Filmmakers at Risk Org Calls Declares “Let Mohammad Rasoulof Go!” – Deadline

The Amsterdam-based International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) has called on Iran to lift a travel ban on director Mohammad Rasoulof.

News broke this week that the filmmaker had been invited to participate in Cannes’s Un Certain Regard jury but had to decline the offer after being refused permission to leave Iran.

Rasoulof confirmed these facts to Deadline and said Iranian authorities had given no reason for the decision.

A few days earlier, friend and fellow dissident director Jafar Panahi left Iran for the first time in 14 years on a one-week trip to France to see his daughter. He has since returned home.

In a statement bannered “Let Mohammad Rasoulof Go!”, ICFR noted the different treatment meted out to the two directors.

“Both have repeatedly gotten into conflict with the Iranian authorities, had their passports confiscated and been jailed. Now one can travel, the other not,” read the statement.

“ICFR calls on the Iranian authorities to drop the travel ban against Mohammad Rasoulof and we encourage all film and culture institutions around the world to do the same.”

Both Rasoulof and Panahi have been in the crosshairs of Iran’s hardline Islamic Republic government throughout their careers for their work challenging its draconian rule.

They landed in Tehran’s notorious Evin jail within in days of one another last July, prior to the Woman Life Freedom protests. Rasoulof was arrested alongside filmmaker Mostafa Al-Ahmad for signing an online petition decrying disproportionate repression and Panahi was then detained when he went to the facility to protest their detention.

Cannes extended its invite to Rasoulof following his temporary release in February on the grounds of ill health.

The director, who has a long relationship with the festival, was last there with A Man Of Integrity in 2017, which won Un Certain Regard’s Best Film prize.

The ICFR is a joint initiative between IDFA, the European Film Academy (EFA) and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) to support filmmakers facing persecution.

It was created in the wake of the pan-European campaign calling for the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Senstov.

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