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by Eric Kohn
October 4, 2012 1:15 PM
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EXCLUSIVE: Banned From Filmmaking, Jafar Panahi Has Made Another Movie, Says Abbas Kiarostami

Jafar Panahi in 'This is Not a Film'
For a guy banned from making movies in his homeland, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi sure stays busy.

Last year, the director managed to release a critically acclaimed diary film about his experiences under house arrest, slyly titled "This is Not a Film," by allegedly smuggling it to the Cannes Film Festival on a USB drive hidden in a pastry. The movie later played at the 2011 New York Film Festival and was released stateside by Palisades Tartan in February.

Now, although Panahi faces a 20-year ban on filmmaking and a six-year jail sentence that was issued by the Iranian government in late 2010, he has completed another feature, according to his colleague and fellow Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

In New York City for the U.S. premiere of his film "Like Someone in Love" at the New York Film Festival, Kiarostami told Indiewire in a conversation this morning that Panahi had completed his latest production. He predicted that it would hit the festival circuit in the near future.

"He has happened to have made his second film since he received his sentence," Kiarostami said through a translator. "After his sentencing he made the film that played at Cannes, and since then he has made another. I guess it will be shown at another festival. So he is making films in Iran. I don't know why, but that's a reality people cannot deal with."

Addressing the challenges of working under the governmental constraints, Kiarostami emphasized the various strategies that filmmakers must use to keep making movies.

"Some people stay in Iran and undergo the censorship, working however they can. Others, like me, decided to work elsewhere," he said, noting that "Like Someone in Love" was shot in Japan. "Everyone does what they can. Of course, the situation is difficult for everyone."

Stay tuned for Indiewire's full interview with Kiarostami this week.

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4 Comments

  • Ed Harken | October 5, 2012 11:59 AMReply

    Great scoop???? Really??? I wonder how Mr. Panahi is going to feel about it sitting in Tehran when he is placed under arrest (or worse) for this glib piece - If Indiewire were noted for being a bastion of thought provoking pieces on human rights violations then I would agree (actually if regularly got its facts right would be a start) - but if this newsflash is based on a conversation with Mr. Kiarostami (one can only assume he was being interviewed at the New York Film Festival) one can only imagine it wasn't the focus of the interview and seems pretty reckless and taken out of context (I hope so) - here's hoping this doesn't put either Mr. Panahi or Mr. Kiarostami in any greater danger then they already face just to make movies

  • Christopher Bell | October 6, 2012 6:22 AM

    Um, guys, "This Is Not A Film" wasn't exactly a secret. It played festivals, got distribution, etc and, to my knowledge, nothing happened to him. Indiewire simply reporting that he made another one isn't going to send him to the chair.

  • Matt Quill | October 5, 2012 4:39 PM

    Agreed. Not only is this thoughtless 'reporting,' but it's also utterly irresponsible.

  • herb | October 4, 2012 5:09 PMReply

    Great scoop! thanks