Abbas Kiarostami was perhaps the most famous Iranian filmmaker whose life sadly ended in July of 2016. He was a film-maker whose stories were set in the real world. His movies meanings were not easily rendered; they were replete with meditative calm, sadness, reflection, but also dissent, obliquely stylized confrontation and emotional negotiation – as well as his own elusive kind of playful humor.
Kiarostami began his artistic work by illustrating children’s book. Later, in the early 70’s, he helped found a film-making department at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran. It was there that he made several short films aimed at, and about, children.
In honor of Abbas Kiarostami’s work on the subject of children, Child Foundation had created Kiarostami’s Educational scholarship in collaboration with his family. We will start with 100 children in need who will receive this scholarship and will continue to increase this number as more donors participate.
To be part of this educational movement, please choose any child in our sponsorship page and let us know an amount for your monthly contribution. We make sure he/she receives your monthly donation, and in return you receive a biannual report on how your help changes your sponsored child’s life.
Born in 1940 in Tehran, Iran, Kiarostami carved out an influential, prolific film career as a director, screenwriter, and producer, having been creatively involved in over 40 films, including nearly four dozen screenwriting credits on a distinct yet diverse range of features, shorts, and documentaries. Over the course of five decades, he established himself as one of the most important figures in global cinema.
In addition to honing his craft as a film editor and art director, Kiarostami – who graduated from the University of Tehran with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer – was a veritable Renaissance man who also designed film credit titles and publicity materials, as well as expressing himself as a poet, photographer, painter, and illustrator. Beyond his film work, he was also a key figure in the art world with numerous major exhibitions of his photography, short films, and poetry, which has been translated into several languages.
When the Iranian New Wave emerged in 1969, Kiarostami helped establish a filmmaking department at the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran.
“He was one of those rare artists with a special knowledge of the world, put into words by the great Jean Renoir: ‘Reality is always magic.’ For me, that statement sums up Kiarostami’s extraordinary body of work.“
~ Martin Scorsese—Director & two time Oscar winner
Its debut production – and Kiarostami’s first film – was The Bread and Alley (1970), a neo-realistic short film about a school boy’s confrontation with an aggressive dog. Over time, this department became one of Iran’s most noted film studios, not only producing Kiarostami’s own films, but acclaimed Persian films by other filmmakers as well.
While Kiarostami passed away in 2016, his last completed film, 24 Frames, is currently in post-production and set to premiere at festivals later this year. He also has two upcoming photo exhibitions, Regardez Moi and Monet and Me, which will be shown in major museums starting in late 2017 and 2018.
In February 2017, Kiarostami was named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America’s Jean Renoir Award for international screenwriting achievement. His Son, Ahmad received the award it on behalf of his late father.
Kiarostami will not be forgotten.
“He wasn’t just a film-maker, he was a modern mystic, both in his cinema and his private life. He definitely paved ways for others and influenced a great deal of people. It’s not just the world of cinema that has lost a great man; the whole world has lost someone really great.”
~ Asghar Farhadi —Director & the Oscar winner