Iran’s Fajr Film Festival hit by calls for boycott and rumors

Organizers striving to enliven Fajr Film Festival.

The organizers of the 28th edition of the Fajr International Film Festival, Iran’s most important film gala, are trying to liven up the event as it seems to have been overshadowed by the post-election unrest. Over the past few weeks, it was rumored that a number of Iranian cineastes plan to boycott the festival in protest at the Iranian government’s actions toward the opposition. However, this has not been confirmed by anyone.

The organizers of the festival have yet to announce the members of the festival’s jury as some cineastes have refused to serve on it.

Actor Ezzatollah Entezami said that he could not accept the organizers’ request due to his illness while actress Fatemeh Gudarzi, screenwriters Minu Farshchi, Farhad Tohidi, and director Asghar Farhadi rejected the appeal for various reasons, such as conflicting travel plans.

It has been rumored that Abbas Kiarostami has also refused to participate in the jury. So far, no official comment has been published about this report.

Festival secretary Mehdi Masudshahi said on Thursday that the jury members will be announced during the closing ceremony of the event — a bizarre decision, which has never occurred before in any other edition of the festival.

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