Venice Fest: Amir Naderi to Get Filmmaker Award

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Amir Naderi

The Iranian director will be feted at the 73rd edition of the festival.

The 73rd Venice International Film Festival will award its prestigious Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award to Iranian director Amir Naderi for outstanding and original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema, it was announced Thursday.

Naderi is one of the most well-known figures of contemporary Iranian cinema with classics including Tangsir (1974), Entezar (1974), The Runner (1985) and Ab, Bad, Khak (1989). His Vegas: Based on a True Story premiered in competition in Venice in 2008 and Cut opened the Venice Horizons section in 2011. Naderi's career has been influenced by Italian neorealist cinema as he often makes use of nonprofessional actors and focuses on stories of the working class and poor.

His new film Monte will receive its world premiere in Venice, showing out of competition on Sept. 5. Shot in Italy and taking place in 1350, the film tells the story of a man who does everything he can to bring sunlight to his village despite the prevailing darkness. Monte was selected for the 2014 Venice Production Bridge Gap-Financing market.

"Amir Naderi gave fundamental impetus to the birth of the New Iranian Cinema during the 1970s and ‘80s with a number of masterpieces destined to leave their mark on the history of cinema," festival director Alberto Barbera said in a statement. "But even after moving to New York in 1988, Naderi remained stubbornly true to himself and to a type of cinema dedicated to research and experimentation, which refuses to bow to trends and easy shortcuts.

“The last half hour of Monte is a sort of synthesis of his entire opus, a larger-than-life metaphor of a struggle for survival prevailing over the dividing lines, intimidations and insults which can sometimes make human existence miserable,” continued Barbera. “The Jaeger-LeCoultre Award is a well-deserved recognition, a tribute to the originality and greatness of a filmmaker who stands out from the crowd, the talent of a passionate director and the generosity of a man who seems to know no limits.”

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