×

Jafar Panahi Appears Via Skype at Karlovy Vary Fest

Director is under house arrest in Iran

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Rep. — Iranian helmer Jafar Panahi, who is under house arrest and waiting to start a six-year prison sentence, made a surprise appearance via Skype at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival Wednesday, before the screening of his latest film “Closed Curtain.”

The director is banned from leaving Iran, as are the film’s co-director Kambuzia Partovi and star Maryam Moghadam, so is prevented from promoting the film abroad. It won best screenplay this year at the Berlinale, where he also won a Silver Bear in 2006 for “Offside.” He was on the jury at Karlovy Vary in 2001.

Last week, he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The director is officially banned from making films for 20 years, but shot “Closed Curtain” in secret at his home. His previous pic was 2011’s “This Is Not a Film,” which was also made in defiance of the ban.

The director’s daughter Solmaz Panahi, who appeared in his Venice Golden Lion prizewinning film “The Circle,” was at the Karlovy Vary screening to represent him, and unexpectedly announced that the director himself would speak to the audience, whereupon he appeared on screen via a Skype link.

“Karlovy Vary festival is one of the festivals I truly love, and when I was here I had the chance to meet with great film-makers who became part of my family,” he told the audience.

“Unfortunately I have lost that family, but my heart is with you.

“I hope one day that I will be able to make films again, and that I will be able to show them to you.

“It’s very painful for me not to be part of society, because I make films that are about and focus on society, so I now live in a world of melancholy.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content