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Kamran Shirdel's films have been censored, banned and celebrated for documenting hidden parts of Iranian society – the plight of Tehran's prostitutes, the desperation of female prisoners, and the reality behind false heroes.Early documentaries such as "Women's Quarter" established Shirdel as an uncompromising artist – and got him fired from a job in the shah's Culture Ministry.Shirdel was told to make a film about a boy who had supposedly saved lives by preventing a terrible train accident.He said, 'We found your films,'" and at first Shirdel grew angry, suspecting a cruel hoax.In fact several films – and the unfinished footage of the prostitutes – had been stored, and in coming years they were shown to the public for the first time.Shirdel went on to document the Iranian Revolution, and his later films also have unusual themes. Shirdel is considered a major influence on Iran's new cinema and documentary school of filmmaking, and founded the Kish International Documentary Film Festival – the only independent documentary film festival in Iran.
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