VENICE (Reuters) - Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who was released from jail earlier this year, said on Wednesday he was not allowed to leave his home country to attend the Venice film festival.
In a written statement to the festival, where his short film "The Accordion" is screening, Panahi said that he had been officially banned from making films in the past five years.
"Despite having been released, I am still not free to travel outside my country to attend film festivals," the award-winning director said.
"When a filmmaker is not allowed to make films, it is as if his mind was still imprisoned. Maybe he is not locked up in a small cell, but he keeps wandering in a much bigger jail."
Panahi, a supporter of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi in last year's disputed presidential election, was released on bail in May after a week on hunger strike. He had been held for 88 days as authorities suspected him of planning to make an anti-government film.
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