In December 2010 the Iranian director Jafar Panahi and his fellow director Mohammad Rasoulof were charged with spreading “propaganda against the system” and sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films and travelling for the next 20 years. Despite continuing international protest, an Iranian court of appeal then upheld the sentence against the filmmakers.
At the Festival in February the Berlinale expressed its solidarity, and called attention to the plight of Panahi and other Iranian filmmakers with a number of initiatives. What’s more, Panahi was unable to make it to the Festival after being invited to be on the Berlinale’s International Jury.
In September, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, co-director of Jafar Panahi’s This Is Not a Film, as well as the Iranian filmmakers and actors Katayoon Shahabi, Hadi Afarideh, Naser Safarian, Shahnam Bazdar and Mohsen Shahrnazdar were also arrested.
Panahi’s empty jury chair at the last Berlinale drew the attention of the media and prompted worldwide statements of solidarity. It also moved the Deutsche Filmakademie to launch the project FILMMAKERS IN PRISON that stands up for politically persecuted filmmakers and supports all those affected. Both the Berlinale and the Deutsche Filmakademie have also protested against the most recent arrests and convictions in Iran.
As a form of public protest and recognition for the courage of these Iranian filmmakers who continue their work despite constant danger, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Deutsche Filmakademie and radioeins are presenting Jafar Panahi’s and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s latest work, This Is Not a Film, at Berlin’s Cinema in the KulturBrauerei on Wednesday, November 9, 2011.
The film, which is not one, shows a day in the life of Panahi, who was forced to wait for months under house arrest for the outcome of his appeal. Viewers see him eating breakfast, phoning his lawyer, talking with the building’s maintenance man who has come to pick up the trash. The Iranian authorities refuse to approve the script for a new film, so Panahi enacts it in his own living room, using tape to mark off an imaginary set and reading the roles aloud. A film has been made after all, just completely differently than planned. This Is Not a Film is the defiance of a director who cannot desist from making films and presents the atrociousness of being banned from his profession without any self-pity whatsoever.
“Convicting artists and banning them from their professions violates human rights, freedom of opinion and expression in the arts. We sharply condemn such infringements and want to demonstrate our solidarity with this screening,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.
Within the scope of radioeins’ “Schöner Mittwoch” series
November 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm
Cinema in the KulturBrauerei, Schönhauser Allee 36, House T, 10435 Berlin
This Is Not a Film (original version with English subtitles)
Directed, produced, written and edited by: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick, Fred Breinersdorfer, Project Leader of FILMMAKERS IN PRISON/Deutsche Filmakademie and Ali Samadi Ahadi, director of the documentary The Green Wave, will attend the screening.
October 31, 2011