Iranian director Amir Naderi (Vegas, Manhattan by Numbers, Davandeh-The Runner) will receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival (August 31st – September 10th 2016), dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema.
Amin Naderi will be awarded the prize in a ceremony to be held Monday September 5th at 2:00 pm in the Sala Grande (Palazzo del Cinema), before the Out of Competition screening of his new film Monte, in its world premiere showing in Venice. The film (shot on location in Italy in the mountains of the Alto Adige and Friuli regions) is set in the year 1350 and tells the dramatic story of a man who makes every attempt to bring the sunlight into his village, where his family is barely able to survive because of the prevailing darkness. In 2014 Monte has been one of the projects selected for the Venice Gap-Financing Market, a programme launched by the Venice Production Bridge.
The Director of the Venice Film Festival, Alberto Barbera, made the following statement about the award: “Amir Naderi gave fundamental impetus to the birth of the New Iranian Cinema during the 1970s and ‘80s with a number of masterpieces destined to leave their mark on the history of cinema, such as Davandeh (The Runner, 1985) and Ab, bâd, khâk (Water, Wind, Dust, 1988). But even after moving to New York in 1988, Naderi remained stubbornly true to himself and to a type of cinema dedicated to research and experimentation, which refuses to bow to trends and easy shortcuts. Every film he has made clearly displays the nucleus of an identical obsession which transcends the principle of reality in order to force individuals beyond their own limits. The last half hour of Monte is a sort of synthesis of his entire opus, a larger-than-life metaphor of a struggle for survival prevailing over the dividing lines, intimidations and insults which can sometimes make human existence miserable. The breathtaking epilogue transforms the ideas, emotions and visions at the basis of all his films into powerfully expressive images. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Award is a well-deserved recognition, a tribute to the originality and greatness of a filmmaker who stands out from the crowd, the talent of a passionate director, and the generosity of a man who seems to know no limits.”
Since the 1970s, Amir Naderi (Abadan, 1945) has been among the most influential figures of New Iranian Cinema. He entered the international spotlight with cinema classics such as Tangsir (1974), Entezar (1974), awarded the Jury Prize at the Cannes children’s film festival, The Runner (1985) and Ab, Bad, Khak (1989), which both won the Golden Montgolfiere at Three Continents Festival in Nantes. The first prominent Iranian director to move abroad in the mid ’80s, Naderi’s American films have uniquely captured the vanishing texture of New York. Sound Barrier (2005) won the Roberto Rossellini Critics’ Prize at the Rome Film Festival. Vegas: Based on a True Story, premiered In Competition at Venice in 2008. Cut was shot in Japan and premiered as the Opening Film of the Orizzonti section at Venice in 2011, later winning the 21st Japan Professional Film Awards for Best Director and Best Actor. Naderi’s work has been the subject of retrospectives at museums and film festivals around the world. He has served on international juries such as Jury President for the Competition section of Tokyo FILMeX in 2011 and the Orizzonti section of Venice in 2012. His new film Monte, starring Andrea Sartoretti and Claudia Potenza, and premiering at this year’s Venice Film Festival, is the first film by Naderi to be set and directed in Italy. Monte is an Italian/American/French co-production, by Citrullo International, Zivago Media, Cineric, Ciné-sud Promotion and KNM, in collaboration with Rai Cinema and with the support of the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – General Direction for Cinema.
The film was shot almost entirely on location in the mountains of the Alto Adige region, at an altitude of over 2500 metres on the Latemar mountain chain, and in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the towns of Erto, Casso and Sott’Anzas, with the support of the Alto Adige IDM-Film Commission and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Film Commission. The shooting lasted 6 weeks.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a sponsor of the Venice International Film Festival for the twelfth year in a row, and of the Glory to the Filmmaker prize for the tenth. The prize has been awarded in past years to Takeshi Kitano (2007), Abbas Kiarostami (2008), Agnès Varda (2008), Sylvester Stallone (2009), Mani Ratnam (2010), Al Pacino (2011), Spike Lee (2012), Ettore Scola (2013), James Franco (2014), and Brian De Palma (2015).