Iran: Filmmakers union calls for release of director Jafar Panahi

Tehran: The Iranian filmmakers union demanded their authorities to release the award-winning director, Jafar Panahi, who has been arrested since July 2022. They expressrd concern for his health, local media reported.

62-year-old Jafar Panahi, Iranian film director, screenwriter, and film editor, was arrested on July 11, 2022, when he went to the prosecutor’s office to follow up on the situation of another filmmaker, Mohammad Rasoulof.

Panahi was also arrested in 2010, after his support for anti-government protests. He was later convicted of “propaganda against the regime”, sentenced to six years of imprisonment and banned from directing or writing films, Mehr News Agency reported.

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Since then he has been banned from leaving the country to collect any of his awards.

The House of Cinema union said in a press release published on its website that it “requests, insistently, the judicial authorities to discuss the release of Jafar Panahi as soon as possible,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

The union added that the request is based on “sufficient legal documents that were provided for the release of Jafar Panahi, as well as the need to take care of his physical condition and illness,” without providing additional details in this regard.

Panahi is considered one of the most prominent Iranian directors. He won several international awards, the most important of which is the Golden Bear Award for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015 for the movie “Tehran Taxi”. He shared the award with the best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 for his movie “Three Faces”.