Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said Wednesday that screening Iranian movies in Israel is forbidden and should not be violated.
“We have told all those who are working inside Iran that film screening in Israel is a redline for the Islamic Republic and we will certainly punish those who screen their films there,” Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaili said.
“We have no tolerance” regarding this issue, he said, warning all producers and filmmakers to be careful that such screenings do not happen.
He also thanked producers and filmmakers who stopped the screening of their films “in the occupied territories” as soon as they found out that their sponsors plan to release their movies there.
Esmaili did not elaborate on how the filmmakers are going to stop international distribution companies – who are actually responsible for marketing a film – from screening the movies in Israel.
In the latest case -- at the Jerusalem Film Festival that was held in July -- several films by Iranian directors such as Asghar Farhadi, Paris-based Mitra Farahani and Ali Abbasi, whose movie Holy Spider won the best actress award at 2022 Cannes Film Festival -- were screened, but the film "Tomorrow" by Ali Asgari was withdrawn from the festival after pressure from the Islamic Republic’s authorities.
The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel and even forbids its athletes from facing Israeli competitors in international sports, making numerous Iranian champions leave the country or defect to other national teams.