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Last Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Swiss honour for Iranian director
Abbas Kiarostami
Kiarostami won Cannes' Palme d'Or for 1997 film Taste of Cherry
Iranian film-maker Abbas Kiarostami has been honoured at Switzerland's Locarno film festival as "the greatest director in contemporary Iranian film-making".

Organisers gave Kiarostami its Leopard of Honour, referring to him as "one of the great names in film".

He won the festival's prestigious Bronze Leopard in 1989 for Where is the Friend's Home? His 1997 film Taste of Cherry won the Palme D'Or at Cannes.

The 10-day Locarno film festival ends on 13 August.

Clashed with censors

Unlike many Iranian filmmakers who fled following the 1979 Islamic revolution, Kiarostami has stayed in Iran, often saying he felt he made his best work in his native country.

However the subject of his films - such as the lack of rights of women explored in his movie Ten - has led to clashes with Iranian censors, and the director's work has not been shown officially in his native country for 10 years.

Despite increasing international acclaim, Mr Kiarostami also found himself an unwitting victim of tightened US immigration laws following the 11 September attacks.

He was denied a visa to attend a screening of Ten at the New York Film Festival in 2002.

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