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Culture Ministry to punish directors of unauthorized Iranian entries to foreign events

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Iranian filmmakers will face governmental punitive action if their films are found participating in foreign events without a license for a foreign premiere from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

The Book of Law, directed by Maziar Miri
Rahman, a bachelor from Tehran, falls in love with a beautiful French girl, Juliet, on his business trip to Beirut. They get married and move into his traditional family in Tehran.

"Directors will be banned from filmmaking for one year if their films, which have not received a license for foreign screening, are shown at international events," Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdarii said during a press conference on Tuesday.

"They will also be deprived of any governmental services for that duration," he added.

The rule has been established to deter screening of Iranian movies that allegedly blemish the national image abroad.

A screenplay must be approved by the Culture Ministry to obtain a production license in Iran. In addition, the film's producer must apply for a screening license from the ministry for a domestic or foreign premiere.

No film can be produced or premiere in Iran and abroad if the Culture Ministry refuses to grant the necessary licenses.

The Culture Ministry has recently refused to grant a license for a foreign premiere of "Nothing", a social drama on a deprived family.

"The Book of Law", a comedy that finds conflicts between Islamic law and the ethics of some Iranians, has previously been denied the ministry's approval for foreign screening.

"Our filmmakers are allowed to dialogue with our people through their films, but it would be against our national interests if they wanted to communicate with foreigners on sensitive topics and we must change this situation," Shamaqdarii said.

"Our people are able to hold a confidence but foreigners cannot be depended upon to do so," he noted.

In December 2009, the Culture Ministry announced that it would take punitive action against cast or crewmembers who collaborate in producing films which lack the necessary licensing for filmmaking in Iran.

The remark was made after the Iranian film "The White Meadows", directed by Mohammad Rasulof, won two accolades at the 6th International Film Festival on Wednesday. The film had been produced without obtaining the necessary licenses from the Culture Ministry.

The White Meadows, directed by Mohammad Rasulof

Over the past decade, Iranian directors Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi, Bahmad Qobadi and several other filmmakers have made films without applying for a production license from the ministry.

However, their films premiering in many international festivals have received the praises from their organizers. In addition, DVD copies of the films also are being circulated among Iranian movie maniacs.

... Payvand News - 05/12/10 ... --

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