Iranian Director Flees Jail Sentence to Premiere Cannes Film

Mohammad Rasoulof Escapes to Europe After Being Sentenced to Eight Years in Iran

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 14 May 2024
Iranian Director Flees Jail Sentence to Premiere Cannes Film

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof has fled his home country after being sentenced to eight years in prison. His latest film, The Seed of the Sacred Fig, is set to compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2024.

Facing Imprisonment for His Work

Rasoulof was convicted after refusing to withdraw his film from the Cannes Film Festival. In September 2017, Iranian authorities confiscated his passport, effectively barring him from international travel. Recently, his prison sentence was confirmed on appeal, leading Rasoulof to flee Iran.

Escape to Europe

In a statement, Rasoulof revealed that he reached Europe after a perilous journey. He expressed that he had to choose between imprisonment and exile, ultimately opting for the latter. Rasoulof condemned the Iranian government’s harassment of civil rights activists and critics, calling for global support for free speech.

Support from the Film Community

Jean-Christophe Simon, CEO of Films Boutique and Parallel45, who are distributing Rasoulof’s film, confirmed the filmmaker’s safe arrival in Europe. Simon expressed relief and hope that Rasoulof would attend the Cannes premiere despite attempts to prevent his participation.

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