Winner, Achievement in Cinematography, 2012
Bahman Ghobadi was born on February 1st, 1969 in Baneh, a city near the Iran- Iraq border in the province of Kurdistan, Iran. He was the first son in a family of seven siblings. He lived in Baneh until, at the age of 12, civil disputes caused his entire family to immigrate to Sanandaj, the centre of Kurdistan Providence in Iran. After graduating from high school in Sanandaj, Ghobadi moved to Tehran in 1992. He started his artistic career in the field of Industrial Photography. Though he attended the Iranian Broadcasting College, he never graduated. Rather than following a formal curriculum, he believed the only way he could learn the craft of cinema was by tirelessly making short films. Using 8mm film, his starting point was to shoot a series of short documentaries.
Though his instinctive and hands-on approach to filmmaking, Ghobadi developed a unique style, soon gaining widespread local recognition. A breakthrough came with Life in a Fog (1999). Following this Ghobadi went to make A Time for Drunken Horses (2000) – The first feature-length Kurdish film in the history of Iran. This film and all subsequent made Ghobadi – among others, Half Moon (2004), Turtles Can Fly (2006) and No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009) – were widely praised at film festivals the world over, gathering dozens of awards, but were little or not seen in his native country.
He has since had to leave Iran and continue working abroad.
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