To the Art-loving People of Iran,
Our family has presented to the people of Iran one hundred and twenty international awards in the fields of culture, art, and cinema.
From the beginning up until now, our family has regarded these awards to be achievements that belong to the art history of Iran.
We have always forwarded our awards to Iran’s Cinema museum, both when we lived in Iran and now, as displaced victims of autocracy and bigotry.
A few years ago we were notified that every so often some of these awards disappear and since then the Makhmalbaf Family award section, which has appropriated the largest area and volumes of work in the Cinema museum, has gradually melted away like snow.
Now, with the statement of the Ministry of Guidance, it has become clear that the people behind the disappearance of our awards from the museum are the same officials who have banned the thirty books and close to forty films made by our family. They even reprimand some of those who collect our works.
Since we were always concerned that the hardliners would one day confiscate and destroy the awards that belong to the people, we have made, in a contract of which both we and the museum have copies , the presence of the awards in the Cinema museum conditional upon the museum’s ability to secure their safety. Otherwise the museum is obligated to return the awards to us as soon as possible in accordance with the existing list, so that they could be returned to the people at a different time.
The Cinema museum is an independent entity and by law the Ministry of Guidance has no right to confiscate or interfere with items placed in its trust.
These awards that are visually documented on the Makhmalbaf Film House website are from prestigious international festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin, San Sebastian, Locarno, Montreal, and a dozen other credible international festivals as well as awards presented to Makhmalbaf Family by international institutions such as UNICEF and UNESCO.
The Iranian government’s antagonism toward the works of Mohsen Makhmalbaf started 27 years ago in 1985 with the banning of the book entitled Baq Boulour (Crystal Garden), and the Dastforosh (Peddler) movie, and his expulsion from the circle of artists. It continued with censorship of the ‘Arusi-ye Khuban’ (Marriage of the Blessed) movie and the complete banning of the Shabhaye Zayandeh Rood (Nights of Zayandeh River), and Nobat-e Asheqi (Time Of Love) movies. Gradually this was applied to all the movies of this family where at first, parts of each work would be censored and, later some of the works were totally banned. At the beginning of Mr. Khatami’s government, by the decree of the Office of the Supreme Leader, seven films made by our family members were banned simultaneously, three of which were released later with the help of the then-Minister of Culture. During Ahmadinejad’s time, the entire work of our family was banned, even those works that were previously released and distributed. Then came the time to erase the name of this family, to the extent that if a Makhmalbaf screenplay was used by another director, the condition for release of that picture was to omit the Makhmalbaf name.
When at a ceremony in the House of Cinema, a cinematographer wished to see artists such as Beizai, Golshifteh and Makhmalbaf return to the following year’s ceremony, the Ministry of Guidance stopped his film and interrogated and reprimanded him for using the name Makhmalbaf; to be allowed to resume his work, that cinematographer was forced to issue an apology in the press.
These elimination episodes: the burning of books, the brutal cutting of film negatives and the complete seizure of the body of our work, eventually resulted in an exile.
During the eight years of self-imposed exile of Mohsen Makhmalbaf in protest of the censorship, as well as the four years of forced exile of his family after the threat of their arrest (and threat of rape of the females of the family by the security forces) our family was a constant target of attacks, insults, and eventually threats and even assassination attempts under the name of God. In Afghanistan, the Quds Army detonated a bomb in front of Samira Makhmalbaf’s camera that resulted in one death and more than twenty injuries of artists and actors and crew members.
Now, after banning the art and threatening the artist, the time has come to seize the artistic awards. Even during McCarthyism, the darkest period of censorship in America, artists’ awards were never confiscated. Artists’ awards were never taken out of museums even during the dark period of Stalin in Russia.
The Art-Loving People of Iran,
Wherever we were, we kept our pains and struggles to ourselves, but as a token of our spiritual happiness we offered our international awards to you. We are not disappointed or pessimistic about the future and believe that except for the art that is the crown of creation, no reign is everlasting.
Looking forward to seeing you again as your love is our inspiration.
Note: The Picture above shows some of the awards of Makhmalbaf Film House in the Cinema museum in Iran after it was melted away like the snow and before it was completely taken out of the museum.
List of Makhmalbaf Family International Awards
1. The prize of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA 2000 for the presentation of the first Ilex Prize for excellence and innovation in cinema.
2. The prize of The Golden cycle, Vesoul, France 2009.
3. Award for the committed supoort in defense of human right of women, Terre des Femmes (Tuebingen) Film Festival, Germany, 2010
4. The Cyclist: Best Film - Rimini Festival (Italy) 1989.
5. The Cyclist: Best Film - Hawaii Festival (USA) 1991.
6. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Film - Taormina Festival (Italy) 1992.
7. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Film – Karlovy vary Festival (Czechoslovakia) 1992.
8. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Film – Fiprachi Critics - Karlovy vary Festival (Czechoslovakia) 1992.
9.Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Best Director – Karlovy vary Festival (Czechoslovakia) 1992.
10. Once Upon a Time, Cinema: Special Jury Prize - Istanbul Festival (Turkey) 1993.
11. Collection of Works: Press Award – Sao Paulo Festival (Brazil) 1995.
12. Salam Cinema: Best Film – Munich Festival (Germany) 1996.
13. Gabbeh: Best Artistic Film – Tokyo Festival (Japan) 1996.
14. Gabbeh: One of 10 selected films by critics – Times (USA) 1996.
15. Gabbeh: Best Director – Sitguess Festival (Spain) 1996.
16. Gabbeh: Special Critics Award - Sitguess Festival (Spain) 1996.
17. Gabbeh: Best Asian Feature Film – Singapore Festival (Singapore) 1997.
18. A Moment of Innocence: Special Jury Award – Locarno Festival (Switzerland) 1996.
19. A Moment of Innocence: Youth Golden Award - Locarno Festival (Switzerland) 1996.
20. A Moment of Innocence: Among Top Ten Films of the Decade – Awarded by International Festival Directors and Critics 1999.
21. Silence: Golden Prize of Italian Parliament - Venice Festival (Italy) 1997.
22. Collection of Works: “Ville d'yssingeaux”, France 1998.
23. Silence: Human, Art and Nature Award - Venice Festival (Italy) 1997.
24. Marshall of Art and Literature, (France) 1998.
25. Kandahar: Grand prize from Society of churches of world, Cannes 2001 (France)
26. Kandahar: “Federico Fillini Honor” from UNESCO in Paris, 2001 (France)
27. Kandahar: The best movie from Ajaccio Film Festival, (France) 2001
28. Kandahar: "Public Prize" from Festival des Cinemas du Sud, (France) 2001
29. Kandahar:"Best Director Award" from Riga International Film Forum Arsenals,Latvia 2002
30. Collection of Works: “Francois Truffaut prize”, Giffoni Film Festival in Italy 2002.
31. Thessaloniki 4th festival , Honorary Humanitarian Award (Greece) 2002
32. The Afghan Alphabet:"Best Film Award"from Document ART International Film Festival, (Germany) 2002.
33. The 2003 Asian Filmmaker Award from Pusan Film Festival ,(South Korea) 2003.
34. One Of "The Best Hundred Films" Of History Of Cinema, Choosen By Times, (USA) , 2005
35. Kandahar: "Best Film" Fiprachi Critics From Thessaloniki (Greece) 2001
36. Sex & philosophy ,Tica Film Mediale International Film Festival, Italy,2005
37. Sergei Parajanov Awards for outstanding Artistic contribution to the world cinema, Yerevan Film Festival, Armenia, 2006
38. "Clermont-Ferrand Medallion", the city medallion granted to the legendary Mohsen Makhmalbaf , France, 2006.
39. Jury Special Mention Award for "Scream of the Ants" and life time achivement as a filmmaker, The Granada Film Festival CINES DEL SUR, Spain, 2007
40. "Special" award for life time achievement through his works and career as an outstanding artist, Kyrgyzstan International Film Festival
41. "Golden Stag" award for life time achievement through his works and career as an outstanding artist, 37th Kyve (Molodist) International Film Festival, Ukraine 2007
42. "Alhambra" award for his artistic and humanitarian films, CINES DEL SUR International Film Festival, Spain, 2008
43. "Golden Dinosaur" award for establishment of Makhmalbaf film school ETIUDA&ANIMA International Film Festival Poland, 2008
44. "Grand Human Right award" for his life time achievement and activity for human right through his art and actions from Nuremberg Human Right Film Festival, Germany, 2009
45. "Freedom to Create Prize" for his human right activity and promoting social Justice through his art, Art Action, England, 2009 (Mohsen Makhmalbaf dedicated his award to Grand Ayatollah Montazeri for his fight for human right and democracy in Iran)
46. Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature From St Andrew Univercity, Scotland, 2010
47. Honorary Degree of Doctor of Cinema From Nanterre Univercity, France, 2010 (Mohsen Makhmalbaf announced during his speech: “Honourable professors! Permit me to accept this honorary doctorate as a loan in the hope of freedom for Iran. Until the day when, in my homeland Iran, I will be able to present it to the mothers whose children had the honour of martyrdom in the name of freedom before they could receive an honorary doctorate.”
48. "Special Award for a life time activity for human right through art and cinema" Sao Paulo Festival (Brazil) 2011 (Mohsen Makhmalbaf dedicated the award to Mirtahmasb & Shahabi -the imprisoned Iranian filmmakers)
49. THE GARDENER: "Golden Award" From the Beirut International Film Festival, Lebanon, 2012 (Mohsen Makhmalbaf dedicated the award to all those people who are working around the world for peace and who are striving to prevent wars which are the causes of destruction committed in the name of God.)
50."Special Award for a life time activity for human right through art and cinema", Kosmorama International Film Festival, Norway 2013
51- "The special prize" for his lifelong artistic achievements towards liberty. Jerusalem International film festival, Israel, 2013
52. The Day I Became A woman: Prize to the best first feature film assigned by the young jury of CINEMAVENIRE from 15th.International week of film critics, Venice. Italy .2000
53. The Day I Became A woman: Prize ISVEMA of 100,000,000 Italian lira of commercial promotion on the private televisions associated with Isvema itself, assigned by the jury of the national Syndicate of Italian Film Critics, for its: "poetical representation of woman condition in nowadays Iranian society" from 15th.International week of film critics, Venice. Italy.2000
54. The Day I Became A woman: Prize CICT-UNESCO of the International Council of Cinema and Television within UNESCO has awarded its prize for the following motivation: "for its honesty and for the quality of vision on the woman condition in Iran" from 15th.International week of film critics, Venice. Italy .2000
55. The Day I Became A woman: The Volkswagen Discovery Award from Toronto International Film Festival. Canada. 2000
56. The Day I Became A woman: The gold plaque for Best First Film from Chicago International Film Festival .USA. 2000
57. The Day I Became A woman: The Best Asian Film from Pusan International Film Festival.Korea.2000
58. The Day I Became A woman: The Prize of the International Film Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) from Films from the south Festival. Norway.2000
59. The Day I Became A woman: Special Jury award from Festival des Trois Continents (Nantes) France, 2000.
60. The Day I Became A woman: Special young Jury award from Festival des Trois Continents (Nantes) France, 2000
61. The Day I Became A woman: Golden Plaque of ville De Nantes from Festival des Trois Continents (Nantes) France, 2000
62. The Day I Became A woman: Best Director Award from Thesaloniki International Film Festival, Greece. 2000.
63. The Day I Became A woman: First prize from Novo Cinema International Film Festival, Belgium, 2001
64. The Day I Became A woman: Cine Tirol Verleiher Preis from Innsbruck International film festival, Austria, 2001.
65. Stray Dogs: Unicef Award, Venice, Italy, 2004
66. Stray Dogs: The Silver Camera Award (for cultural and artistic communications) Venice, Italy, 2004
67.Stray Dogs: Fipresci Prize, Singapore Film Festival, 2005
68. Stray Dogs: Netpac Prize, Singapore Film Festival, 2005
69.Stray Dogs: Best Film, Bermuda Film Festival, Bermuda 2005
70.The Apple: “Sutherland Trophy”, London Film Festival 1998, UK.
71.The Apple: “International Critics prize”, Locarno Film Festival 1998, Switzerland.
72.The Apple: “Jury’s Special prize”, Thessalonica Film Festival 1998, Greece.
73.The Apple: “Jury’s Special prize”, Sao Paulo Film Festival 1998, Brazil.
74.The Apple: “Jury’s Special prize”, Independent cinema Festival 1999, Argentina.
75. The Apple: “Critic’s prize”, Independent cinema Festival 1999, Argentina.
76. The Apple:“Audience’s prize”, Independent cinema Festival 1999, Argentina.
77. The Black Board: “Jury’s prize”, Official Competition section of Cannes Film Festival 2000, France.
78. The Black Board: “Federico Fillini Honor”, UNESCO, Paris, 2000.
79. The Black Board: “Francois Truffaut prize”, Giffoni Film Festival in Italy 2000.
80. The Black Board: “Giffoni’s Mayor Prize “, Giffoni Film Festival, Italy, 2000.
81. The Black Board: “Special cultural Prize”, UNESCO, paris, 2000.
82. The Black Board: “The grand Jury prize”, American Film Institute, USA, 2000
83. At Five In The Afternoon: “Jury Special award”, Official Competition section of Cannes Film Festival 2003, France.
84. At Five In The Afternoon: "Grand prize from Society of churches of world", Cannes 2003, France.
85. At Five In The Afternoon: Golden Peacock, competition (first prize) for Best film at the 34th International Film Festival of India, India 2003
86. At Five In The Afternoon: The “Youths’ Cinema” Award in Singapore’s 17th International Silver Screen Film Festival 2004
87. Samira as one of the forty best directors of the world, chosen by Guardien, UK, 2004-2005.
88. Two Legged-horse: The Special Jury Prize From the 56th San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spain, 2008.
89."Georges Delerue Award" for Two Legged Horse best music in Belgium.ghent 2008.
90.Rome’s “Special Mention” award granted to “Two Legged Horse” 2008
91. Joy of Madness: The youngest filmmaker on the world from Venice international Film Festival 2003.
92. Joy of Madness: Special Mention Award from Associazione Cultrale le tre Ghinee in Venice Film Festival 2003.
93. Joy of Madness: the Special Jury Prize in the 4th International Film Festival of Tokyo Filmex 2003.
94. Buddha collapsed out of shame: The Special Jury Prize From the 55th San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spain, 2007.
95. Buddha collapsed out of shame: The TVE Award “La Otra Mirada” by Spanish TV, San Sebastian International Film Festival 2007.
96. Buddha collapsed out of shame: Unicef "Paolo Ungari" special award, Rome International Film Festival 2007.
97. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Daniel Langlois Innovation Prize", Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montreal 2007.
98. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Woman & Equality Award", Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece, 2007.
99. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Discovery Prize", Sarlat Film Festival, France, 2007.
100. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Crystal Bear", Berlin Film Festival, Germany, 2008.
101. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Special Peace Award", Berlin Film Festival, Germany, 2008.
102. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Special Award", Association Club de las 25, Spain, 2008.
103. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "ENI Windows on the World Prize" for the Best Feature Film, African Asian and Latin American Film Festival of Milan, Italy, 2008.
104. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Best Film FIPRESCI Award", 11th Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival Ankara, Turkey, 2008.
105. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Special Jury Prize", 14th International Film Festival of Cinema Author, Morocco , 2008.
106. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Founders Prize", the 4th Traverse City Film Festival, USA, 2008.
107. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Silver Mirror" The South Film Festival, Norway, 2008.
108. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Golden Deer" the 38th Molodist Film Festival, Ukraine, 2008.
109. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Cine-club" (FICC jury) the 38th Molodist Film Festival, Ukraine, 2008.
110. Buddha collapsed out of shame: "Ecumenical jury" the 38th Molodist Film Festival, Ukraine, 2008.
111. Green Days: the brave Prize From the 66th Venice International Film Festival, Italy, 2009.
112. Green Days: "Human Right Award" for courageous commitment in defending of human rights of women, Terre des Femmes ( Tuebingen) film festival, Germany, 2009 ( Hana Makhmalbaf dedicated her award to to Mr.Amirentezam for spending 30 years in prison for his fight for democracy)
113. Green Days: "Best Director Award" From Human Rights International Film Festival, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 2010 (Hana Makhmalbaf dedicated her award to an Iranian artist and filmmaker Mr.Nourizad who has been in prison on the grounds of writing painful, frank, daring and explicit letters to Khamenei "The main director of suppressing Iranian people" and has sacrificed his personal interests and benefits, for Iranian people.)
114. A Doggy Life: "Best Film Award" From the Beirut International Film Festival, Lebanon, 2011 (Hana Makhmalbaf dedicated the award to the imprisoned Iranian filmmakers.)
The above 114 international award plus only 6 award from Iran create the 120 awards won by Makhmalbaf Family until today.