They were detained following protests on social media against violent crackdowns on Iranian civilians.
Cannes Film Festival has called for the immediate release of Iranian filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof, Mostafa Aleahmad and Jafar Panahi.
On Friday, July 8, 2022, Rasoulof and Aleahmad were arrested and imprisoned at an unknown location for protesting against violence against civilians in Iran. Rasoulof had already been deprived of his freedom of movement and work since 2017, following the screening of his film A Man of Integrity, which won the Un Certain Regard Award at the 70th edition of the Festival de Cannes. His films Manuscripts Don’t Burn, which won the Fipresci Prize in 2013 and Goodbye, which won the Best Director Prize at Un Certain Regard in 2011, had also been screened in Cannes. He subsequently won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival in 2020 with There is No Evil.
On Monday, July 11, Panahi was also arrested in Tehran. The director presented numerous works at Cannes, including Three Faces, which was selected in Competition in 2018 and awarded the Prize for Best Screenplay, as well as Crimson Gold, which won the Jury Prize at Un Certain Regard in 2003. Jafar Panahi also won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2015 for his film Taxi.
“The Festival de Cannes strongly condemns these arrests as well as the wave of repression obviously in progress in Iran against its artists,” festival organizers said. “The festival calls for the immediate release of Mohammad Rasoulof, Mostafa (Al-Ahmad) and Jafar Panahi.
“The Festival de Cannes also wishes to reassert its support to all those who, throughout the world, are subjected to violence and repression. The festival remains and will always remain a haven for artists from all over the world and it will relentlessly be at their service in order to convey their voices loud and clear, in the defense of freedom of creation and freedom of speech.”