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Fajr Film Festival Jury Announced - Many Boycott the Event

Report by Mehr News Agency

Five day after the beginning of the 28th Fajr International Film Festival, jury members were announced on Wednesday.

The jury consists of filmmakers Masud Jafari-Jozani and Abolqasem Talebi, producers Esfandiar Shahidi and Mohsen Ali-Akbari, cultural scholar Mohammad-Ebrahim Fayyaz, actress Fatemeh Gudarzi and screenwriter Nasser Hashemzadeh, the organizers of the festival reported.

Festival secretary Mehdi Masudshahi had previously said jury members would be announced during the closing ceremony of the festival following the refusals of a number of Iranian cineastes to serve.

A few weeks before the festival began, it was rumored that a number of Iranian cineastes planned to boycott it in protest of the Iranian government's actions toward the opposition.

Later, Gudarzi along with actor Ezzatollah Entezami, screenwriters Minu Farshchi and Farhad Tohidi, director Asghar Farhadia and filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami declined serving on the jury and gave various reasons for their refusals.

Even some Iranian filmmakers, whose films are participating in the festival, have snubbed the event over the past few days as they have refused to attend press conferences held after the screenings of their films.

According to the Independent, several recognized international artistic personalities have withdrawn their films from the festival in a response to calls by a number of Iranian artists to boycott Iran's most important cinematic and cultural event of the year.

British director Ken Loach, French film director Philippe Lioret, Greek art house director Theo Angelopoulos and Palestinian film director Elia Suleiman are observing the boycott.

The festival organizers have lifted bans on a number of previously censored films this year and are allowing them to be screened at the festival in an effort to generate buzz for the event.

... Payvand News - 01/27/10 ... --

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