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Absent Iranian Wins Cannes Directing Prize

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof in 2009

Iranian film director Mohammad Rasoulof has won a prize for best director in the "Un Certain Regard" section at the Cannes film festival in France. Rasoulof was awarded for "Be Omid e Didar" ("Good Bye"), a film shot semi-clandestinely in Iran about a lawyer who turns to extreme measures in order to get a visa to leave Iran.

Leyla-Zareh in a scene from "Good Bye"

Rasoulof, who is banned from traveling abroad, was not present at the festival but his wife received the prize on his behalf.

Rasoulof was sentenced in December to six years in jail and barred from making films for 20 years. Internationally acclaimed fellow Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi received the same sentence.

The two were recently released on bail pending an appeal but not allowed to travel.

Both filmmakers have smuggled films to France for competition in the festival.

Panahi has entered his documentary-style "In Film Nist" ("This Is Not A Film"), which is about his wait for a decision on his court appeal.

The trailer for"Be Omid e Didar" ("Good Bye")

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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