By Olympia Awards Gellini as compiled by Ethel C. Richard.
Recently… (November 5th) Dr. Olympia Awards Gellini received honors of the Raj Kapoor Award for his outstanding contributions to the film industry while at the same time he was congratulated by Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
From the earliest time I can remember I had wanted to be a film maker and to invent an awards platform for film makers that would reach around the world and would reward the very best of the world’s talents in film making. I was 3 years old and I was dreaming about creating an Olympics for film makers, fantasizing whenever I got a break from studies and other household family assignments. Having been born into the vast culturally rich society of Iran during 1958 it was very easy for me as an inquisitive boy to investigate the diverse cultural avenues available in my homeland. During those years of my childhood Iran was known as Persia and we who grew up living there were encouraged in western ideas and in learning about secular and other cultural activities of the many nations of the world. My parents traveled often on assignment for the Shah and I had an excellent nanny (from Russia) and two maids (one from China and the other Taiwan) while I was attending school and so I was exposed to differing cultures from a very early age.
I was age 18 when I’d married fresh out of school and my wife was a lady from one of the greatest, one of the finest noble families of Lorestan Province. My wife Parvin was a lovely, fine lady with a great vision and who always loved to help people. She cared about families and children and was the first to pitch in and assist when someone needed a helping hand.
A few years into our marriage I was a participant in the Tashkan, Russia Film Festival. Many of my friends and some of my family were telling me to stay away from the festival because of dangerous political factions of the time. My mother on the other hand had always advised me to, “Do as your heart tells you!” and so I attended the festival that year and I won honors for my first film “GRADAB (RIVER)” It was a drama about two students, one which was living a wholesome life of good attitude and eager to learn, of good character––and the other character in the drama was a troubled youth who was addicted to drugs and who was challenged about the meaning of life and about his own self- worth. I had been creating films and showing them in Tehran University Theater, and often times I would bring the films into the public forum outside of school. My films were always with a theme which might teach a moral precept or make an inspirational statement or which would encourage love and good relationships within families and emphasized good education.
The Film RIVER was never to be licensed within Iran because of internal politics within the country (a result of the Iranian Revolution) however; later the film was shown in Europe. The first film festival I’d ever attended was marked by tragedy however, as I had attended the Tashkan, Russia Film Festival in order to pick up my award, and while I was away from home I got the call that my lovely wife, her sister and my brother in law who were back in Iran had been in an auto accident and that my wife and her sister had not survived. It was 1979 and I was twenty one years old with two precious baby daughters to think about. I was devastated and I returned home with a very heavy heart. With so much sadness, grief overwhelming me at that time everything else having happened in my life and suddenly my life and that of my daughters was
changed in an instant. My wife’s mother took in my children Sanaz and Elham the eldest just three years old and she assisted me to raise them from that point on, providing them each a stable home while I continued to work. I visited with my children every chance I got. In the mid 1980’s I moved to Los Angeles, opened an Iranian bookstore, later adding on a family café and a fitness room in the Iranian sector of the city while in his spare time he would network and be active within film circles. I would go on to found The World Film Institute with Tiche Wilkerson, meet Jack Valenti (then president of the Motion Picture Association) at the Cannes Film Festival who would recommend me to my future friend and partner Dick Clark and from there I would become involved within the formation of an historic partnership …with the legendary Dick Clark and Dick Clark Productions. And so was born the Family Film Awards and the World Film Awards… and today this tradition continues and is part of a world effort of the World Film Institute and the United Nations (with offices in several countries and participation of over 80 nations including India, Israel, Egypt, China, South Korea, South America, several of the European Union, France, Poland and Germany (to name a few), the United States and Canada and the Philippines) who have climbed on board in the effort to bring Olympia Awards 12 Olympias Cultural Arts Competitions of Cultures, Arts, Artists and Entertainment, The World Film Awards (and) the World Family Film Awards to all nations of the globe.
Dr. Gellini has meaningful advice for each person who has a dream. “Always move forward …and never give up on your dream. Only you can say if you will make it. Have faith in your dream and with an attitude and a heart to make it, hard work and sincere persistence you too can make your dream come true.”