Iran director gets standing ovation for secret film

May 24, 2013 20:09

CANNES - An Iranian director who was jailed for anti-government propaganda in 2010 emerged at the Cannes film festival on Friday to premiere a new film about state oppression that he shot in secret in his home country.

Mohammad Rasoulof was found guilty of "actions and propaganda against the system" after trying to make a documentary about the unrest that followed the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

He was jailed for six years and banned from making films and leaving Iran for 20 years. But the sentence was later cut to one year on appeal, and the travel and film bans were lifted.

His new film Manuscripts Don't Burn received a standing ovation at a press screening in the French Riviera resort of Cannes on Friday.

Rasoulof said it was based on the real-life story of 21 Iranian writers and academics traveling on a bus who survived a botched attempt on their lives, which he described as a "dark episode" in the Iranian intellectual community.

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