Berlin festival to honor jailed Iranian filmmaker Panahi

January 18, 2011 16:08


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BERLIN  — The Berlin film festival said it will honor imprisoned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi with screenings of his movies and a panel discussion on censorship in Iran.

Director Dieter Kosslick said Tuesday the festival, which had invited Panahi to sit on its jury, is doing its best to protest his "drastic punishment."

Panahi's lawyer said in December the director had been sentenced to six years in jail on charges of working against the ruling system. He is also banned from leaving the country, shooting films or scriptwriting for 20 years.

Panahi has won awards at the Chicago, Cannes and Berlin film festivals.

Kosslick said a panel discussion with artists and filmmakers on censorship in Iran during next month's festival will also feature Iranian director Rafi Pitts.

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