Dissident Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof

Iranian Film Director Cannot Accept Cannes Jury Role Due To Flight Ban

Thursday, 05/04/2023

Dissident Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof cannot participate in the Cannes Film Festival as he is barred from leaving Iran.

The Iranian film legend was due to be on the festival’s Un Certain Regard jury but along with scores of other celebrities and sports stars, is subject to a travel ban.

Other punishments levied by the regime to celebrities include bank account freezes and communications bans.

Rasoulof was temporarily released from Evin prison in February due to health issues, offering hope that he could attend the prestigious French film festival as a jury member.

However, when the festival announced the names of the jury members on Wednesday, Mohammad Rasoulof’s name could not be seen.

He has been under house arrest since 2017 when his film "A Man of Integrity" won the main prize at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section.

Due to his anti-regime content, he was given six years in prison in 2010 that was reduced to a year on appeal, and he was also banned from making films for 20 years.

He defied the ban and went on to make his drama There Is No Evil, capturing Iranian society under the Islamic Republic regime, which won the Berlinale Golden Bear in 2020.

Rasoulof and his colleague Mostafa Al-e Ahmad were arrested in July 2022 after signing an appeal along with dozens of other filmmakers and film industry workers. The appeal called on security forces to “lay down” their weapons.

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