Dissident Iranian film-maker Mohammad Rasoulof has confirmed that he is unable to accept an invitation from the Cannes Film Festival to participate in one of its juries because he had been barred from leaving Iran.
Rasoulof told the online news site Deadline on May 3 that no explanation was given for rejecting his travel request.
News of the travel ban first broke via Radio France Internationale (RFI), which reported that the Cannes festival had hoped to secure Rasoulof’s participation in its Un Certain Regard jury. The festival is set to take place from May 16 to May 27.
Rasoulof was temporarily released from Tehran’s Evin jail in February following a seven-month incarceration.
He was arrested in July 2022 for his signing a petition calling on security forces to exercise restraint regarding popular protests.
Rasoulof’s films “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” (2013) and “A Man Of Integrity” (2017) world premiered in Un Certain Regard in 2013 and 2017, winning the Fipresci prize and best film prize, respectively. His film There Is No Evil won the Berlinale Golden Bear in 2020.
Last week, news emerged that fellow dissident director Jafar Panahi had left Iran for the first time in 14 years following the lifting of his travel ban.
Panahi was temporarily released from prison in February after going on a hunger strike to protest the “illegal and inhumane behavior" of the Islamic Republic’s judiciary.