April 2017 | BIPS Research Grant
Bahram Beyzaie is a leading Iranian playwright, filmmaker and scholar, whose work has had great impacts on Iranian theatre and cinema. The project began as a part of my research on Iranian performing arts: cinema, theatre and music and aimed to fulfil public engagement and research objectives.
The public engagement side of the project involved recognising Bahram Beyzaie’s life time achievement by offering him a University of St Andrews honorary doctorate. This side of the project was also important as it was also beneficial in that it raised public awareness about the Persian and Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews. This side of the project was fulfilled when Bahram Beyzaie attended the graduation ceremony and received his degree on 22nd June 2017.
The research side of the project involved several activities, including several interviews that I conducted with Bahram Beyzaie in June 2017, a two-day workshop on his cinema and theatre on 23rd and 24th June 2017 and my interviews with Iranian theatre practitioners who have been most influenced by Bahram Beyzaie (Hamid Amjad, Naghmeh Samini, Mohammad Rahmanian and Mohamamd Charmshir. The workshop which was entitled ‘In Conversation with Bahram Beyzaie’ included two talks by Beyzaie, twelve papers by invited speakers, the screening of the renovated copy of Beyzaie’s first feature film, Ragbar (The Downpour, 1971), and the solo performance of the first part of Beyzaie’s The One Thousand and First Night by Mojdeh Shamsaie. Following the workshop, I took a research trip to Iran during which I had interview with the above playwrights and scholars. The interviews were about Beyzaie’ s approach to cinema and theatre and had three focal points: reformulating Iranian performance and narrative traditions, masculinity, and the idea and concept of the contemporary. You can reach a list of papers presented in the workshop at this page.
I am currently editing some of the papers presented in the conference for a special issue on Bahram Beyzaie’s cinema and theatre. All this could not have happened without the generous support provided by the British Institute for Persian Studies.