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theGUARDIAN| Jafar Panahi asks for Golden Bear winner Taxi to be shown in Iran

The Iranian director, who is not allowed to leave the country, said ‘no prize is worth as much as my compatriots being able to see my films’ after he wins top prize at Berlin film festival

Taxi film still
Taxi driver … Jafar Panahi in a still from his Golden Bear-winning film. Photograph: Berlinale/Photoshot

Jafar Panahi, the Iranian director who won the top Golden Bear prize at the Berlin film festival for Taxi, has pleaded with Iran to screen it, saying “no prize is worth as much as my compatriots being able to see my films.”

In 2010, Panahi was convicted of spreading anti-government propaganda and endangering national security with his work, and was sentenced to a jail term and a ban on film-making. While he has never had to serve his prison time, he was placed first under house arrest, during which he made his film This Is Not a Film, which was famously smuggled to the Cannes film festival on a USB stick hidden in a cake.

He has since been allowed to move more freely around Iran, though his passport has not been returned to him, making travel to film festivals like Berlin impossible. He has made This Is Not a Film, Taxi and another film, Closed Curtain, despite the ban.

In an interview with Iranian media following his Golden Bear win, Panahi said: “I’m really happy for me and for Iranian cinema,” but took the opportunity to decry the Iranian government. “The people in power accuse us of making films for foreign festivals. They hide behind political walls and don’t say that our films are never authorised for screening in Iranian cinemas.”

Taxi film still
A still from Taxi. Photograph: Berlinale/Photoshot

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tagesschau: Goldener Bär für „Taxi“ aus Iran – 2015

Die Jury der 65. Berlinale hat ein politisches Zeichen gesetzt: Der regimekritische Iraner Jafar Panahi erhielt für seinen Film „Taxi“ den Goldenen Bären. Er selbst durfte nicht anreisen. Einen Silbernen Bären erhielt der deutsche Regisseur Sebastian Schipper.

Taxi (Persian: تاکسی‎) is a 2015 Iranian drama film starring and directed by Jafar Panahi. It premiered in competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.[1] Similar as Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten and A Taste of Cherry,[2] it has been described as “a portrait of the Iranian capital Tehran”[3] and as a “documentary-like film is set in a Tehran taxi that is driven by Panahi”[4] with passengers who “candidly confide[e]” to Panahi.[5] According to Jean-Michel Frodon, the passengers include “Men and women, young and old, rich and poor, traditionalists and modernists, video pirates vendors and advocate of human rights, [who sit] in the passenger seat of the inexperienced driver [who they refer to as] Harayé Panahi, ‘Mr. Panahi.’” The passengers are played by non-professional actors, whose identities remain anonymous.[2]
Like his previous two films This Is Not a Film and Closed Curtain, it was made despite Panahi’s 20-year ban from making films.[6]His previous two films had been shot in extreme secrecy in Panahi’s apartment and in a private house. In this film Panahi filmed out in the open on the streets of Tehran.[2]

Shortly after the film’s premiere at Berlin was announced, Panahi released an official statement in which he promised to continue making films despite the ban and said ““Nothing can prevent me from making films since when being pushed to the ultimate corners I connect with my inner-self and, in such private spaces, despite all limitations, the necessity to create becomes even more of an urge.”[5] At the Berlin Film Festival, the film won the FIPRESCI Prize.[7]

Berlinale 2015| Goldener Bär an Jafar Panahis „Taxi“ – A great day for freedom !

Das Logo der 65. Berlinale 2015, Quelle:picture-alliance/dpa Goldener Bär 2015 an/to

Berlinale TAXI 2015

Jafar Panahis „Taxi“  Goldener Bär2015

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