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Keshavarz Receives IDA Student Award

New York University student to receive award for directing and producing THE COLOR OF LOVE (November 29, 2005)

Maryam Keshavarz will receive the International Documentary Association (IDA) David L. Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Award for directing and producing THE COLOR OF LOVE. The New York University student will be feted during the 21st Annual IDA Distinguished Documentary Awards Gala Benefit here at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theatre on December 9.

"Our goal is to provide tangible support for young filmmakers, and to encourage them to pursue careers in the documentary genre," says IDA Executive Director Sandra Ruch. "We are encouraged by the many compelling documentaries that were submitted by young filmmakers from around the world. It bodes well for the future."

The award includes a product grant, an invitation to participate in the Kodak Emerging Filmmakers program, a yearlong IDA membership, and a cash prize from Wolper.

THE COLOR OF LOVE was originally produced as an eight-minute long class project in the ancient city of Shiraz, Iran during the weeklong Ashura festival, where men publicly mourn the death of seventh century leader Imam Hossein. Keshavarz says that the festival provides a rare opportunity for young people to mingle with little or no supervision. She filmed interviews with people from different generations, and asked for their opinions about such wide-ranging issues as love, sex and politics. Their answers unveil the tensions that exist between young Iranians who are yearning for modernity and the traditionalists who run the country.

Keshavarz and her brother, associate producer Hossein Keshavarz, decided to expand THE COLOR OF LOVE into a feature-length documentary following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The film premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2004. It was subsequently screened at various other film festivals including the Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Film & Television Archive's 15th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, and the Full Frame Doc Fest in North Carolina, where it was a Spectrum Award winner and grand jury finalist. It will be distributed to television outlets around the world in 2006.

Keshavarz was born and raised in New York, and also spent summers growing up in Iran. She did her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and earned a degree in comparative literature and women's studies in 1997. She spent a year in Iran, as a visiting student/scholar at Shiraz University. Keshavarz returned to the United States where she received her Master of Arts in Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2000. She is currently enrolled at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she is slated to graduate during the summer of 2006 with a Masters of Fine Arts in directing and screenwriting.

"I have always been interested in documentaries, because it allows you to bring real people, the issues and conflicts that concern them to life," Keshavarz says. "It's an incredible honor receiving this recognition from IDA. I hope this film serves to humanize people in the Middle East for audiences in the United States and other parts of the world."

Keshavarz says that she intends to pursue careers in both narrative and non-fiction filmmaking. She is currently in production on My Father, Khomeini, a documentary that searches for the truth about her father's past while dispelling myths about him, and on HOLDING THE LINE, a documentary about the trials and tribulations of Iran's first women's soccer league. She is also fundraising for her first feature film script Circumstance.

Students interested in entering a documentary in next year's competition can go to for information and entry forms. The annual IDA Awards Gala is designed to recognize and inspire the pursuit of excellence in non-fiction filmmaking. Eastman Kodak Company has sponsored the event since its inception in 1984. Netflix is a major sponsor of the Gala. ABCNEWS VideoSource and Google are presenting sponsors.

About IDA
IDA has nearly 2,500 members in 50 countries. The non-profit organization traces it roots to an informal meeting of about a dozen filmmakers in Los Angeles in 1982. They defined a need for an organization that serves as a forum where non-fiction filmmakers can share ideas, discuss and advocate issues of common interest.

For additional information about the IDA, visit or call 213-534-3600, ext. 0.

Kodak also hosts DocuFest(tm), where all of the award-winning films will be presented followed by discussions with the filmmakers. DocuFest will be held in the company's screening room at 6700 Santa Monica Blvd., in Hollywood, on December 10 from 9:00 a.m.-midnight.


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Related Keywords:International Documentary Association, Maryam Keshavarz, filmmakers, documentaries, Kodak,


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