Iranian Film Director Abbas Kiarostami, during his visit to the 54th Cartagena Film Festival, March 16, 2014.
AFP / Joaquin Saramiento
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Tributes poured in Tuesday for Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, acclaimed as a "towering figure" in world cinema, following his death in France at the age of 76 . Kiarostami, who won the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 for "Taste of Cherry," emerged from the Iranian New Wave of the late 1960s to become one of the world's most revered directors.Iranian cinemas were due to pause showings Tuesday evening for a prayer in Kiarostami's memory, ISNA reported.Deciding to stay on after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Kiarostami was able to skirt the difficulties faced by other directors since his films were never overtly political, preferring to tell philosophical tales about the lives of ordinary people.Although some of his films were banned in Iran, he became an ambassador for the country's continued cultural riches.
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