Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30. Since then he has made many movies and has become one of the most important figures in contemporary Iranian film. He is also a major figure in the arts world, and has had numerous gallery exhibitions of his photography, short films and poetry.
Though Kiarostami emerged in the West as a major filmmaker in the early ‘90s—with films like CLOSE-UP and THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES—he had already been making films in Iran for two decades. Born on June 22nd 1940 in Tehran, Kiarostami was interested in the arts from an early age. He won a painting competition at the age of eighteen, and left home to study at Tehran University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. As a designer and illustrator, Kiarostami worked throughout the ‘60s in advertising, making commercials, designing posters, creating credit titles for films (including Gheyshar by M. Kimiai), and illustrating children’s books.