September 07 2011 Iran bans Jafar Panahi collaborator, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, from travelling
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, the co-director with Jafar Panahi of THIS IS NOT A FILM, had his passport forfeited at Tehran airport on September 5, 2011, just as he planned to fly to Paris with his wife and son.
Mirtahmasb is now banned from travelling outside Iran and all of his belongings, including his laptop and notebooks, were confiscated. Only his wife and son are permitted to travel.
Jafar Panahi (director of films critical of Iran’s government such as The Circle) is currently under house arrest, after a sentence was passed in December 2010 when the Iranian government accused him of opposing the Iranian regime. Panahi has denied the charges and is awaiting an appeal on the sentence of a six-year prison term, plus a 20-year ban on filmmaking, talking to the press and travelling abroad.
This is Not a Film will be released in Australia on 10 November 2011 by Sharmill Films.
Wide Management and Sharmill Films are very concerned about the situation of the two directors.
Jafar Panahi’s latest effort This is Not a Film was courageously smuggled from Iran to France on a USB thumb drive inside a cake to make it to the Cannes Film Festival in May where he was awarded the Carrosse d’Or in his absence.
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb was allowed to attend the world premiere at Cannes of this film which was shot almost entirely in Panahi’s apartment on digital video and an iPhone, and chronicles a ‘day in the life’ of Panahi under his house arrest.
The purpose of Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s trip to France this week was to promote the theatrical release of This is Not a Film there at the end of Septemebr, before going to Toronto where the film will be shown in the Masters section and travel to international film festivals such as New York and London.
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