2015 – Dariush Mehrjui
Eminent filmmaker and spearhead of Iran’s cinematic renaissance Dariush Mehrjui is bestowed with the lifetime achievement award of this year’s IFFK. At the Iranian New Wave movement of the 1970, Mehrjui introduced hitherto little-explored cinematic themes and narratives. Infused with a heady mix of realism and symbolism, his films helped foster the development of art house sensibilities among a fast-maturing cinema audience.After debuting with the unsuccessful Diamond 33 (1966), a big budget parody of Bond films, Mehrjui found acclaim and recognition with Gaav (The Cow, 1969), the film was adapted from a short story by Iranian literary giant Gholamhossein Sa’edi.
His films find kinship with the works of Roberto Rosselini, Vittorio de Sica and Satyajit Ray, his oeuvre possess a distinctively Iranian flavour in part because they were mostly inspired from Iranian literature.In 1973, Mehrjui created his magnum opus, The Cycle (1975).It was Iran’s first submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 50th Academy Awards in 1977. The film was banned for three years before being released in Iran in 1978.Mehrjui will be feted at the IFFK 2015 inaugural ceremony. A cash prize of Rs 5 lakh accompanies the citation.