Iranian Filmmaker Ali Ahmadzadeh Banned From Leaving Country – Deadline

Norman Ray
Norman Ray

Global Courant

Filmmaker Ali Ahmadzadeh is under pressure from Iranian authorities to pull his latest feature Critical Zone from Locarno’s Main Competition after he was summoned to the country’s Ministry of Security.

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The pic, set to debut in Locarno, is described as “an artistic reflection on the anger and the rage of the young generation of Iranians” and was shot without the permission of the authorities before the recent protests started.

Ahmadzadeh was summoned to the Ministry following the announcement of Locarno’s Competition features on July 5. The film’s international sales agent Luxbox Paris and the producer, Sina Ataeian Dena, have also received threatening emails and messages demanding the film be pulled from the festival.

Dena said in a statement today that Ahmadzadeh is under frequent interrogation and harassment through text messages. He also said the director’s visa has been blocked and authorities have banned him from leaving the country

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“Ali is under constant psychological torture, and we believe that making all these public might create a bit of protection for him,” Dena said. “According to what we predicted and agreed on a long time ago, we will anyway premiere the film. Standing all kinds of threats and falling accusations became a part of our job, and showing the film is the most important part of our fight.”

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Giona Nazzaro, Locarno artistic director added: “The Locarno Film Festival has always stood by freedom of artistic expression and thought. A place where cinema art is celebrated in all its manifestations, with respect for individual beliefs. We call for the release of Ali Ahmadzadeh and the respect of his physical and mental integrity and dignity as a human being and artist.”

Iranian Filmmaker Ali Ahmadzadeh Banned From Leaving Country – Deadline

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