Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami

One of the true masters of contemporary cinema, Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has won not only the admiration of audiences and critics worldwide, but also the support of directors as distinguished as Jean-Luc Godard, Nanni Moretti (who made a short film about opening one of Kiarostami's films in his theater in Rome), Chris Marker, and Akira Kurosawa, who has said of Kiarostami's "extraordinary" films: "Words cannot describe my feelings about them and I simply advise you to see his films... When Satyajit Ray passed on, I was very depressed. But after seeing Kiarostami's films, I thanked God for giving us just the right person to take his place."

Although Kiarostami made several award-winning films early in his career, it was after the Iranian Revolution that he earned a highly esteemed reputation on the stage of world cinema. 20 years after his ground-breaking debut feature, The Report (1977), he was awarded the prestigious Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Taste of Cherry in 1997. His masterpiece Close-up (1990) and, later, the poetic Life, and Nothing More... (1992) led to Kiarostami's discovery in the West, mainly by the French. He won the Un Certain Regard award for the latter at Cannes.