Kambozia Partovi, the co-director and co-star of banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi‘s Closed Curtain was in Berlin earlier this month to accept a Best Script Silver Bear on Panahi’s behalf. That will be his last international appearance with the film, for now. I’ve confirmed that Partovi and Closed Curtain actress Maryam Moghadam have both had their passports confiscated by the Iranian authorities, meaning they will be unable to travel with the movie as it makes the festival rounds. It is scheduled for closing night duties at the Hong Kong Film Festival on April 2 and has been invited elsewhere. I understand that it will continue to travel, even if those involved in making it can’t be present in support, and that the film has sold in a number of territories. Panahi is under a 20-year filmmmaking ban for “propaganda against the state.” He continues to make movies, however, including 2011′s This Is Not A Film and this year’s Closed Curtain.
Two child actors from Somalia are headed to the Oscars on Sunday for their nominated short film Asad after filmmakers and others including U.S. and South African government officials rallied to arrange passports, visas, transportation and lodging. Brothers Harun Mohamed (14) and Ali Mohamed (12) were flying today from Cape Town join filmmakers Brian Buckley and Mino Jarjoura for the Oscars. Asad has won popular acclaim along the film festival circuit since April when it premiered at Tribeca Film Festival where it won Best Short Film. Written and directed by Buckley, the film centers on a war-torn fishing village in Somalia and follows a 12-year-old boy who must decide between the pirate life or becoming an honest fisherman. Asad was inspired by a United Nations short documentary, No Autographs. Thanks to filmmakers Buckley and Jarjoura of the U.S. and South Africa’s Rafiq Samsodien, the boys who had never attended school have received private tuition and enrolled in a home school system in South Africa.
Iran Protests Berlin Win For Jafar Panahi’s ‘Closed Curtain’; Festival Says It Would “Regret Any Legal Consequences”
Banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi won the Best Script Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday for his competition entry Closed Curtain. Since then, Iran has complained to fest organizers over the award, Iran’s Student News Agency reported, according to Reuters. The head of the country’s national cinema body, Javad Shamaqdari, said Berlin officials “should amend their behavior” and noted, “Everyone knows that a license is needed to make films in our country and send them abroad, but there are a small number who make films and send them out without a license. This is an offense… but so far the Islamic Republic has been patient with such behavior.” In a statement to Deadline, the festival said: “We would very much regret if the the screening of Pardé (Closed Curtain) would have any legal consequences for the filmmakers.”