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Michael Moore will attend Cinema Verite in Tehran: Iranian Official

Source: Tehran Times

TEHRAN -- An Iranian official has announced once again that U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore plans to visit Iran in autumn.

"He has asked [for permission] to travel to Iran, and we are trying to invite him to the Cinema Verite," Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari said during a meeting at the Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Cinema Verite is an Iranian international festival for documentary films, which is organized by the DEFC.

"Michael Moore has said that he has watched some Iranian films, which were very special for him," Shamaqdari said.

"He said that he has never had such an image of Iran as was shown in the films, and that he was astonished to see Iranian youth skiing and going to coffee shops," he added.

"He has said that he wants to visit Iran to do research about the country. In addition, he is an opponent of U.S. government policies and he wants to show his objection by traveling to Iran," Shamaqdari stated.

On two previous occasions, DEFC officials announced that Moore planned to travel to Iran, but he never came.

In 2007, DEFC announced that it had invited Moore and his producer Meghan O'Hara to promote "Sicko", their highly acclaimed documentary attacking the U.S. medical system, at the Cinema Verite festival.

However, O'Hara denied the announcement and said, "There is absolutely no truth to the right-wing promoted rumor that Michael is going to Iran -- none, zero, zip."

The DEFC again announced in May 2008 that Moore was planning to travel to Iran to attend the Cinema Verite festival, but he did not visit Iran this time too, and the DEFC was mum about the Moore no-show.

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