Farhang Foundation’s Short Film Festival
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On March 14th 2010, at the Farhang Foundation’s Nowruz celebration and award ceremony, WIMV-NY accepted the award for first prize and delivered the following speech:
On behalf of Where Is My Vote-NY and all of the artists involved with our project, we would like to greatly thank the Farhang Foundation and Sociarts for this award and for creating a space for artists to showcase their talents and passions. The Farhang Foundation should be applauded for its acknowledgement that art can be and often is political, and for their choice not to censor political art.
This honor is even more significant for us because of the missions of these two groups granting the award. The Farhang Foundation is a non-political, non-partisan organization, committed to furthering art, culture and history for the benefit of the community. Sociarts believes in supporting artists that transcend boundaries in the pursuit of social change.
These missions could not more closely mirror the vision of our project.
Iran is a place where art has strongly and consistently performed these roles. Every historical moment, every shift in thought has been accompanied by its own song, film, poem or book. Like Morghe Sahar and the words of Shamloo as they escaped his prison walls, when we heard and saw Mansour Tehrani’s “Yar-e-Dabestani” sung by populist choirs on the streets and in the universities of Iran, this was a moment in which artists and art became one; in which history and the history-makers were inseparable; in which young Iranians, brave and idealistic, took to the streets in a sea of green, with rhymes and song and demanded the simplest of demands: for their voices to be heard, for freedom to speak, and for their votes to be counted. Some have paid for this with their freedom, others with their lives.Their creative action inspired us—a bunch of kids from New York City—to try to amplify their voices and honor them and Iran’s artistic traditions.
We share this recognition with our brothers Fared Shafinury & Tehranosaurus, whose talent cannot escape notice; with Simon Ampel, who shared our vision and infused his own traditions; and with Kourosh Shemirani, who was the captain at the helm of this ship.
Above all, this song, this video and this award belong to the youth of Iran. This is their award! They are poetry come alive, healing a divided nation and painting a brighter future.
Kee metoneh joz man o tou, darde mara chareh koneh.
Where is My Vote - NY