Mohammad Rasoulof’s Future and Freedom Is Still Up In The Air
Director Mohammad Rasoulof’s A Man of Integrity has racked up awards, while the filmmaker’s future remains imperiled.
We previously reported on Rasoulof’s tussle with Iran’s government, who had confiscated his passport and held a jail sentence over his head. Although charged with treason and creation of propaganda, Rasoulof was let go on bail after he appealed for a reduced sentence.
Rasoulof remains stoic, but uncertain: “I am completely in the dark, I do not know what is going to happen…But I will not allow myself to be beaten by it…If people were not supporting me outside Iran…my situation would be a lot worse.”
There is now a Change.org petition demanding that “Freedom of Expression of Iranian Film Director Mohammad Rasoulof.” It can be found here, and has over 18,000 signatures at time of this writing.
Next Weeks’ Third Eye Filmfest to Feature Iranian Films in Mumbai
In filmfest news, we have another festival in India with a strong presence of Iranian content: the 16th annual Third Eye Asian Film Festival comes to Mumbai, starting off this past Thursday and running on until December 28th.
Four feature-length Iranian films will be part of the schedule, along with eight shorts. The feature length films include Kamal Tabrizi’s Emkane Mina (“Mina’s Choice”) from 2015, which won the Crystal Simorgh for Best Music and one for Best Makeup last year, as well as Mohamad Rahmanian’s debut film, 2016’s Cinema Nimkat (“Bench Cinema”).
Censorship of Film in Iran Extends Past National Borders
How far can national censorship reach?
This question was interrogated this past week, as Abdolreza Kahani found his recent film Delighted, formerly banned in Iran, now prevented from screening in Toronto.
Originally, Eradatmand Nazanin Bahareh Tina (“Delighted”) was to be screened in November, but Iran’s Culture Ministry “politely recommended” that the film be removed from the schedule, even though tickets had already been sold. While unable to administer their authority in another country, the Ministry had a much better weapon—claiming that they would withhold permits to Kahani’s new film, We Like You Mrs. Yaya, from releasing to Iranian theaters.
The Center for Human Rights in Iran reports: “Delighted was made almost two years ago. The director and producers tried very hard to get a screening permit for domestic theaters but failed. After the presidential election promises were made to lift bans on several films but in the end this one was not included.”
This has apparently happened to Kahani before, as well, and future productions will arguably find themselves under the Ministry’s scrutiny in a similar manner.
The director’s third film, Bist (“Twenty”), won several Crystal Simorgh awards back in 2009.
Mohammad Shah-Mohammadi Joins Jury Panel for Short Soup International Short Film Festival
Australia and Iranian film continue to coincide, with the Short Soup International Film Festival has now announced a new jurist, Mohammad Shah-Mohammadi.
The filmfest will be held on January 28th, 2018 in Sydney, and features contributions from filmmakers around the world. Notification, a two-minute short film by Alireza Taheri, will represent Iran. (Note: you can actually watch this short in full, now, at this link.)
‘No Date, No Signature’ Finds US Distributor!
Good news for Americans who want to see Vahid Jalilvand’s new, critically acclaimed Iranian drama No Date, No Signature: the film has been acquired for domestic distribution in the US.
Variety’s exclusive report states that Distrib Films and 1844 Entertainment will be distributing Jalilvand’s film, which has had a very successful festival tour and a very positive critical response thus far.
Francois Scippa-Kohn, founder of Distrib Films, told Variety: “The actors in this amazing movie are phenomenal, managing to keep the thriller-like tension of the plot until the very end while analyzing with great intelligence a society drowning under class discrepancies and individual complexes.”
A release date is forthcoming, but The Iranian will undoubtedly be covering this highly anticipated release.
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