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Cinema Vérité commemorates deceased scholar Akbar Alemi

The 14th Cinema Vérité pays tribute to late film scholar Akbar Alemi.

The 14th edition of the Cinema Vérité, Iran’s major international documentary festival, has held a commemorating ceremony for the late film scholar Akbar Alemi.

Honored with a lifetime achievement award on Monday, some of friends and documentarians talked about Alemi during the ceremony.

Photographer and filmmaker Seifollah Samadian said he was always completely ready to attend to TV programs.

“There are many precious people in different art and cultural arenas in the country, but Alemi was one of whom many fields in art were proud, and many believed that part of the other activities are known through the name and appearance of Alemi,” he said.

“I got to know that Alemi was the one who lived every moment of his 75 years of life in its real meaning during his research works, his teachings and even in his silence. Whatever I have learned from him I teach the young filmmakers and photographers. The first thing I tell them is that they must first get to know themselves, and believe that no one can take their place, and that they cannot take the place of others,” Samadian added.

“He avoided any jealousy in his works, he was serious in everything and participated actively in whatever he did,” the friend also noted.

Calling it a bitter occasion to talk about friends after their death, veteran graphic designer Ebrahim Haqiqi said, “It was a bad year; we lost our dear ones one after the other. All those who knew the cinema of Iran knew that Alemi was one of the unique ones.”

Haqiqi admired Alemi as a modest person with a vast knowledge, adding “Our pain in losing Alemi is that we can’t replace such a great man. But we must know that he, like any great artist, will never die.”

The lifetime achievement award was presented to his family at the end of the ceremony.

Alemi died of COVID-19 in October at the age of 75.

He was the dean of the Animation Department at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modares University, one of the documentary making pioneers in the country, and a promoter of modern methods in documentary genre.

Making some TV programs, including ‘Other Side of the Coin’, ‘Seventh Art’, and ‘Beyond Cinema’ during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the late scholar helped revive academic cinema while it was about to fade away in the country.

Active as writer and translator many books, he was a jury member at several Iranian and international film and animation festivals.

Earlier, the Cinema Vérité organizers announced that a selection of documentaries praised at the 2020 edition of several international events would be reviewed during a special section titled “World’s Best”.

The international section of the festival contains several non-competition sections such Special Displays, Mirror of a Festival, Portrait, Perspective of One Country Documentary Cinema, Chile Documentary Cinema, Masters of 2020, and 13 Editions & 13 Films.

The 14th Cinema Vérité, being held online due to the coronavirus outbreak, opened in Tehran on Tuesday and will come to an end on December 22.

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