-minute short film narrates the story of a dictator’s iron statue. While they topple the statue and melt it into smaller objects, it keeps existing among people after the icon’s metamorphosis, lucaniafilmfestival.it wrote.
‘Whole to Part’ had earlier won the best experimental film award at the 34th Tehran International Short Film Festival (TISFF).
In the short fiction section, Best Actor Award and Best Actress Award went to Slimane Dazi and Delphine Grandsart in ‘Terrain Vague’ by Latifa Said (Portugal).
‘The Theory of Sunset’ by Roman Sokolov (Russia) won the Best Film Award at the Animation section. The Best Script Award went to ‘Boléro Paprika’ by Marc Menager (France).
Chiara Pellegrini, Elena Zervopoulou and Angelo Troiano were jury members of the Italian festival.
The Lucania Film Festival presents the best works of the independent cinema and wants to recognize new film talents.
The sections of the festival include Fiction and Animation; Audio Live Drama; Lucania Filmmakers; 48 Teeth Corticomici (comedy); War News (film, reportage, photography and documentary); and Documentary Films.
Academy reelects Bailey as president
Veteran cinematographer John Bailey, who was first elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the first time a year ago, becoming the 34th person to hold the position, will serve for one more year before terming out as a member of the board of governors.
No official campaigning precedes this annual board meeting on the seventh floor of the Academy’s Wilshire Boulevard headquarters in Beverly Hills. Instead, as always, the governors — there are 54, three representing each of 17 branches, plus three representing the interest of diversity — nominated colleagues for the Academy’s various officer posts, and a vote took place under the oversight of their general counsel, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Hollywood Reporter reported.
Past presidents of the Academy include Douglas Fairbanks, Frank Capra, Bette Davis, George Stevens, Arthur Freed, Gregory Peck, Robert Wise, Karl Malden and, more recently, Sid Ganis, the late Tom Sherak, Hawk Koch and, immediately preceding Bailey, Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
Incumbent presidents of the Academy are almost always granted another one-year term until they max out at four consecutive terms at the top of Hollywood’s most elite club. But while Academy presidents can serve up to four successive one-year terms, governors can serve no more than three consecutive terms, so Bailey will have to step away from the board and the presidency next year.
The other officers elected include Lois Burwell, first vice president (chair, Awards and Events Committee); Ganis, vice president (chair, Museum Committee); Larry Karaszewski, vice president (chair, Preservation and History Committee); Nancy Utley, vice president (chair, Education and Outreach Committee); Jim Gianopulos, treasurer (chair, Finance Committee); and David Rubin, secretary (chair, Membership and Administration Committee).
Burwell, Utley, Gianopulos and Rubin were all reelected to posts that they had been serving in. Past president Ganis will step into a vice president slot that opened up when Kathleen Kennedy chose not to seek reelection to the board in June. It is the first officer stint for Karaszewki, a governor representing the writers branch.
Bailey, whose credits include the best picture Oscar winner ‘Ordinary People’ and fan favorites like ‘The Big Chill’ and ‘Groundhog Day’, has a long history of service to the board, on which his wife, Carol Littleton, also currently serves as a governor of the film editors branch. He was first elected to the board in 1996, and then was reelected in 1999, serving until 2002. After eight years away, he ran again and won in 2010 and was subsequently reelected in 2013 and once more in 2016.
Bailey has not generally sought out the spotlight during his first year in office — for example, he did not make an appearance on stage at the most recent Oscar telecast. The Academy’s biggest move during his tenure has been further growing the organization by inviting a record 928 new members to join. It also has established a new code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, expelling from its ranks Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski.
Diplomat: Popularization of Persian literature a response to Islamophobia
Popularizing Persian literature and poetry overseas is a reasonable response to those who portray an unreal image of Islam and Muslims in the world, said Iran’s ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mahmoud Heidari was speaking in a meeting at the Iranian embassy in Sarajevo with a Bosnian author who wrote a book about the school of thought of famous Iranian poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī, IRNA wrote.
Rumi was a 13th-century Persian Muslim poet, jurist, Islamic scholar and theologian whose influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats.
The book, titled ‘Molaviyeh; Treasury of Wisdom’, was written by Elvir Music, a Persian language and literature professor and instructor of Hafez-reading programs in Bosnia.
During his meeting with the Bosnian author, the Iranian diplomat said promoting Persian literature would also help develop cultural relations between Iran and Bosnia.
Relations between Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina are not limited to political and economic ties, said Heidari, adding that intellectual connections between scientists, poets and scholars of the two countries have always existed.
He underlined that publishing of the Music’s book about Rumi is an opportunity for Bosnians to get re-introduced with the theosophy and thoughts of great Iranian poets and theologists.
Heidari added that extremism and excommunication will not emerge in a society where people exemplify Rumi, Sa’di and Hafez (three prominent Iranian poets).
Meanwhile, Music thanked Iran’s embassy in Sarajevo and Avicenna Science and Research Institute for publishing his book and for the support extended to him by the two entities.
He also briefed the Iranian ambassador on actions taken to popularize Persian and Iranian literature and culture in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Turning to the prominence of Persian language and literature in the Balkans, Music added that 32 Bosnian poets have epitomized Iranian poets and also wrote a number of poems in Persian.
He said that the book of Bosnian poets who have created works in Persian will be authored soon and the publishing of that book can be a prominent step toward familiarizing the young Bosnian generation with the thoughts of great Bosnian writers who are inspired originally by Persian literature and theology.
The Bosnian Persian language and literature professor said in order to further encourage Bosnian people to read poems of the ancient Iranian poets, certain sessions are being held in the cities of Tuzla and Sarajevo to recite poems by Rumi and Hafez. The sessions are highly welcomed by the public, he added.
‘Moulaviyeh; Treasury of Wisdom’, is written by Music, prefaced by Ambassador Heidari and published by Avicenna Science and Research Institute.
Art installation in Canada helps rebuild burnt-out library in Iraq
An eerie display at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto evokes both a presence and an absence: A row of white bookshelves filled with thousands of identical white covered books — all blank inside. The challenge for the public is to fill the void. The project, called ‘168:01’, is the latest iteration of a traveling installation by the Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal as a response to the looting and destruction of cultural institutions during war.
According to theartnewspaper.com, the title of the work refers to the 13th-century Mongol siege of Baghdad, which lasted for seven days, or 168 hours. According to legend, books and manuscripts pillaged from the city’s libraries were dumped into the Tigris River until it ran black with ink; the books were said to form a bridge for the occupying army until the tomes were gradually drained of all color and knowledge.
But Bilal is also responding to other disasters, including the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, in which many cultural institutions, including the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, were burned and looted. The project seeks to redress that, inviting the public to donate money to replace each fake book in the installation with a real one drawn from a wish list compiled by students and faculty. Each donor receives one of the white limited-edition numbered and signed artist books from the exhibition in return.
Eventually, the real books will be sent to the college, joining 1,700 that arrived last year. “I am building a system of exchange that will connect people directly with each other in order to resurrect the College of Fine Arts library,” Bilal explained in a video about the Toronto show, ‘From Baghdad to Timbuktu: Libraries Rising From The Ashes’. Over 70,000 titles were lost when looters set the college ablaze in 2003, and “to this day, many students have few books to study from”, he said.
The traveling installation, which was first shown at the Art Gallery of Windsor in 2016, has assumed different site-specific forms. It featured a Babel-like book tower when it traveled to the FACT media arts center in Liverpool and occupied an entire room from floor to ceiling when it was exhibited at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.
The bookshelves at the Aga Khan Museum are joined by a white table and chair. Filiz Cakir Phillip, a curator at the museum, has also included a Persian miniature depicting the Mongol looting of Baghdad and a photograph of the burned-out library in the aftermath of the 2003 US military campaign.
Bilal, an associate arts professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, is not the first Iraqi-born artist or intellectual to link the two invasions. But his project is unique in “raising awareness and delivering tangible results to Iraqis” via a participatory work that “connects conflict and comfort zones”, as the artist puts it.
In an interview, Bilal said he sees his work as part of Iraq’s ‘healing process’ and as a project that that “ushers in a new era of reconstruction”.
While the initial thrust of 168:01 was to restore the library, “now it’s about restoring Iraqis’ faith in humanity after the dust of war has settled”, he said.
The installation’s next destination will be the National Veterans Art Museum Triennial in Chicago in July 2019, in collaboration with a group called ‘Combat Paper’ that turns uniforms into handmade paper for art making.