TEHRAN: Iranian authorities have revoked the filming permit for internationally acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi’s unfinished movie, because of his support for dissident filmmakers, newspapers reported Sunday.
The Shargh newspaper quoted deputy culture minister Javad Shamaqdari as saying that authorities had revoked a permit for “Nader divorces Simin,” which is still in production, because of the director’s “inappropriate” comments at a recent awards ceremony.
“The decision was made over his comments at the ceremony which were not nice,” Shamaqdari said. “He was given a week to correct his remarks but he did not.”
According to Arman and Tehran Emrouz papers, the official went on to say that “Those were really inappropriate comments … We are trying to be transparent so that people know why a filmmaker is encouraged and another is restricted.”
In a recent Iranian award ceremony, Farhadi said he wished for “change” as he spoke out in favor of actress Golshifteh Farahani and celebrated directors Jafar Panahi, who spent over three months in jail, and emigre filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a vocal backer of Iran’s opposition Green Movement.
“I hope next year things change in a way that Golshifteh … and Makhmalbaf can easily return,” Farhadi reportedly said at the ceremony. “I hope Jafar Panahi can make films. I hope next year will be in no way like these years.”
Farhadi, 37, won Berlin festival’s Best Director award last year for his broadly popular drama “About Elly,” the story of a woman who vanishes during a weekend outing with friends, setting off a chain of lies to maintain appearances and traditional social mores in Iran’s conservative Islamic society.
Farhadi also collected several awards this month at home, at a ceremony for Iranian cinema.
The film’s leading actress Golshifteh Farahani infuriated hardliners in Iran by shedding the mandatory Islamic veil at the overseas premier of “Body of Lies,” her first appearance in a Hollywood film.
The 27-year-old actress has lived in self-imposed exile in France since leaving Iran about two years ago. By law, Iranian women must wear the headscarf in public, even outside Iran.
As is the case elsewhere in the MENA region, Iranian filmmakers must obtain authorization from their culture ministry before shooting a film. All artistic productions and books are subject to vetting before release.
Many filmmakers, writers and artists have complained about increased censorship under hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and most backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi against him in Iran’s June 2009 election.
Ahmadinejad’s disputed victory, which the opposition charged was fraudulent, sparked mass street protests, plunging Iran into one of its worst political crises since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. – AFP
From: (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)