Anyone visiting the Iranian pavilion is in for a surprise: there’s nothing there besides a completely empty, furniture-less room.
The reason behind the mysterious void is less to do with the political situation in Iran, and more down to do with good old-fashioned filmmaker petulance. After Iranian pics were blanked from the Cannes Official Selection, a group of Iranian industryites called for a fest boycott and petitioned their filmmaking compatriots to do the same.
The move drew an outcry from the majority of Iranian producers and helmers, who wanted to build on Iran’s first participation in the Intl. Pavilion last year. Khaneh Cinema (the Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds) agreed to foot the bill for the empty pavilion to avoid censure from Cannes fest officials. State-backed Farabi Cinema Foundation continued their long policy of promoting Iranian cinema by taking a booth in the market, suggesting official backing for Iranian presence here.
This year’s contingent also includes independent Iranian producers.