KÂRÂ FILM STUDIO
Production and Distribution of Iranian Documentary Films
KARA Film Studio is a professional entity in which a group of professional Iranian filmmakers expresses their common concerns regarding humanistic, social, and cultural issues via documentary films - simultaneously maintaining their own diverse and distinct vision. At KARA Film Studio, filmmakers in small or large numbers, come together and, starting with an outline of a documentary initiative, complete their tasks in a professional manner.
KARA Film Studio incorporates a number of principles, including and not limited to, personal financing or private sector funding; teamwork and workshop-focused participation from the time of developing an idea through to the completion and distribution of the documentary; providing young and talented documentary filmmakers with opportunities to work with experts so as to pave their professional development; paying tribute to the audience by maintaining high standards of filmmaking in the production phase; and endeavor to provide improved and increased means of screening the documentary films inside and outside of Iran.
Rakhshan Banietemad and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb are the constant participants in this group.
Rakhshan Banietemad graduated in film directing from the University of Dramatic Arts in 1980, when she made a name for herself in Iranian cinema with her film Off the Limits, Nargess, made in 1991, with its courageous subject, established Banietemad as a leading filmmaker with social concerns in Iranian cinema, and brought her not only the best directing award at the Fajr Film Festival, but also helped her to gain a strong footing for making her following films. Yellow Canary, Foreign Currency, The Blue-Veiled, The May Lady, Under the Skin of the City, Gilaneh, Mainline, and Tales are among other works by Banietemad that have earned her awards and prizes including: First Prize at the Comic Films Festival (Italy), the International Critics Award at Salonika (Greece), the prize for the Best Asian Female Director at the Delhi Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Moscow Film Festival, the NETPAC First Prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Las Palmas Film Festival, the Award for Best Direction from the Asian Pacific Academy, the award for the Best Script at the Venice Film Festival, and an Honorary Doctorate from London University.
But this does not represent the full scope of Banietemad’s filmmaking. In addition to presenting several instructional workshops, she has directed and produced important documentary films such as To Whom Do You Show These Films? , Kahrizak: Four Views, Angels of the House of Sun, We Are Half of Iran's Population, Our Times, All My Trees, and Hey, Humans.
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb is one of the most renowned Iranian documentary filmmakers. He started filmmaking in 1990, after admission to the University of Tehran where he received a BA in Handicrafts from the School of Art. He has conducted research, scriptwriting, directing and producing for nearly 40 documentary films which include Six Centuries Six Years, This Is Not a Film, Lady of the Roses, Off Beat, Back Vocal, The River Still Has Fish and The Banner. This Is Not a Film was the outcome of a directorial and production partnership with Jafar Panahi. It was first premiered at the 64th Cannes Film Festival (Official Selection) and was on the short list for the best documentary for the 2012 Oscar.
Mirtahmasb has won many awards and prizes including the Fajr International Film Festival Crystal Simorgh (Phoenix) and the Jury Award, the Special Jury Award at the Cinéma Vérité Film Festival, Best Documentary Film Award from the Grand Ceremony of the House of Cinema, the NETPAC Award, UNESCO Award for Best Documentary Film, and the award for the Best Experimental Documentary Film from the US National Society of Film Critics.
Mirtahmasb has been a member of the board of directors of the Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association (IRDFA) for six years, serving two years as its chairperson. He is one among very few independent Iranian documentary filmmakers. Besides filmmaking, he has recently undertaken producing several film projects.