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A new movie from dissident Iranian director Jafar Panahi has premiered at this year’s Berlin film festival – but the man himself did not attend.

Defying a 20-year ban in his homeland from making films, “Closed Curtain” is a reflection of how restrictions on his work have brought on depression and even thoughts of suicide.

Barred from foreign travel Panahi supporters condemned Tehran saying an international director should be free to attend international film competitions.

His Iranian co-director Kamboziya Partovi and actress Maryam Moghadam did make it to the red carpet.

Panahi who does appear in his film is best known for tackling social and political issues in movies such as “The Circle” and “Offside” bur he has been accused of preaching propaganda.

“Closed Curtain” is unlikely to be seen by audiences inside Iran.

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