Fartashphoto's Blog

Human rights film festival invites jailed Iranian filmmaker to sit on jury

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 8, 2011

Jailed Iranian film director Jafar Panahi has been invited to join the jury at an international film festival in Switzerland in March that focuses on human rights, organizers said Thursday.

Last month, an Iranian court sentenced Panahi, 50, widely known outside Iran for films such as “The Circle” (2000), “Crimson Gold” (2003) and “Offside” (2006) to six years in jail for alleged subversion, his lawyer said.

The winner of many international awards and a supporter of opposition leader MirHossein Mousavi in last year’s disputed presidential election, Panahi was arrested in early March. He was kept in detention for 88 days, during which he went on a hunger strike.

“He has also been banned from making films, writing any kind of scripts, traveling abroad and talking to local and foreign media for 20 years,” Panahi’s lawyer said after his sentencing.

According to a statement released in Italy in November, Panahi had gone on trial in Iran accused of making a film without permission and inciting opposition protests after the 2009 election that led to months of political turmoil.

The International Film Festival and Forum on Human rights (Fifidh) said in a statement it had invited Panahi to the jury alongside Spanish author Jorge Semprun, Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi, actress and director Zabou Breitman, and a Swiss filmmaker Jean Stephane Brin.

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