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1940 - 2016

Tehran, Iran


Abbas Kiarostami was an eminent Iranian director known for films such as Close-Up (1990), Taste of Cherry (1997), and Ten (2002). Addressing a variety of topics, including spiritual journeys and suicide. Along with his movies, Kiarostami also created poetry, paintings, and photography. “The calling of art is to extract us from our daily reality, to bring us to a hidden truth that's difficult to access,” he once said. Born on June 22, 1940 in Tehran, Iran, Kiarostami began his artistic career as a painter while attending the University of Tehran School of Fine Arts. In the 1960s, he worked in advertising as a painter, designer, and illustrator. In the following decade, the artist became a key figure in the development of cinema in his country leading up to the revolution of 1979. Despite the Iranian revolution and its hardline Islamic reforms, Kiarostami stayed in the country and continued to direct short features. By the 1990s, he had gained acclaim from a number of foreign directors, including Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Werner Herzog. The artist went on to receive the Federico Fellini Gold Medal in 1997, the Akira Kurosawa Award in 2000, and the Fellowship of the British Film Institute in 2005. Kiarostami died on July 4, 2016 in Paris, France.

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