This Is Not A Film: Cannes-Winning Director Jafar Panahi Is Going To Jail - Arts & Culture

Panahi joins a series of Iranian filmmakers persecuted locally.

Multi-awarded Iranian director Jafar Panahi, “whose films were critical depictions of Iranian society,” now faces six years of jail time.

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Judiciary spokesperson Masoud Setayeshi said Panahi will serve the sentence that a Tehran court issued over a decade ago.

“[Panahi] was sentenced to a total of six years in prison due to his propaganda against the Islamic Republic in 2010…but it was not enforced,” Setayeshi said in a televised news conference.

Aside from prison time, the court banned Panahi from making films, traveling abroad, and giving interviews for 20 years.

This didn’t stop the director, who remained free while appealing his sentence, from shooting more movies. Moreover, he would enter the “most active phase of his career.”

New wave

Panahi has won three Cannes Film Festival awards for his works. Namely, these are 3 Faces (Best Screenplay) in 2018, Crimson Gold (Un Certain Regard) in 2003, and The White Balloon (Caméra d’Or in) 1995.

Two of his other films, The Year of the Everlasting Storm in 2021 and This is Not a Film in 2011, made it to the festival’s Special Screenings section.

Local authorities arrested Panahi in Tehran on July 11. He followed fellow Iranian filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Aleahmad, whom the state arrested and imprisoned at an unknown location.

Rasoulof and Aleahmad had been protesting the violence against civilians in Iran. The former’s awards include the Un Certain Regard for A Man of Integrity, the Fipresci Prize for Manuscripts Don’t Burn, and the Golden Bear for There is No Evil.

The Festival de Cannes has since released an official statement on the arrests of Panahi, Rasoulof, and Aleahmad.

“The Festival de Cannes strongly condemns these arrests as well as the wave of repression obviously in progress in Iran against its artists. [We] call for the immediate release of Mohammad Rasoulof, Mostafa Aleahmad, and Jafar Panahi,” the Festival de Cannes posted.

Banner Photo by Jafar Panahi and Martin H. via Wikimedia Commons and Madman Films via YouTube

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