The Berlin International Film Festival protests against the arrest of Iranian directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof, and assistant director Mehdi Pourmoussa. With Offside Panahi won the Silver Bear in 2006. Prior to his arrest, Panahi had been denied permission to leave his home country for Berlin, where he was to be an honorary guest of the 60th Berlinale and, within the scope of the World Cinema Fund, participate in a panel discussion on the topic “Iranian Cinema: Present and Future. Expectations Inside and Outside of Iran”. In 2009, Mohammed Rasoulof presented The White Meadows in San Sebastian. Mehdi Pourmoussa was assistant director of Rafi Pitts’ Shekarchi (The Hunter), which was shown in this year´s Berlinale Competition.
“We are concerned and dismayed that Iranian filmmakers have been arrested due to their artistic work,” commented Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.
March 3, 2010