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TEHRAN –(Iranart)- Iranian cineastes have expressed their sympathy over the death of actor and former footballer Ali Ansarian who died of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

One of the messages of condolences came on Thursday by the organizers of the 39th Fajr Film Festival, currently underway in Tehran and several other cities across the country, which is screening his film “Romanticism of Emad and Tuba” directed by Kaveh Sabbaghzadeh.

“As a nationally popular figure, Ali Ansarian was the Iranian people’s beloved. He was passing through some traumatic days of his life, and we had hoped that he would return and shine at the festival with his first appearance at the event,” they wrote.

“Of course, he remains as a star and shins, and now has joined the Light,” they added.

In a press conference organized during the festival on Thursday for “Once Upon a Time in Abadan”, Hamid Azarang’s directorial debut, producer Ali Owji asked journalists and critics to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of Ansarian.

Popular actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria, a star of the film, also pointed to the death of Mehrdad Minavand, another former footballer who passed away of COVID-19 last week, and said, “We lost two role models in life and championship.”

“I think that if I were to die, people would feel less grief than that over Ansarian’s death,” she added.

Speaking at a press conference for director Ruhollah Hejazi’s drama “Bright” at the festival, actor Reza Attaran said that he has good memories of times with Ansarian and Minavand, and asked the government to buy COVID-19 vaccine soon to prevent more casualties.  

In his Twitter account, Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi also offered his condolences over the death of Ansarian.

“A symbol of love of mother left us on Mothers’ Day joining Him. Iran mourns for Ali Ansarian.” In Iran Mother’s Day is celebrated annually on the birthday of Hazrat Fatima (SA), the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (S).

A pretty, rustic affection for his mother was Ansarian’s trademark. 43-year-old Ansarian never married in order to be totally at his mother’s service and, once, on a TV program, he conceded that he wished that he would die before his mother did.

He started his footballing career in Fajr Sepasi in 1996 and joined Persepolis two years later. He also represented Iran national football team from 1998 to 2007.

He quit football at the age of 34, trying his hand at acting with several TV series and movies, including “The Reward of Silence”, “Good Sense of Life” and “Ajdar”.

Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (FIAP) president Riccardo Busi, who had met Ansarian at the 36th Milano International FICTS Fest, also sent a message of condolences to the Focus Photo Club, Iran’s branch of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP).     

source: Tehran Times

Ali Ansarian
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