The film's producers, Kaveh Farnam, who is also CEO of Dubai-based Advanced Media, and Farzad Pak as well as Rasoulof's daughter, Baran Rasoulof, collected the award on behalf of the director, who was unable to attend the event.
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s There Is No Evil won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival on Saturday.
There Is No Evil tells four loosely related individual stories about the death penalty in Iran, from the executioner to the families of the victims. The film was shot in secret by the director in his native Iran.
In a joint statement to BroadcastProME, The film’s producers Farzad Pak and Kaveh Farnam, CEO of Advanced Media, said: “We are truly delighted and grateful that There is No Evil has been selected and will premiere at the festival’s main competition. However, we must express our deepest regrets and loudest frustrations at the limitations faced by the creator of this outstanding work of artistry.
“We feel obligated to apologise to the attendees for Mohammad Rasoulof’s absence at the screening and subsequent press conferences at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.”
The producers also relayed a statement from Rasoulof, who expressed his sorrow at missing the premiere of There Is No Evil: “I am sorry that I will not be able to come to Berlin to watch the film alongside the audience; however, the right to choose between being present or absent at the festival is simply not mine. Imposing such restrictions very clearly exposes the intolerant and despotic nature of the Iranian government.”