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Tehran Oscar ceremony for Iran director canceled

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, March 12, 2012 12:11 EDT
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Asghar Farhadi
 
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A Tehran ceremony to hail Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar win for his movie “A Separation” has been cancelled by authorities, media reported on Monday without giving an explanation.

The Centre for Directors and the Supreme Council for Iranian Filmmakers issued a joint statement to Farhadi saying “we were planning a simple and sincere ceremony for you to honour your great achievement for Iranian cinema, but we cannot hold it,” according to the ISNA news agency.

The two bodies said officials scrapped the event but did not say why.

The ministry of culture and Islamic guidance told ISNA it had no information about the ceremony.

Farhadi arrived back in Tehran on Saturday with the Oscar trophy he won last month for best foreign language film for “A Separation”.

The official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying “I will never emigrate from Iran,” but adding that he was about to make his next movie abroad.

Iran’s authorities briefly suspended filming of “A Separation” in 2010 after Farhadi voiced support for fellow filmmakers deemed “dissidents”.

They later backed Farhadi’s acclaimed movie at the Oscars, but gave only a muted response to its win in the best foreign-language category.

Although Iran has a sophisticated movie industry, its filmmakers face many restrictions.

Several have been arrested, and one of Iran’s most famous directors, Jafar Panahi, has been ordered to jail and slapped with a 20-year ban on making movies for a documentary he tried to make on the unrest following the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The ministry of culture has also dissolved the country’s main film industry guild, the House of Cinema, and replaced it with another body over which it holds greater sway.

(Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi poses with his trophy for best foreign language film for “A Separation” at the 84th Annual Academy Awards on February 26 in Hollywood, California. A Tehran ceremony to hail Farhadi’s Oscar win has been cancelled by authorities, media reported on Monday without giving an explanation. AFP Photo/Joe Klamar)

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Agence France-Presse
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