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Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi sentenced to prison for movie about Ahmadinejad election

December 20, 2010 |  6:18 pm

My colleague Borzou Daragahi reports from the Middle East on Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who has been sentenced to six years in prison and barred from writing screenplays and traveling abroad for 20 years.

Panahi, the 50-year-old pioneer of the Iranian New Wave, was convicted of national security violations stemming from his film-in-progress chronicling the 2009 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the subsequent protests. Panahi had been an outspoken critic of the election proceedings.

Also handed a six-year prison sentence was Mohammad Rasoulof, a filmmaker who had been working with Panahi on the movie.

Panahi won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2000 for "The Circle," his critique of the Iranian government's attitude toward women, and also made the critically beloved "Offside," in which a group of girls dress up as boys to watch a soccer match. His lawyer says he will appeal. More on the case and the verdict here.

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: "The Circle." Credit: WinStar Cinema

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