Mannheim-Heidelberg condemns Iran arrests

Fest compares Tehran regime to Nazis

The Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival on Friday condemned the recent arrest of six Iranian filmmakers, comparing the actions of Iranian authorities to those of the Nazis.

It issued a statement saying it “protests helplessly, but full of anger, against a regime which acts in a ruthless and inhuman way that reminds of Nazi Germany.”

The filmmakers arrested on Sept. 17 include producer Katayoun Shahabi, the fest’s business partner, as well as directors Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Nasser Saffarian, Hadi Afarideh, Shahnama Bazdar and Mohsen Shahrnazdar.

Iranian authorities accuse them of collaborating with the BBC, which is forbidden in Iran, and of portraying a negative image of the country in their films.The San Sebastian festival earlier condemned the arrests.

Mannheim-Heidelberg appealed to other international fests to temporarily ban people “who more or less openly work for the regime” in orgs such as the state-backed Farabi Cinema Foundation and Visual Media Institute.

The fest runs Nov. 10-20.

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