While news revolving around the continuing imprisonment of unjustly jailed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi hasn’t been good, there are still declarations of solidarity and support ringing in from directors, and now entire film festivals.
Variety is reporting that the upcoming Berlin Film Festival will be honoring the filmmaker, who was recently sentenced to six years in jail along with 20 years without the ability to make films within his native Iran along with director Mohammad Rasoulof, by leaving a seat on this year’s Berlinale jury open in the name of Panahi.
The festival recently announced that the seat was going to be staying open, as a show of support for his continual fight for justice.
Late in 2010, Panahi and Rasoulof were found guilty of ‘propaganda against the system,’ which came after a long court battle, seeing Panahi going as far as to take on a hunger strike for his freedom, stemming from a March 2010 arrest.
It goes without saying that our thoughts go out to Panahi, Rasoulof and their respective families, as this is one of the most grotesque and unjust events to hit the film world in some time. Hopefully we will see these two beloved filmmakers freed sooner rather than later.
Obviously we will have more on this story as it comes.