Paris, May 12, 2010
As the Cannes International Film Festival opens its doors today, we firmly condemn the Iranian authorities’ arrest and detention of Iranian film director Jafar Panahi. He is one of the most eminent representatives of Iranian cinema and has an important role to play at this festival, to which he had been invited to be a member of the 2010 Jury.
We call for his immediate release and ask the Tehran authorities to respect the Iranians’ basic right to freedom of expression and creation.
Jafar Panahi, one of the most talented members of the Iranian New Wave, has received the highest awards in world cinema: in Cannes, where he received the Prix de la Caméra d’Or in 1995 and Jury Prize – Un Certain Regard in 2003, but also in Locarno, Venice and Berlin.
We renew our appeal for Jafar Panahi to be able to join the festival as soon as possible./.