Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults

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Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults
Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults 1965.jpg
Established8 January 1965
FounderFarah Diba
Leyli Amir Arjmand
Chairmanfazel Nazari
Presidentfazel Nazari
Academic staff
Book, Short film, Documentary, Music, Animation, Puppet Show, Toy, Computer training (software)
WebsiteOfficial website

Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA, Persian: کانون پرورش فکری کودکان و نوجوانان‎, Kānoon-e Parvaresh-e Fekri-e Koodakān va Nojavānān, better known as Kanoon or Kānoon) is an Iranian institution with a wide range of cultural and artistic activities in the field of mental and cultural development for children and young adults. The organization was at the center of the vanguard of cultural production in the late 60s and early 1970s and is the platform through which many of Iran's most regarded artists and filmmakers, such as Abbas Kiarostami and Morteza Momayez, launched their careers.[1]


Early years[edit]

Founded in 1965, Kanoon was originally one of the many cultural initiatives that fell under the broad purview of Farah Diba. Its initial ambitions were educational and social in nature; the program, led by one of Farah's close friends Lili Amir-Arjomand, involved building a network of both permanent and traveling libraries across the country in order to promote culture and literacy. During this period, Kanoon's publishing consisted only of translating and importing western classics such as Hans Christian Andersen. Eventually, Kanoon began producing and publishing its own books and soon after grew to be not just a social organization, but also a prolific producer of many kinds of materials for children.[1][2]

At the center of this leg of the initiative was Firooz Shirvanloo, who acted as both co-director and as an informal Art Director for the organization. Through Shirvanloo, Kanoon attracted many of the famous names that are associated with the project today: Abbas Kiarostami, Farshid Mesghali, Noureddin Zarrinkelk, Amir Naderi, Morteza Momayez, Ali Akbar Sadeghi, and more. Shirvanloo's strong political leanings also attracted an equally significant group of left-wing writers and researchers. (He was fired in 1972 for this very reason.)[1]

Eventually the book publishing and illustration segued into animation which then segued into film, which required posters and pretty soon Kanoon was producing everything from toys designed by sculptors, to staging theatrical productions, printing LPs of Iranian music, LPs of Western Classical music, LPs of poetry, festivals, and conferences. Many these materials toured with the traveling libraries.

Within the walls of Kanoon, there was an unprecedented amount of freedom and support provided to the artists involved. Under these circumstances Kanoon turned into a sort of quasi-utopian hub, or incubator or laboratory for an incredible group of artists, many of whom worked across several media (most of the major protagonists were designers and also illustrators and would experiment with animation or filmmaking if they chose to). To have this type venue available at this pivotal moment when Iran is transitioning into modernity in terms of its visual culture was absolutely crucial. The output of Kanoon during this era more or less defined the aura of childhood in Iran for an entire generation. These were the books that everybody read, the music that everyone heard and this legacy is still quite potent today.[1]

This incorporation of folk elements was critical to Kanoon's signature style not only visually but more so in the stories were told in the books and in the films and in the music. Often there was a certain amalgamation of elements, such as folk songs played in a psychedelic style, or a folk story illustrated in a very graphic manner.


Although no longer at the center of an artistic vanguard, Kanoon continues to operate as an important public institution to this day; continuing with its program of libraries, publishing, animation, and most significantly, film.[3]

In 1999, Children of Heaven was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film of Academy Awards (Oscar) and honored in many festivals globally.[4]

Partial filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Year Title Director Notes
1974 The Traveller Abbas Kiarostami
1974 Entezar (Waiting) Amir Naderi
1985 The Runner Amir Naderi
1987 Kelid (The Key) Ebrahim Forouzesh Written by Abbas Kiarostami
1987 Where Is the Friend's Home? Abbas Kiarostami
1989 Homework Abbas Kiarostami
1989 Bashu, the Little Stranger Bahram Beyzai
1992 Life and Nothing More Abbas Kiarostami
1998 Children of Heaven Majid Majidi Nominated for and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Short films[edit]

Year Title Director Notes
1969 Amoo Sibiloo (Uncle Moustache) Bahram Beyzai
1970 Safar (the Journey) Bahram Beyzai
1970 The Bread and Alley Abbas Kiarostami
1972 Black and White Sohrab Shahid-Saless
1972 Zang-e Tafrih Abbas Kiarostami
1974 Harmonica Amir Naderi
1974 Hassani Shahpur Gharib
1975 Two Solutions for One Problem Abbas Kiarostami
1975 So Can I Abbas Kiarostami
1976 Rangha Abbas Kiarostami


Year Title Director Notes
1970 Mister Monster Farshid Mesghali
1970 Misunderstanding Farshid Mesghali
1971 The Boy, the Bird and the Musical Instrument Farshid Mesghali
1971 Seven Cities Ali Akbar Sadeghi
1972 The Grey City Farshid Mesghali
1972 Flower Storm Ali Akbar Sadeghi
1973 A Very Good Worm Farshid Mesghali
1973 Boasting Ali Akbar Sadeghi
1973 The Bird of Doom Morteza Momayez
1974 Look Again Farshid Mesghali
1974 Rook Ali Akbar Sadeghi
1975 The Sun King Ali Akbar Sadeghi
1975 Mad Mad World Noureddin Zarrinkelk
1977 Amir Hamza the Lover and the Dancing Zebra Noureddin Zarrinkelk


  1. ^ a b c d "Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children & Young Adults (Kanoon)". Bidoun (16). 2009.
  2. ^ Kanoon Interview with Lili Amir-Arjomand
  3. ^ ". : . کانون پرورش فکری کودکان و نوجوانان . : . صفحه اصلی".
  4. ^

External links[edit]