A celebrated Kurdish Iranian musical artist has won Iran’s prestigious Hafez Film Award for Best Original Song. The Kurdish singer, Shahram Nazeri, is 63 years old, and was awarded for his song, “The Excuse” at the 2015 Hafez Film Awards.
The Kurdish singer’s song recently appeared in a film made by Masoud Jaafari, a member of Iran’s minority Lur (or Lor) community. The movie, a comedy drama, won the Hafez Award for best picture, and is the most recent project for Shahram Nazeri, who is 63 years old.
Founded in 2000, the Hafez Film Awards ceremony is an annual festival held in Tehran, Iran. The festival features the screenings of a wide range of Iranian movies. Awards are given in several categories, including Best Performances and Best Picture.
Controversy by the Kurdish Singer
Over the years, Shahram Nazeri has been recognized by prestigious awards such as the French Chevalier des Arts et Lettres medal, and the award for “Best Singer of Classical Persian and Sufi Music” by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
The 63-year old Kurdish singer pushed Kurdish-Iranian cultural boundaries when he performed a traditional Kurdish song in his hometown of Kermanshah in the Kurdish region of Iran last year.
The Kurdish song, “Xom Kermashanai, Farsi Niyezanim,” means “I am from Kermanshah, I don’t speak Farsi,” and was condemned by authorities for advocating Kurdish nationalism against the Iranian government.
Kurdish music and culture has been suppressed in Iran for a number of years.[Read more at Rudaw]