Artists from around the world have called for the release of the Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi, who was arrested in a raid on his home in Tehran. The award-winning director, a vocal supporter of the Opposition, was seized on Monday night along with
his wife and daughter and 15 house guests.
It is a very shocking development and further demonstration of the intolerance of the regime, said Ken Loach, the British director. I hope all people working in films will call for his release, and speak out in solidarity for him and all
Iranian film-makers working under similar conditions. It is completely unacceptable.
Panahi had supported Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader, in last year's disputed parliamentary elections. He was previously arrested in July at a ceremony commemorating Neda Soltan, the anti-Government protester who was killed by security forces
Last month, Panahi was denied permission to leave Iran to attend the Berlin Film Festival.
Panahi's work has received critical acclaim for its unflinching portrayal of social tensions in contemporary Iran. In 2000, he won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival for The Circle, which depicted women struggling with the country's
inherent sexism. His most recent feature, Offside , depicted a group of women defying a ban on them attending football matches, and attempting to enter the national stadium disguised as men to watch a crucial World Cup qualifier. The film won the
2006 Silver Bear award in Berlin.
Despite his international success, the critical stance in most of Panahi's work has led to conflict with government censors. Most of his films are banned from being shown in Iranian cinemas.
Juliette Binoche taunts Iran during the Cannes festival and gets her film banned in Iran
A rumbling row over censorship between the Cannes film festival and Iran flared anew as Tehran banned celebrated director
Abbas Kiarostami's new movie due to star Juliet Binoche's attire .
The actress award last weekend for her role in Certified Copy, a tortuous tete-a-tete about love and marriage in which she remains determinedly fully clothed throughout.
If Juliette Binoche were better clad it could have been screened but due to her attire there will not be a general screening, Deputy Culture Minister Javad Shamaqdari was quoted as saying by local newspapers.
Binoche and Kiarostami heaped criticism however against Tehran throughout the festival, for the way it treats its film-makers and for its tough censorship stance.
On picking up the best actress prize, the French star brandished a sign with the name of Jafar Panahi, the Iranian film-maker jailed in Tehran in March for planning a film against the Islamic regime.
After years of friction between the Cannes film festival and Tehran, organisers may have added insult to injury this year by inviting jailed Panahi to join the festival jury that decides on the winners of its awards. At the festival's gala
opening, the jury headed by Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton called for his release and left a seat symbolically empty for him on stage.
The acclaimed Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi has been sentenced to six years in prison, and banned from directing and producing films for the next 20 years, his lawyer said.
Panahi, an outspoken supporter of Iran's opposition green movement, was convicted of colluding in gathering and making propaganda against the regime, Farideh Gheyrat told the Iranian state news agency, ISNA.
He is also banned from travelling abroad and also giving any interviews to the media including foreign and domestic news organisations.
Panahi won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes film festival in 1995 for his debut feature, The White Balloon , and the Golden Lion at Venice for his 2000 drama, The Circle . His other films include Crimson Gold and Offside .
He is highly regarded around the world but his films are banned at home.
To: The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran
We call on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the immediate release of internationally respected Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Pahani, (winner of the Camera d' Or at Cannes, the Golden Lion at the Venice Film
Festival and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival) and his family and dependents.
An Iranian appeal court in Tehran has upheld film director Jafar Panahi's sentence to six years in jail, and a twenty-year ban on filmmaking.
Charges against the award-winning director were summarised by state media as: acting against national security and propaganda against the regime .
With the ban now in-place, the filmmaker's This is not a Film , which premiered at Canne Film festival, may be his last work for two decades. The handheld-shot documentary covers Panahi's struggle with censorship whilst being prosecuted.
This is Not a Film is thoughtful, inviting and not at all preachy or didactic. It is truly a video postcard, though a potentially contentious one having been smuggled to the 2011 London Film Festival via a memory stick. Still, it stands up
a testimony to the defiance against censorship and towards this man's desire to tell stories, in whatever format he is able to.
Jafar Panahi's This Is Not A Film demonstrates by the simple fact of its existence that the political oppression of difficult artists -- a tradition as ancient and venerable as art itself -- is alive and well in modern Iran. No surprises there,
perhaps, but more encouragingly it also shows that Iranian responses to being silenced are as inventive as any ever developed by film-makers in repressive regimes. Given the formal and stylistic adventurousness of many movies made under arduous
political circumstances, you might even argue that a bracing dose of aggressive censorship and brutal repression can sometimes do wonders for a director's formal and intellectual development.
A day in the life of a banned Iranian film director. Smuggled out of the country and endangering all those who helped out in the production.
This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (OFFSIDE, THE CIRCLE) during his house arrest in his
Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of
Jafar Panahi's Closed Curtain will be released digitally online and will be free for viewers in Iran using VHX,
the direct-to-consumer platform, beginning Monday, July 14th.
One of Iran's most celebrated filmmakers, Panahi has been under house arrest since 2011, and the Iranian government has banned him from making any films for 20 years. Closed Curtain marks Panahi's second time defying the ban placed upon him
by the government. The first was his 2011 documentary This is Not a Film.
Closed Curtain won the Silver Bear for Best Script at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and recently opened at the Film Forum in New York City. It will screen across the U.S. and Canada throughout the rest of the summer.
VHX has led the charge on a social media campaign to support Panahi. Using the hashtag #Celebratenotcensor, VHX is asking people to tweet using that hashtag and to:
Show your support as well by sharing a personal message of support for Jafar and for other artists around the world who are being denied the freedom of expression.