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Remarkable hat-trick of triumphs for Iranian cinema

CANNES, France, May 21 (AFP) - Bahman Ghobadi and Hassan Yektapanah, joint winners of the Cannes Film Festival's Golden Camera Sunday for their first features, respectively "A Time for Drunken Horses" and "Djomeh", are both former assistants of the Iranian veteran director Abbas Kiarostami.

Along with 20-year-old Samira Makhmalbaf, who won the Jury prize for her second film "Blackboard", they have achieved a remarkable hat-trick of triumphs for Iranian cinema. Photo here Feature here Video here

Ghobadi, 31, also starred in Makhmalbaf's film "Blackboard" which, like his own film, was shot on location near the Kurdish border.

"A Time for Drunken Horses" had already been awarded the International Critics (FIPRESCI) prize.

Assistant on Kiarostami's award-winning "The Wind will Carry us Away", Ghobadi made his film on a 120,000-dollar budget using non- professionals.

The story recounts the adventures of a family of young orphans attempting to cross the border into Iraq while carrying contraband.

For the child actors, Ghobadi says, "this was not acting, it was their reality."

Yektapanah, 37, was Kiarostami's assistant on "The Taste of Cherry", Golden Palm winner in 1997.


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