Mohammad Rasoulof has been in the crosshairs of Iran’s hardline Islamic Republic government and has been barred from attending this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Dissident Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof has confirmed that he was unable to accept an invitation from the Cannes Film Festival to participate in its Un Certain Regard jury after being barred from leaving Iran.
News of the incident first broke via Radio France Internationale (RFI) and Rasoulof confirmed to Deadline that the report stating the festival had hoped to secure his attendance following his temporary release from Tehran’s Evin jail in February due to ill health, was true.
The travel restrictions for Rasoulof follows the news last week that fellow dissident Iranian director Jafar Panahi had left Iran for the first time in 14 years.
Much like Panahi, Rasoulof has been in the crosshairs of Iran’s Islamic Republic government for challenging its rule with his work. His latest arrest was last July, prior to the ongoing Woman Life Freedom protests.
The director’s films Manuscripts Don’t Burn (2013) and A Man Of Integrity (2017) had their world premieres in the Un Certain Regard strand, winning the Fipresci prize for Manuscripts Don’t Burn and Best Film for A Man Of Integrity. He presented the latter at Telluride in September 2017, which resulted in his passport being confiscated upon his return.
He later defied a filmmaking ban with his impactful drama There Is No Evil, a film comprised of four stories which deal with the death penalty in Iran and Iranian society under the Islamic Republic regime. The film won the Berlinale Golden Bear in 2020. Rasoulof was not allowed to attend the festival and the director’s daughter, Baran Rasoulof, picked up his Golden Bear.
The Cannes Film Festival has unveiled its juries for both Competition and Un Certain Regard. US actor John C. Reilly will serve as president of the Un Certain Regard jury, with other jury members being French director and screenwriter Alice Winocour (Proxima, Revoir Paris), German actor Paula Beer (Undine, Afire), French-Cambodian director and producer Davy Chou (Return to Seoul) and Belgian actor Émilie Dequenne (Close).
The 76th edition of Cannes will run from 16 - 27 May.