Renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi has been arrested in his home in Tehran. His crime? Making a documentary about the protests last summer after the election. Jafar Panahi reportedly did not get permission to shoot the scenes for his new film in Tehran.
Jafar Panahi was last in Göteborg at GIFF 2007. He was then one of the members of the first ever jury for The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award. We also screened his film The Circle in our 30th anniversary retrospective that same year.
Personally I remember the kind and resolute manners in which Jafar Panahi helped me making my way through the chaotic lines for the elevators on the ground floor at the festival hotel Riverton, up to the overcrowded sky bar. At the festival we are always looking forward to new films by him, and wish him welcome back to Göteborg any year.
We strongly plead that Jafar Panahi and the other persons arrested with him may be released as soon as possible.