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Iranian festival pulls Israeli film

'More Than 1000 Words' was invited to screen at Fajr

BERLIN — German-produced Israeli doc “…More Than 1000 Words” is generating buzz at Iran’s ongoing Fajr Film Festival — for not screening during the 11-day event.

Solo Avital’s hard-hitting doc follows Israeli photojournalist Ziv Koren and his work in Israeli-Palestinian conflict zones.

Fest organizers initially contacted Telepool, the pic’s Munich-based sales company, to invite the film to screen in a special section focusing on the recent Israeli-Lebanese war and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The story of the first Israeli film to unspool in Iran since the Islamic revolution 27 years ago made huge headlines across the Mideast.

But local papers and TV shows in Tehran posed the fateful question: “Is (Iranian) President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad aware that an Israeli film will be screened in his own backyard at the international film festival in Tehran?”

Not surprisingly, the pic was suddenly out of the running for the fest, which ends Sunday.

“We had requested a screener of ‘…More Than 1000 Words’ for preview by the selection committee,” said Fajr fest manager Mohammad Nadjafi. “But the screener did not reach here when the selection committee was previewing films for the schedule.”

The pic’s producer, Oliver Berben, who is also head of Berlin-based shingle Moovie, maintains that the pic was the victim of politics.

“It’s really too bad,” he said. “Screening the film would have been a chance to bring people together. Art and movies should be above politics, but in this case they’re apparently not.”

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