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Actress Fatemeh Gudarzi denies being on Fajr jury

Source:Mehr News Agency

Fatemeh Gudarzi

Iranian actress Fatemeh Gudarzi has repudiated signing any agreement for membership on the jury of the 28th Fajr International Film Festival despite the official announcement.

The organizers of the festival, which is Iran's most important cinematic and cultural event of the year, announced Wednesday that Gudarzi is one of seven members of the festival jury.

"I am surprised by the announcement that I have been selected as one of the jury members since I left Tehran two weeks ago on a trip," Gudarzi told the Persian service of the Fars News Agency on Thursday.

She previously rejected the festival's invitation to be on the jury ten days ago, she said.

Festival secretary Mehdi Masudshahi said on Thursday that the all members except Gudarzi have attended the jury sessions.

"Despite an initial agreement, Mrs. Fatemeh Gudarzi was absent from the sessions and this is not acceptable," he stated.

According to Masudshahi, no one will replace Gudarzi on the jury, which consists of six minor cineastes.

Festival organizers have been troubled by refusals of Iranian cineastes to serve on the jury.

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.

The Jury

The negative responses were taken as a snub by analysts as a number Iranian artists called for a boycott of the Fajr theater and film festivals.

Several recognized international artistic personalities have withdrawn their films from the festival in response to the calls.

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.

... Payvand News - 01/29/10 ... --

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