Remembering Abbas Kiarostami: A Tribute to His Life and Legacy
Abbas Kiarostami (1940 – 2016) was an internationally acclaimed film director, screenwriter and photographer whose work brought Iran and Iranian characters to life in a humanizing and colorful way.
Born in Tehran, Kiarostami studied fine arts at University of Tehran before starting work in advertising as a designer and illustrator. In 1969, he helped found the filmmaking department at the Centre for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started his own career with the educational short Bread and Alley (1970).
A member of the New Wave in pre-revolutionary Iran, he did not gain an international reputation until after the revolution in 1979. Known for his unpretentious philosophical vision and the poetry of his works, the first of Abbas Kiarostami’s many appearances at Cannes was with Life and Nothing More? in the Un Certain Regard section in 1992. In 1997, he became the first Iranian director to win the Palme d’Or with Taste of Cherry.
Ahmad Kiarostami is co-founder and CEO of Koantum, an interactive online learning platform designed for early learners, helping students in kindergarten through fifth grade learn science. He is a board member for the National Iranian American Council and the Roxie Theater.
Prior, Ahmad Kiarostami founded Fotomoto, which holds two patents on distributed ecommerce. Before moving to the U.S. in 2001, he founded three companies in Iran, including Negah, the first multimedia and online production venue in Iran. Before that, he held a leadership role at Microsoft’s Middle East operations. Hei also started Docunight, an initiative to show Iranian documentaries, with monthly screenings in more than 20 cities in North America.
Ahmad Kiarostami studied math and computer science at Sharif University. In 2016 he became a fellow at Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C.