One of the strange and unexpected events of the closing ceremony of the 40th Fajr Film Festival was the revelation of the list of prizes minutes before the beginning of the ceremony.
The Crystal Simorgh award for the best film from the national point of view went to “Without Prior Appointment” directed by Behrouz Shoaibi and produced by Mahmoud Babaei.
Behzad Abdi won the Diploma Honorary of the best original score section for the film “The Grassland”. However, The Crystal Simorgh for the best original score went to Massoud Sekhavatdoost for “Mehdi’s Position”.
The Crystal Simorgh for the best editing went to Hamid Najafi Rad for the film “The Grassland” and the Crystal Simorgh for the best cinematography to Arman Fayyaz for “The Last Snow”.
Fereshteh Hosseini was awarded the Diploma Honorary for the best supporting actress for “The Group of Girls” and the Crystal Simorgh for the best supporting actress, was awarded to Sadaf Espahbodi for “The Grassland”.
In the best supporting actor category, Ali Akbar Osanloo received a Diploma Honorary for “The Night Guard”. The Simorgh for the best supporting actor however went to Nader Soleimani for the movie “Opponent”.
The Crystal Simorghs for the best actress and actor in the leading roles went to Tanaz Tabatabai for “Dreamless” and Amin Hayaee for “The Last Snow”, respectively.
The Crystal Simorgh for the best director of the first film was won by Hadi Hejazifar for the film “Mehdi’s Position” and the Crystal Simorgh for the best screenplay was snatched by Kazem Daneshi for “The Grassland” and Reza Mirkarimi won the Crystal Simorgh for the best director for “The Night Guard”.
The special jury award was given to Amir Hossein Asgari for “The Last Snow”.
In the final part, the Crystal Simorgh for the best film of the 40th Fajr Film Festival went to Habib Valinejad, the producer of “Mehdi’s Position” directed by Hadi Hejazifar.
Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Mehdi Ismaili, said at the closing ceremony of the Fajr Film Festival that cinema has a high place in cultural diplomacy.
He added that the Covid pandemic has done a lot of damage to the economy of culture and art, but “we tried to solve some of the problems”.
Massoud Naghashzadeh, secretary of the 40th Fajr Film Festival, also said, “We emphasized legalism to improve the festival…we chose the films according to the schedule and did not give in to pressure….of course, we had a lot of difficulties, and in the face of threats and
despair, our colleagues tried to do the right thing.”
Many critics and viewers described the 40th Fajr Film Festival as one of the weakest. The event became controversial in the final moments with the removal of the Crystal Simorgh for the best film chosen by the audience.