As a longtime fan of Iranian cinema (I am dedicating my new short film to imprisoned directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof), I was extremely disappointed to learn that six more Iranian filmmakers were arrested last week. Chicago’s Facets Multimedia, who distribute many important Iranian movies on home video, has released the following statement:
“The Iran culture minister called them subversives and enemies of the Islamic system. Those arrested include filmmakers Mohsen Shahmazdar, Haidi Afarideh, Naser Safarian, Shahnam Bazdar, Mojtaba Mir Tahmaseb and film sales agent Katayoun Shahabi.
They are being held in Tehran’s Evin prison. The timing of the arrest seems to be in reprisal for the BBC Persian service broadcasting a documentary about Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini.”
In solidarity with film organizations around the world, Facets has created a petition calling for the immediate release of the six filmmakers. Please take a moment to sign and spread the word by clicking here: Iranian Filmmakers Petition.