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. READ MORE »
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.”
A year into a 20-year filmmaking ban in his native Iran, Jafar Panahi still managed to direct the 2011 documentary This Is Not A Film (which was smuggled to the Cannes Film Festival on a flash drive). The director, who is under house arrest in Iran, has evidently been behind the camera again as his Closed Curtain has just been added to the lineup for the 63rd Berlin Film Festival. Berlin provided few details about the film other than it’s co-directed by Border Café helmer Kambozia Partovi – who co-wrote Panahi’s 2000 Venice winner The Circle – and that both directors play roles in the movie, along with other castmembers. Joining that world premiere in competition will be the next film from No Man’s Land director Danis Tanovic along with Steven Soderbergh‘s Side Effects with Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum and Fredrik Bond’s feature debut The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman starring Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger and Rupert Grint. Berlin runs from February 7-17 this year. Click over for the full list of new additions:
Angry Berlusconi says “There Will Be Consequences”
A day after receiving a jail sentence for tax fraud, Italian media mogul and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he feels “obliged” to stay in politics to “reform the justice system so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to other citizens”. He’s expected to appeal his conviction and four-year prison sentence for inflating the price of distribution rights bought by his Mediaset group to avoid paying taxes. He’s also barred from holding office for five years. He says his court ordeal was “intolerable judicial harassment” by left-leaning judges in Milan. “There will be consequences,” he said in an interview today on TG5, one of the TV channels owned by his conglomerate Mediaset.
Iran may pull an entry from the Venice Film Festival over oil sanctions imposed by the European Union, a government official said over the weekend. “We naturally are thinking over a plan to boycott the festival this year,” …
Shot partially on an iPhone and with a digital camera and smuggled into France in a cake for last-minute submission to Cannes last year, this documentary observes the daily existence of Iranian director Jafar Panahi — under house arrest in Tehran while he appealed a six-year prison sentence and a …
Marzieh Vafamehr, the Iranian actress who was sentenced to a year in prison and 90 lashes for appearing in the government-banned film My Tehran For Sale, has been released from prison, according to Amnesty International. According to the human rights organization, her sentence was reduced to three months and her lashing sentence was overturned; she was released Monday. The movie, an Australian production that wasn’t supposed to be seen in Iran but hit the black market, stars Vafamehr as an actress who is banned from working onstage by Iranian authorities. It shows Vafamehr without a headscarf, and other Iranian young people going to underground raves, smoking hashish and having sex before marriage.
The hard-line Iranian government continues to be the bane of filmmakers there, and the Toronto Film Festival is speaking out. Deadline has told you how the repressive legal system gave six-year prison sentences to directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof for a murky charge of “propaganda against the state,” for publicly mourning the deaths of protesters killed following the presidential elections. Now, six filmmakers have been arrested and charged with espionage for working with the BBC. One of the directors, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, co-directed with Panahi This Is Not a Film, a documentary about Panahi’s plight that was shown during the recent festival. Here is the festival’s protest release:
In another Twilight Zone-like twist to Lars von Trier’s bizarre Cannes experience, the Iranian Vice Minister of Culture Javad Shamaqdari sent a letter slamming the festival for “fascist behavior” in declaring the Danish Melancholia director persona non grata after his attempts to be funny in declaring himself a Nazi and saying that he sympathized with Hitler. Von Trier hasn’t had many come to his defense since issuing those dopey comments, but it is odd to get a statement of support from the same government that gave harsh prison sentences and banishment from filmmaking to two of its most important directors, Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof. Both had new films added to Cannes as a show of solidarity. Of course, von Trier issued another statement, which doesn’t really clear up anything:
In a important show of solidarity, the 2011 Cannes Film Festival has added to its program films directed by Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, the Iranian filmmakers who each drew six-year prison sentences (with a 20-year filmmaking banishment for Panahi) by a strict Tehran regime that charged them with “propaganda against the state.” Essentially, the men were vilified for publicly mourning protesters killed following the presidential election. Panahi, who won Camera d’Or honors at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival for his first film, The White Balloon, and the Golden Lion in 2000 for The Circle, was arrested again in February 2010, and sent to prison in Tehran on the dubious charge of collusion and propaganda. Filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Coppola, Paul Haggis and Sean Penn, and numerous festivals and humanitarian organizations like Amnesty International, have decried the harsh sentences that have cast a chill on all Iranian filmmakers.
For its part, festival organizers reveal they just got the films that were made in “semi-clandestine” conditions.
UPDATE: Martin Scorsese Lends Name To Amnesty International Protest Of Prison Sentences For Iranian Filmmakers
UPDATE: Martin Scorsese, who spoke out in support of Jafar Panahi both when he was first arrested and right after he was convicted, has added his support to the petition being circulated by Amnesty International. His participation …