You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin replies to Iran’s complaint about Jafar Panahi award

'Closed Curtain' scooped fest's script nod


The Berlin Film Festival Wednesday replied to official protests from Iran regarding the screenplay prize given to dissident helmer Jafar Panahi for “Closed Curtain,” shot while he was under house arrest and banned from filmmaking.

“We would very much regret if the screening will have any legal consequences for the filmmakers,” the fest said in a statement.

“Closed Curtain,” a reflection on being an active artist under physical and creative constraints in Iran, scooped Berlin’s script nod, which was accepted by co-director Kamboziya Partovi at the fest’s closing ceremony on Saturday.

Partovi still lives in Iran and the fest’s comments refer to concerns that he and other filmmakers might suffer a fate similar to Panahi’s.

Iranian news agency ISNA announced Monday that Javad Shamaqdari, head of the country’s national film body, had sent the complaint to Berlin.

“Its officials should amend their behavior because in cultural and cinematic exchange this is not correct,” Shamaqdari, a filmmaker himself, told ISNA. “Everyone knows that a license is needed to make films in our country and send them abroad, but there are a small number who make films and send them out without a license. This is an offense … but so far the Islamic Republic has been patient with such behavior.”

On the Berlinale’s opening night, artistic topper Dieter Kosslick, who has long campaigned for Panahi to be free, said he had asked the Iranian government to allow Pahani to attend the “Closed Curtain” world preem.

In 2010 Iran sentenced Panahi to six years in prison and banned him from making movies for 20 years after finding him guilty of propaganda against the state. At the time he was said to be making a doc about the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Panahi previously made “This Is Not a Film,” depicting a day in his life at home as he waited to hear the verdict from the appeal. Pic world preemed at Cannes in 2011 as a special screening, after being smuggled out of the country.

Iranian police subsequently stopped co-helmer Mojtaba Mirtahmasb at Tehran Airport on his way to the Toronto Film Festival for a screening of “This Is Not a Film” and pulled his passport.

More than a dozen Iranian directors and actors have been arrested and accused of propaganda against the regime. Many have been jailed or prevented from leaving the country.

More Film

  • Macon Blair27th Annual Gotham Independent Film

    Macon Blair to Direct and Write 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot for Legendary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Macon Blair has been tapped to write and direct Legendary’s reboot of the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger,” sources tell Variety. Legendary acquired the feature film rights in December and have quickly made the project a high priority at the studio. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers with Alex [...]

  • Danny Boyle Bond 25

    Danny Boyle Calls His Exit From 'Bond 25' a 'Great Shame'

    Director Danny Boyle has finally spoken out after leaving the upcoming 25th James Bond movie over creative differences. After splitting from the new 007 flick last August, Boyle told Empire in a story published on Thursday that the script he penned with his “Trainspotting” co-writer John Hodge “wasn’t finished, but it could have been really [...]

  • Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    An elegiac documentary exploring the brief life of rapper Lil Peep, “Everybody’s Everything” certainly doesn’t lack for perspectives. Interviewing virtually everyone who knew the musician (born Gustav Ahr), directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan cover the waterfront, from Peep’s family to his girlfriends, his innumerable collaborators, his managers and his fans, trying to distill exactly [...]

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Fox Layoffs: Distribution and Marketing Leaders Out

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Nabs Nine Nominations for 6th Premios Platino

    As was widely anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s triple Oscar-winning “Roma” dominated the 6th Premios Platino nominations, unveiled Thursday at Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Oscars. It snagged a total of nine nominations, including best film, director, art direction, cinematography, and acting for its two Oscar-nominated actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de [...]

  • Stephen Bruno

    Stephen Bruno Exits Netflix for Top Marketing Job at MGM

    Netflix global marketing chief Stephen Bruno has exited his post for MGM, where he has been named chief marketing officer. His departure follows that of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett and marks a major shake-up for the streaming giant. Bruno had been with the streamer since 2014, and is known as an innovator. He joins MGM [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content