Friday, July 15, 2011
An Iranian filmmaker who is one of the most influential filmmakers in the Iranian New nave movement. He has gained recognition from film theorists and critics worldwide and received numerous awards including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
On 20 December 2010, Jafar Panahi was handed a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on making or directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media as well as leaving the country.
On 30 July 2009, Panahi was arrested at a cemetery in Tehran where mourners had gathered near the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan. He was later released, but his passport was revoked and he was banned from leaving the country. On February 2010 his request to travel to the 60th Berlin Film Festival to participate in the panel discussion on "Iranian Cinema: Present and Future, expectations inside and outside of Iran" was denied.
On 1 March 2010, Panahi was arrested again. He was taken from his home along with his wife Tahereh Saidi, daughter Solmaz Panahi and 15 of his friends by plainclothes officers to Evin Prison. Most were released 48 hours later, Mohammad Rasoulof and Mehdi Pourmoussa on 17 March 2010, but Panahi remains in ward 209 inside Evin Prison. Panahi's arrest was confirmed by the government, but charges were not specified.
On May 18, 2010, Panahi sent a message to Abbas Baktiari, director of the Pouya Cultural Center, an Iranian-French cultural organization in Paris. Panahi wrote that he has been mistreated in prison and his family threatened, and as a result has begun a hunger strike.
On 25 May 2010, Panahi was released on $200,000 bail.
On 12 November 2010, Panahi was back in court for his hearing. In a lengthy statement he defended himself and told the court that "I am Iranian and I will remain in Iran."
On 20 December 2010 Panahi, after being prosecuted for “assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic,” was handed a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on making or directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media as well as leaving the country.