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Ahmadinejad orders removal of obstacles for screening "About Elly" at Fajr Festival


TEHRAN, Jan. 28 (Mehr News Agency) -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the removal of the obstacles preventing the screening of Asghar Farhadi's film "About Elly" at the 27th Fajr International Film Festival.

The order was issued following the request of the president's art advisor, Javad Shamaqdari, for the decision.

"President Ahmadinejad has ordered Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi to let the film go on screen at the festival," Shamaqdari said during a press released on Tuesday.

"About Elly" faced problems in obtaining the Culture Ministry's approval for participating in the festival due to the appearance of one of the film's stars, Golshifteh Farahani, in "Body of Lies," a Hollywood film.

She was the first Iranian actress starred in a Hollywood movie after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"Up to now, there is no definite ruling in Iran's cinema for penalizing actors and actresses who plays in Hollywood films. It is not rational to oppose screening a film produced in Iran by Iranian artists because of the presence of an actress who played a minor role in an American film. It is not just to punish others for the error of one person," he mentioned.

"For these reasons and also the consequences of this action I wrote a letter to Ahmadinejad asking him to announce his viewpoint on the screening of film," he said.

Saffar Harandi, who is now on a journey at Morocco, has ordered the ministry officials to follow Ahmadinejad's directions and review the case as soon as possible.

The film about several families that have traveled to northern Iran to spend their vacations will be screened at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival, which opens next week.

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