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                                        Volume. 12142

Iran responds to “Closed Curtain” win at Berlinale
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Iran Cinema Organization Director Javad Shamaqdari in an undated photo
Iran Cinema Organization Director Javad Shamaqdari in an undated photo
TEHRAN -- The Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for the unauthorized Iranian film “Closed Curtain” has received an angry response from the Iran Cinema Organization.
 
“They may say that they did that to defend freedom, but they showed a different response with the severe pressure that were put on Gunter Grass in Europe over his anti-Israel remarks,” Iran Cinema Organization Director Javad Shamaqdari said during a ceremony on Monday.      
 
“We informed the Berlin festival about our protest against the action and we think they should modify their behavior,” he added.  
 
“As soon as possible, we will watch the film along with a group of experts, cineastes, and journalists to assay the Silver Bear the film won at the festival,” he stated.
 
Directed by Jafar Panahi and Kambuzia Partovi, “Closed Curtain” won the best script prize at the Berlin festival on Sunday.
 
Panahi was accused of making a film on the events that occurred after the Iranian presidential election in June 2009.
 
Consequently, he was sentenced to six years in jail, which was redeemable by paying a fine. He was also banned from making movies and traveling abroad for 20 years.
 
“There are some people who make films illegally and submit the unauthorized productions to foreign festivals, but all the cineastes know that producing a film in Iran and screening it in the foreign events must be authorized beforehand,” Shamaqdari said. 
 
“These productions are all illegal, but at the present time, the system shows tolerance toward such activities,” he noted.
 
The Berlin Film Festival spotlighted Panahi after his trial in 2009. Festival director Dieter Kosslick invited him to join the Berlinale jury in 2011.
 
Panahi missed the event due to the legal travel restriction. However, the organizers commemorated Panahi by placing an empty chair for him at the jury press conference during the opening day of the event.
 
A group of Iranian cinema officials left the festival early in protest over the action.
 
MMS/YAW
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