Born in Tehran, Iran
Kamran Shirdel ( کامران شیردل ) was born in Tehran 1939. He studied architecture and design in the University of Rome and film direction at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (CSC), also in the eternal city. During his studies he had Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Nanni Loy, Gillo Pontecorvo, Francesco Rosi, Vittorio De Seta, Michelangelo Antonioni and many others as teachers. His diploma film "Gli Specchi" (The Mirrors) won the diploma of honor in the World Cinema School Film Festival in Tokyo (1965). In the same period he worked as assistant director to John Houston while he was shooting "The Bible" in Cinecitta and Read More.. around Italy. He also worked as dubbing translator, editor and director in Italian dubbing studios. After his graduation in Rome, in 1965, Shirdel returned to Tehran where he started to direct documentaries for the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Art. In the three following years he directed his most known socio-political documentaries; six films which in a direct, sincere and brave approach reveal the darkest side of the Iranian economical boom then, analyzing with black satire, the true portrait of a society immersed in the petrodollars. These films can be placed in the genre of a deep social conscious reminiscent of the best Italian Neorealism school which had marked and influenced Shirdel during his life and studies in Italy. The furious language and style of these documentaries brought him the reprisal of the Shah's regime, forcing Shirdel to be expelled, exiled and be put on the black list, as he had dared to talk about the life of the less privileged and excluded people; workers, women, prostitutes; denouncing and criticizing the corruption inside the mechanism of power. "The Epic of The Gorgani Village Boy or The Night It Rained" received The Grand Prize at The Third Tehran International Film Festival (1974) to be banned again - soon after festival was over and foreign guests and press had left the country a week after - as his other films such as Nedamatgah (Women's Prison - 1965), Qaleh (Red Light District - 1966) , Tehran Is The Capital Of Iran (1966) among many others and were only released and screened after the revolution (1979-80). Shirdel's only (until today) completed long feature film "The Morning of The Fourth Day" (1972) - a remake of Jean Luc Godard's famous "A Bout de Souffle", won several prizes at Sepas National Film Festival but was a flop at box office making him bankrupt as producer. Kamran Shirdel is considered as a father figure of the New School of Iranian Cinema, opening the way to a certain kind of critical film-making rooted in social awareness and an assertive and potentially documented reflection about the reality and history. Many Iranian famed filmmakers from the new generation such as A. Kiarostami, A. Naderi, J. Panahi, R. Banietemad, M.R. Aslani, M. Sheikholeslami, Kh. Masoumi and Soudabeh Babagap, to name a few and others were either his direct pupils or worked with him during the starting years of their formation and film career. Shirdel's films are fairly pointed out as true references regarding social documentary and its cinematographic direction in Iran and as such were presented in countless international film festivals, film schools, homages and retrospectives dedicated to him and his cinema such as Moscow, Cracow, Paris, Leipzig, Florence, Calcutta, Berlin, Stuttgart, Locarno, Rome, Montreal, Toronto, Beirut, Reggio Calabria, Portugal / Evora Int'l Film Festival , London, UCLA, New York (Columbia University), Chicago, Pittsburgh Carnegie Art Foundation, Stanford University, Berkeley University, Tajikistan Didor Int'l Film Festival, Armenia Golden Apricot Int'l Film Festival, Belgrade Int'l Film Festival, FICC and Cineteca Sarda in Cagliari, Sardegna. Kamran Shirdel equally worked in many selection committees and also as jury member and President of the Jury in countless International festivals in Iran and abroad. He was awarded in many of these events and received "A Lifetime Achievement Award" in Beirut Docuday Film Festival, Fike (Evora- Portugal) , Aljazeera - Doha Int'l Film Festival, Belgrade Int'l Film Festival, Tajikistan-Dushanbe Didor Int'l Film Festival, Asiaticafilmmediale Festival of Rome, Tehran Nahal Film Festival, FICC /Cineteca Sarda Conference Award and many others. Shirdel is the founder and director of Filmgrafic Co. and of Kish Int'l Documentary Film Festival (KIDFF- Kish Island in The Persian Gulf), the only full independent documentary film festival in Iran. The activity of this successful cultural event was abruptly ceased when the the extreme right wing politicians took the power in Iran and assaulted the festival office in 2006. In 2010 Kamran Shirdel was nominated as "IL CAVALIERE" of culture and art by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano and received its diploma and medals in a ceremony in Farmanieh Palace (Italian Embassy in Tehran).
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