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Tehran airport officials stop two Iranian cineastes from traveling to U.S.

Two Iranian cineastes were prevented from traveling to the U.S. by officials of Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport on Thursday, Mehr News Agency reported.

Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya was selected as the ambassador of the Mehrafarin Charity Society, during a ceremony on March 3, 2008 at the Niavaran Cultural Center in Tehran

Actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya and documentarian Mojtaba Mirtahmasb were members of an Iranian cinematic delegation scheduled to take part in a 10-day program, which has been organized by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Iranian cinema.

Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, director of documentary The River Still Has Fish

"After our passports were checked, the airport officials showed us an order that declared neither Mrs. Motamed-Arya nor I are allowed to leave Iran," Mirtahmasb told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency on Friday.

"They refused to explain the reason for the prohibition on our traveling abroad," he added.

Other members of the delegation, consisting of House of Cinema Managing Director Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur, Deputy Director Farhad Tohidi, spokesman Amin Tarokh, and Directors Guild of Iran Managing Director Alireza Raiisian, filmmakers Ebrahim Hatamikia, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Reza Mirkarimi, and Mojtaba Raei, were permitted to leave Tehran for Los Angeles.

A number of Iranian films are slated to be screened and delegates will be giving presentations during the program "Up Close and Personal: Iranian Filmmakers in Their Own Words", which began on Friday.

... Payvand News - 10/09/09 ... --

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