* Opening film
Iran / 2022 / 106min.
Jafar PANAHI is staying temporarily in a small village near the border, in order to direct his latest film online from Iran, as it is shot in Turkey. As he makes his film depicting the anguish of an Iranian couple planning to emigrate to Europe from their exile in Turkey, he becomes unintentionally involved at the same time in a village dispute concerning a woman about to be forced into a marriage against her choosing based on local traditions… Although PANAHI has taken substantial risks for decades in creating self-referential films in the pursuit of personal, political, and artistic freedom, never before has he tackled so directly the human determination to flee oppression. PANAHI was detained on the spot in July of this year when he visited the authorities to inquire about and aid Mohammed RASOULOF and one other who had been arrested earlier. This film saw its world premiere at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival in early September, amidst international condemnation of the Iranian authorities who arrested PANAHI.
Jafar Panahi (Born 11 July 1960) is an Iranian film director, screenwriter, and film editor, commonly identified with the Iranian New Wave film movement. After several years of making short films and working as an assistant director for fellow Iranian film-maker Abbas Kiarostami, Panahi achieved international recognition with his feature film debut, The White Balloon (1995) - premiering at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. The film won the Caméra d’Or that year. Panahi was quickly recognised as one of the most influential film-makers in Iran. Although his films were often banned in his own country, he continued to receive international acclaim from film theorists and critics and won numerous awards, including the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival for The Mirror (1997), the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for The Circle (2000), the Un Certain Regard award for Crimson Gold at Cannes (2003) and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Offside (2006). His films are known for their humanistic perspective on life in Iran, often focusing on the hardships of children, the impoverished, and women. After several years of conflict with the Iranian government over the content of his films (including several short-term arrests), Panahi was arrested in March 2010 along with his wife, daughter, and 15 friends and later charged with propaganda against the Iranian government. Despite support from filmmakers, film organizations, and human rights organizations from around the world, in December 2010 Panahi was sentenced to a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media. While awaiting the result of an appeal he made This Is Not a Film (2011), a documentary feature in the form of a video diary in spite of the legal ramifications of his arrest. It was smuggled out of Iran in a flash drive hidden inside a cake and shown at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In February 2013 the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival showed Closed Curtain (Pardé) by Panahi and Kambuzia Partovi in Competition; Panahi and won the Silver Bear for Best Script. Taxi (2015) premiered in competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2015 and won Golden Bear, the prize awarded for the best film in the festival. His last film 3 faces (2018) was awarded Best screenplay in Cannes 2018.
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