Jailed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi along with Mohammad Rasoulof will have two films in this year’s Official Selection at the Festival de Cannes. Panahi, is currently serving a six years sentence in prison and a 20 year employment ban, while Rasoulof is also incarcerated.
“Bé Omid é Didar” (Good Bye), directed by Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran, 2011, 100′), is in the Official Selection, Un Certain Regard and will be screened on Friday May 13th.
“In Film Nist” (This is not a Film), directed by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmas, (Iran, 2011, 75′) is a Special Screening in the Official Selection, and will be screened on Friday May 20th.
“The reality of being alive and the dream of keeping cinema alive motivated us to go through the existing limitations in Iranian cinema,” Jafar Panahi said in a letter sent to the Cannes Film Festival on May 5th.
“Mohammad Rasoulof’s film and the conditions under which it was made, Jafar Panahi’s ‘diary’ of the days of his life as an artist not allowed to work, are by their very existence a resistance to the legal action which affects them,” said the festival’s Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux in a statement. “That they send them to Cannes, at the same time, the same year, when they face the same fate, is an act of courage along with an incredible artistic message. Cannes is the international institution which protects them. Film professionals from [the] world over will gather on the Croisette and unite, we are sure, in a sort of self-evident fellowship.”
“Our problems are also all of our assets,” Jafar Panazhi said in his message, shared by Cannes in the announcement Saturday. “Understanding this promising paradox helped us not to lose hope, and to be able to go on since we believe wherever in the world that we live, we are going to face problems, big or small. But it is our duty not to be defeated and to find solutions.”