The Cannes festival and the society of Authors Directors Producers (ARP) evoke an “intolerable” judgment and “a serious attack on the freedom of expression of artists”.
The Cannes Film Festival denounced on Wednesday “a serious attack on freedom of expression” After the condemnation in Iran of filmmaker Saeed Roustaee and his producer to six months in prison for the screening of one of their films on the Croisette. The civil society of Authors, Directors and Producers (ARP) refers to “an intolerable judgment“. Leila and his brothers had been presented in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022, then banned from broadcasting in Iran.
The condemnation of Saeed Roustaee34, and his producer Javad Norouzbeigui, which comes with a five-year work ban, “constitutes, once again, a serious attack on the freedom of expression of Iranian artists, filmmakers, producers and technicians“Explained the Festival in a statement sent to AFP. “Like many professionals around the world, the Cannes Film Festival expresses its support for all those who suffer violence and reprisals in the production and distribution of their works. The Festival is their home. He is and will always be by their side to defend the freedom of creation and expression.“, he adds.
“We, filmmakers, reaffirm once again, and as long as necessary, our infallible solidarity with the Iranian artists and people who face a coercive regime that flouts all freedom of expression and creation.“, declared the filmmakers of the ARP, in another press release sent to the press.
Sentenced for “propaganda”
The Reform Daily Etemad had reported Tuesday on the conviction of Saeed Roustaee by a court in Tehran for having “contributed to opposition propaganda against the Islamic systemin Iran. Leila and her brotherswhich paints the portrait of a poor family on the verge of implosion in an Iran plunged into a deep economic crisis, had been banned in the country for having, according to the authorities, “broke the rules by participating without authorization (…) in Cannes and then in Munich“. According to Etemadthe court ruled that the two filmmakers would only serve one-twentieth of the sentence, or about nine days, while the rest “will be suspended for five yearsperiod during which they cannot work.
Several voices have been raised in the world of cinema to denounce this condemnation, including that of the Society of Film Directors and Directors (SRF) or that of of the Biarritz Film Festivalof which Saeed Roustaee has just chaired the jury of the first edition.
Before the one who also made himself known with Tehran law on drug trafficking, Iran has already targeted and detained filmmakers who have won awards at the biggest festivals and accused of propaganda against the regime, such as Jafar Panahi And Mohammad Rasoulof.