Jafar Panahi, the 49-year-old Iranian director who has won prizes at the Cannes and Venice film festivals and made the films The White Balloon, The Circle, Crimson Gold, and Offside, was sentenced to six years in Iranian prison for participating in the protests after the disputed July 2009 presidential election. (Panahi was arrested at the time, released, and then arrested again in February 2010.) More punitively, Panahi has been forbidden “from making any films, writing any scripts, traveling abroad and also giving any interviews to the media including foreign and domestic news organizations” for the next twenty years. There is a Brett Ratner joke to make here, but, ugh, this situation is too serious and unfair for us to follow through and make it. [Guardian UK]
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